Caren Loebel-Fried: Artist. Illustrator. Author.
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Manu, the Boy who Loved Birds
Written and illustrated by Caren Loebel-FriedUniversity of Hawaii Press 2020 Hardback: $16.99 48 pages | full-color illustrations ISBN-13: 9780824882723

Available now! Click here to buy!

Also available, Hawaiian Lanuage version, Click here to buy!

Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds Resource Guides For:
Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third Grades

Manu, the Boy who Loved Birds
Written and illustrated by Caren Loebel-Fried

On a school trip to Honolulu’s Bishop Museum, Manu and his classmates are excited to see an ancient skirt made with a million yellow feathers from the ‘o‘o, a bird native to Hawai‘i that had gone extinct long ago. Manu knew his full name, Manu‘o‘omauloa, meant “May the ‘o‘o bird live on” but never understood: Why was he named after a native forest bird that no longer existed?

Manu told his parents he wanted to know more about ‘o‘o birds and together they searched the internet. The next day, his teacher shared more facts with the class. There was so much to learn! As his mind fills with new discoveries, Manu has vivid dreams of his namesake bird. After a surprise visit to Hawai‘i Island where the family sees native forest birds in their natural setting, Manu finally understands the meaning of his name, and that he can help the birds and promote a healthy forest.

Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds is a story about extinction, conservation, and culture, told through a child’s experience and curiosity. Readers learn along with Manu about the extinct honeyeater for which he was named, his Hawaiian heritage, and the relationship between animals and habitat. An afterword includes in-depth information on Hawai‘i’s forest birds and featherwork in old Hawai‘i, a glossary, and a list of things to do to help. Illustrated with eye-catching, full-color block prints, the book accurately depicts and incorporates natural science and culture in a whimsical way, showing how we can all make a difference for wildlife.

[New!] Reviewed by American Birding Association review by Rebecca Minardi

The illustrations in Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds are arresting and bring the story to life... It’s refreshing to find a children’s book where it’s very clear that care and research went into making sure all species were represented true to life. Indeed one of the most intriguing aspects of [the book] is the extensive ten-page afterword full of photos, historical paintings, and a glossary of Hawaiian words... I hope Manu inspires readers to question why some birds no longer inhabit this planet and challenges them to wonder how they can work to protect the ones we have left.

Review by Puanani Fernandez-Akamine for Ka Wai Ola, Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Part storybook and part science lesson, Manu, The Boy Who Loved Birds, is a new children’s book {that}… joyfully blends spirituality, culture, science and technology… Entertaining and enlightening, {it} emphasizes both Hawaiian culture and environmental conservation and is brought to life by Loebel- Fried’s colorful and whimsical block-print illustrations... Manu, The Boy Who Loved Birds is a charming and educational book that serves as a reminder that culture and science are, and should be, complementary.


All artwork and text on these pages Copyright © 2002-2022 Caren Loebel-Fried. All rights reserved.