Dial Books for Young readers
Penguin Books USA
Ages 4-8
Hardcover price: $16.99
ISBN: 0-8037-1682-6

Punia and the King of Sharks

A Hawaiian Folktale
Adapted and Retold by Lee Wardlaw
Illustrated by Felipe Davalos

Treasure State Young Reader Award Book
Junior Library Guild Selection
Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
RIF 100 of the Decade’s Best Multicultural Read-Alouds

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Punia and the King of Sharks

All Punia wants is a succulent lobster dinner for himself and his mother, and the use of the lobster cave for his fellow villagers.  Three times Punia tricks the King of Sharks, the guardian of the lobster cave; three times he brings home tasty fresh lobster for his mother.  But each time Punia succeeds, the King of Sharks gets angrier.  Will the King of Sharks take revenge on Punia, or will Punia’s clever tricks make him the hero of his whole village?

     “The engrossing Hawaiian folktale combines lyrical language and a lush setting . . . the structure of the tale is timeless, and the artwork enhances every word . . . Davalos takes full advantage of the setting, both underwater and on land . . . a skillful creation of a fantasy world.”
- Kirkus Reviews

     “Jaunty prose and artwork . . . Wardlaw’s text breezes along, filled with the natural cadences of speech and studded with vivid images . . . the verdant island setting gives the light-hearted text a firm foundation, a sense of place and history, imbuing the story with the quality of local legend.”
- Publisher’s Weekly

     “Wardlaw’s retelling combines a popular topic (sharks), an action-filled plot, and the triumph of the weak over the strong . . . the brightly detailed watercolors do a good job of establishing the Pacific setting.”
- Booklist

     “ . . . nail-biting suspense. . . richly-colored illustrations . . . the layout is nicely balanced to carry the story forward and underscore its drama.  A welcome addition to trickster tales from other cultures.”  -School Library Journal

     “Wardlaw’s retelling has character and bite, and her trickster Punia . . . is a slyly appealing character.  This is an easy sell - - a strong, unusual story with a likeable hero who outwits that fascinator from the deep, the great man-eating shark.”
 - The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

     “Punia and the King of Sharks is a lesson in dividing and conquering enemies . . skillfully illustrated by Felipe Davalos. The writing and illustrations depict life of ancient Hawai'i with its acute awareness of the power of the ocean, the volcanoes and Hawaiian spirits.  The story, adapted from a Hawaiian legend, uses a number of Hawaiian words and the book has a glossary and pronunciation guide to Hawaiian terms . . . exciting reading for people of all ages.” 
-Islander Magazine