One of the pleasures of being a grandparent is spending time with the grandkids, and reading books together is a wonderful way to do just that — whether introducing a toddler to the alphabet or helping a sixth-grader research a project. Here are some ideas for locally published books to share with your special keiki.

Young children will delight in the newly redesigned second edition of A is for Aloha, now with bold color photographs. First published in 1980, the original edition used black-and-white photos showing familiar island experiences as a way for Hawai‘i’s children to learn their ABCs. Early-education experts Stephanie Feeney and Eva Moravcik, and photographer Jeff Reese have made this classic freshly appealing with full-color images of everyday activities: eating noodle soup, dancing hula, and watching birds and geckos. Ages 2 to 6. (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2018)

Written by columnist Lee Cataluna, Ordinary ‘Ohana assures readers that a diverse family is a normal family. The story unfolds through the experiences of a young boy named Kainoa, who introduces the various members of his ‘ohana. With playful illustrations by Cheyne Gallarde, the book shows that one’s family is who you choose and there’s always room for more at Sunday dinner, even if it’s on Saturday night, or Wednesday night, or whenever. Ages 4 to 8. (Bess Press, 2016)

By valuing creative play, imagination, and the fun of the outdoors over the allure of video games, computers, and cellular phones, Wordsworth, It’s In Your Pocket! by Frances Kakugawa is a gentle reminder that it’s important for young minds to unplug and enjoy real-world friends and activities. This entertaining, yet thought-provoking, Wordsworth adventure is the fourth book in the award-winning series featuring the poetry-loving mouse. Ages 8 to 12. (Watermark Publishing, 2015)

Hawai‘i’s Animals Do the Most Amazing Things! by Marion Coste and illustrated by Rena Ekmanis is jam-packed with information about native species of our islands, including birds, insects, and sea creatures found nowhere else in the world. Older children — and adults as well — will enjoy the fascinating facts about the natural habitat and unusual animals of the Hawaiian Islands. The book would also be a useful resource for science reports. Ages 9 and up. (UH Press, 2015)

Find these at your favorite bookstore or order directly from the publishers.

University of Hawai‘i Press:

Bess Press:

Watermark Publishing: