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This is the story of sharks guarding a cave full of lobsters, and a Hawaiian boy, Punia, who executes a series of tricks that allow him to harvest lobsters while the sharks are distracted.


Punia and the King of the Sharks
A Hawaiian Folktale
adapted by Lee Wardlow

Punia and the King of Sharks is a lesson in dividing and conquering enemies, as Punia deceives the top shark into believing that sharks under his command are traitors and co-conspirators in Punia's pranks. One by one, the King of Sharks bans the traitors from the cave until only he remains to protect the lobsters from Punia.

The real battle of wits is between the young Hawaiian boy and the King of Sharks, leading them through a series of life-threatening situations and a surprising outcome, which are 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.


Inside page
Illustrated by Felipe Davalos

The story, adopted from a Hawaiian legend, uses a number of Hawaiian words and the book has a glossary and pronunciation guide to Hawaiian terms. Punia and the King of Sharks is dedicated to "children of all cultures," and is exciting reading for people of all ages.