The Musubi Man: Hawai'i's Gingerbread Man
by Sandi Takayama - Illustrated by Pat hall
The Bess Press, Inc., 1996 - 24 pages, $8.95
Local foods of Hawai'i, influenced by Japan, become ingredients for a children's book about a little fantasy character. The Musubi Man has a body of rice, a coat of dried seaweed (nori), hair of fresh seaweed (limu), eyes of pickled radish (takuan), a nose of dried shrimp (ebi), a smile of red ginger, and a heart made of Japanese plum (ume).
He is designed and made one day by an elderly lady who lives on a taro farm and she creates him with so much love that he comes alive. Knowing that, like a gingerbread man, he would soon be eaten, he takes off through the taro patches, chased by the woman, her husband, a poi dog, mynah bird and mongoose. The Musubi Man meets up with an aspiring young surfer, brings him good luck and becomes his mascot, forever protected from hungry mouths.
The book is colorfully illustrated with depictions of traditional Hawaiian life in the country.