The beautiful cover illustration and interior woodblock-style artwork for One Boy, No Water were done by Corey Egbert. Corey has also done artwork for album covers and does graphic design work as well. You can check out more of his awesome artwork here.
(From Goodreads)One Boy, No Water is a gorgeous book, in both construction and content. I own the hardcover edition and am so impressed with it; from the cover (no dust jacket, the illustration is wrap around and printed directly onto the cover/board), the internal black & white illustrations and chapter head images (there's even a splash page int he front), and the Hawaiian pronunciation guide and Pidgin and Hawaiian glossary int he back.
When old Uncle Kahana and his poi dog 'Ilima find a newborn with a funny birthmark abandoned on a reef in Hawaii, he soon finds out just how special the child is: the boy is allergic to water. One drop on his skin and it's like water on a white hot skillet; his allergies also make eating anything raw from the sea or rare meat impossible, which is simply absurd for an island dweller. Strangely, the boy's peculiar allergies lead Uncle Kahana to believe this child is 'ohana-family-and doesn't have to work too hard to convince his niece and her family to adopt and give him a name-Alexander Kanoakai Westin, or "Zader" for short. If only the rest of Zader's life were so easy! On the surface, despite his unusual allergies, Zader is an average eleven year old boy with typical challenges of fitting in with his peers, getting into a good prep school, and maintaining his relationship with his surfing crazed brother. In reality, Zader is Niuhi, a shark with the ability to turn into a person. As he matures and begins to adapt to his "allergies" in ways that make it easier to live a normal life, Zader's world begins to turn upside down-he will not only have to come to terms with who he is, but what he is.
Concerning the heavy use of Pidgin, some might worry that it will take away from the story and create a barrier to the (non-Hawaiian) reader, whereas this may be the case for some, I found the dialogue very immersive and enriching to the story. I don't think One Boy, No Water could exist and be as good as it is without the Pidgin. Obviously for non-Pidgin speakers, you have to get into the groove of it (it begins to flow, and most of the terms you can understand through context), but truly, the use of Pidgin language adds to the enchantment and richness of the story. The use of native language very much enhances the atmosphere of ancient mythology and legend in the contemporary setting of this tale.
One Boy, No Water is woven with Hawaiian shark mythology, building mystery as the story moves forward. The story is centered on family which is a huge part of Hawaiian culture, and personal identity which is heavily related to one's identity within the family. After I started reading One Boy, No Water, the moments that I wasn't reading it, the thought of the story kept tugging at me, drawing me back in like a warm current. Prosaic life (beautiful) is at the heart of the story which gives a sense of safety and comfort, with several twists and suspenseful moments that set it up for a great series.
Food in One Boy, No Water:One boy, No Water is rich in food mentions and description, as food is very much a part of Polynesian culture and family. One particular scene in the book involves the main character Zader, his Uncle Kahana, and some very 'ono kaukau (shown below). Click here for the "Hari's Special" recipe".
Places to visit:
|Author Lehua Parker: |
☂ Facebook page
☂ One Boy, No Water website
|Artist Corey Egbert: |
☂ Facebook page