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Punky Aloha illustrator brings her iconic local imagery to children's books

Punky Aloha_Shar Tuiasoa.JPG
Liberty Peralta

Local artist Shar Tuiasoa has just published her first children’s book, "Punky Aloha." It brings readers into the world of the little Polynesian girl whose adventure in search of fresh butter for her grandmother's banana bread is filled with surprising twists and turns. With the help of magic sunglasses, Punky learns to overcome her shyness and make new friends along the way.

The Conversation sat down with the Kailua-based illustrator at Hawaiʻi Public Radio to talk about the inspiration behind the story — published by HarperCollins. Tuiasoa says she’s already written the storyline for Punky Aloha’s next adventure. It's inspired by local musicians like the Kaʻau Crater Boys and happy memories at the Waikīkī Shell.

Extended interview with Shar Tuiasoa of Punky Aloha Studio

Shar Tuiasoa will be at the Honolulu Museum of Art for a book signing event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 17. This interview aired on The Conversation on July 15, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Lillian Tsang is the senior producer of The Conversation. She has been part of the talk show team since it first aired in 2011. Contact her at ltsang@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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