As we manner the vacation season, I in finding myself searching for moral, sustainably-sourced presents which are supportive of our suffering native financial system and exist to not the detriment of our surroundings. Like many, I’ve been captivated via the ability of buying from impartial booksellers, and, this 12 months particularly, I’m begging for extra paintings from creatives. Storytellers, movie makers, writers, musicians and comedians supply leisure and hope throughout probably the most darkest moments.

My family and friends have wolfed extra books this 12 months than they’ve in a long time, with too many just right publications and too little time to soak up the genius of our authors. And now there’s another so as to add on your want record, The Little Wahine. Santa Cruz’s Chelsea Okay. Brown has proficient us a forged contribution along with her empowering, gorgeously illustrated watery story. I stuck up with Brown to soak up probably the most inspiration in the back of this uplifting kids’s tale and be told concerning the grownup who dreamed it alive.

Chelsea Okay. Brown, writer of ‘The Little Wahine.’

Section local Hawaiian, Brown was once born on O’ahu as a “ward of the state of Hawai’i,” a foster kid within the custody of a public welfare company. “My roots are Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, British and Swedish, amongst others. As an alternative of going into foster care, I “hit the mummy lottery” and was once raised within the Northern California Bay Space via a lovely, loving, type, clever, and fierce anesthesiologist mom.”

All through an generation the place it sort of feels people can instantaneously label one some other, Brown rejects the social requirement to be outlined via anybody side of her tale and self. She’s fast to inform me that she’s a “wahine from the Wild West.” Wahine, which means “lady” in Hawaiian, is a time period that has been usually interpreted to explain a feminine surfer, a keenness that has formed and nurtured Brown’s lifestyles.

She recollects, “My connection to water and to the sea all began in a swimming pool. My mom mentioned that it was once the one position that drained me out.” Brown continues, “Once I began strolling, I used to be swimming. Swimming and changing into a powerful swimmer is the most important reward I thank my mom for giving me.” The Little Wahine was once, partially, Brown’s reaction to “the worry of dropping our oceans, surf, and blank water. If there’s the rest I’m putting off from 2020, it’s that Mom Nature is turning in a harsh caution to people to concentrate up, get up, stand up, and do higher.”

Brown joined forces with illustrator Jaz Meier, fashion designer Jihee Kim and editor Patricia White. “The e book is ready embracing a mindset of braveness, perseverance, and resilience — the attributes I’ve discovered to assist me essentially the most in navigating existence. It’s a chain of classes shared in rhyming poetry meant to facilitate self-reflection, discussion, creativity, and motion. Every lesson starts with the solar reminding the little wahine of the ability she possesses, and ends with the moon celebrating her adventure,” says Brown.

Brown wrote the tale imagining that she was once talking to the kid model of herself. “I sought after to percentage the teachings I’ve realized in a structure that my more youthful self would concentrate to. I wished extra discussion to persuade me as a child, and as an alternative of listening to blanket statements, I desired extra context. I wrote this to inspire at-risk formative years to include their tale and take possession in their narrative, too.” The tale progresses with messages corresponding to Follow Self Love, Wisdom Is Energy, Convey Other folks In combination, Offer protection to Mom Nature, and Have fun Dwelling. Every bankruptcy has an area for self-reflection and expression for the reader to write down, draw and create.

As I turn during the pages, I’m inspired now not best with the flowing ease of the poetry and the peacefulness of the artwork, however the depiction of girls of various shapes, sizes, and backgrounds taking part in the marine atmosphere. “It’s crucial to me, Jihee, and Jaz that we constitute girls we see using waves these days. They’re sturdy, assured, sleek, one-of-a-kind, dynamic, and conscious about who they’re. They’re attached to their internal voice, their communities, and mom nature.” Brown continues, “Younger girls have nice feminine position fashions within the browsing group. Girls like corresponding to Carissa Moore, Kelia Moniz, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, and the titans in giant wave charging like Paige Alms, Bianca Valenti, Maya Gabeira, and Keala Kennelly.” Then again, she continues “Identical to in any trade, it’s our task as wahine using waves to assist educate little wahine in order that long term generations can thrive and be higher than us. Some communities that these days encourage me are Textured Waves (@texturedwaves) and Black Women Surf (@blackgirlssurf).”

Brown beams, “Girls have tremendous powers of loving, connecting, and clarifying complexity. They even have a hundred million different superpowers, from growing device, developing artwork, main nations, developing inexperienced era, and charging giant waves. I’m hoping that The Little Wahine encourages girls to needless to say existence is stuffed with waves, and the one method to determine which of them you prefer using is to get in the market and revel in it for your self.”

Brown and her workforce didn’t depart any sustainability element unaddressed within the e book’s manufacturing. “We selected to paintings with an area cooperative, Neighborhood Printers, right here in my place of birth of Santa Cruz. We opted to make use of the next grade of paper from forests qualified via the Wooded area Stewardship Council.

Neighborhood Printers makes an annual contribution to the nonprofit to replant an an identical quantity of timber offsetting the fiber had to produce their merchandise. That is supposed to head past merely sourcing paper from well-managed forests, and permits us to depart the planet just a bit at an advantage.” Brown thought to be laminating the e book, however opted towards it, or even its binding is built in order that it “will wreck down gracefully. As our e book begins to age, treasure the ones little wrinkles and imperfections.”

Brown is the type of one that emanates a brightness that you need to delight in. She invitations the general public to learn The Little Wahine without spending a dime on Instagram @thelittlewahine. Those that are fascinated with supporting or buying the e book would possibly donate on Kickstarter via Nov. 30. As we glance towards the atmosphere of 2020 and the emerging solar of 2021, I requested Brown how she feels concerning the long term. She replied, merely, “I imagine in humanity.” Lets all use somewhat extra of that.

Rachel Kippen is an ocean educator and sustainability suggest in Santa Cruz County and can also be reached at

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