Category Archives: Contests

Wordsworth’s Poe-TREE Contest Winners

Happy Earth Day, everyone! We are celebrating by announcing the winners of the Wordsworth the Poet “Poe-TREE Contest!”

In the Wordsworth Poe-TREE Contest, students were asked to write a poem celebrating their favorite tree, following the model of Wordsworth the Mouse and his friends in the book Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! The young mice in the story campaign to save the trees in their community by writing poems reminding all the neighbors about the special qualities of the trees around them.

Poems were judged based on creativity, poetic merit and how well they conveyed what makes the trees special to the students. The six contest winners will receive a copies of each of the three books in the Wordsworth series, a gardening tool kit and a Koa Legacy Tree from the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, donated by Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods.

MakaylaRoseMolden (current)

Makayla Rose Molden

K-5 Division Winners:

Makayla Rose Molden (age 6, Kapolei, Mauka Lani Elementary), untitled

The Mountain Apple tree is yummy to me.
The fruit is up so high to knock it down is a game I try.
I collect the fruit and make apple pie.



Eli Wolfe

Eli Wolfe

Eli Wolfe (age 5, Honolulu, University Laboratory School), “Banyan Tree”

I like to climb the
Banyan tree
at Barwick.
I can climb to
the sky.
You should try it too
It is so fun.


Grade 6-8 Division:

Cindy Tsou

Cindy Tsou

Min-Hua (Cindy) Tsou (age 11, Kapolei, Kapolei Middle School), “Red Maple Tree (Acer rubrum)”

A bright, scarlet leaf blew by.
A red lobed leaf fall and fly.
It can be red, yellow and even green.
Red maple trees makes a beautiful scene.
It grows in the north, with it’s flower blooming back and forth.
A red maple tree brings red, bright shines.
A red maple is of course, very fine.


Emerson Goo

Emerson Goo

Emerson Goo (age 12, Honolulu, Niu Valley Middle School), “Forest Guardians”

Sentinels at watch
Forest guardians holding
Treasured memories




Grade 9-12 Division:

Sophie Corless

Sophie Corless

Sophie Corless (age 15, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Northern Highlands Regional High School), “The Lemon Tree”

The cool sticky air clings to me;
my bare feet squelch in the grass
just after the rain shower.
The lemon tree stands in the back corner
towering over the garden, and has a prevailing presence.
Under the tree lies my step ladder,
with my initials carved in the leg.
The wicker basket dangles
on a tiny branch at my height.
I have my technique down,
twist and snap over and over again.
Even the bees and ants are fixated on my movements,
their fragile wings and tiny legs
seem to stop to observe.
Little droplets collect in the pores of the rind,
making my hand cool,
droplets of lemon juice ooze through the pores
and run down my hand to my wrist and to my elbow,
stopping and then dripping off.
By the end I am covered in a mixture of rain and lemon,
dried and sticky.
With every lemon I snap off,
the branch snaps back and sprinkles me with rain.
I swear I hear my sweltering forehead
sizzle against the cool droplets.
In the kitchen I squeeze every last lemon,
popping the juice into the pitcher with the yellow flowers,
along with a fistful of sugar and a splash of water.
I crack the ice tray in half, scooping out the cubes.
The first sip makes my face contort
into an uncomfortable position,
one you can’t avoid,
but the last is always the sweetest.


Zoe Edelman Brier

Zoe Edelman Brier (age 18, Allendale, New Jersey, Northern Highlands Regional High School), “Veins of Color”

I remember maple Leaf picking
with my father before the bus
came to ship me off
to a grey school building
with a grey blacktop
and grey windows.
The colors of the Leaves
were brighter than anything
I’d ever seen, standing out
against the blah of morning.
even through fog,
the Leaves shown like bright beacons
of change and hope for the future.
the Leaves would vein and crinkle
in red and orange and yellow,
mixing in a thin canvas.
My father would sit me on his shoulders
and have me reach the highest branch
possible to get the best Leaf
to press in a book that I still have
12 years later, the colors frozen in time,
unbrowned and delicate, red stains
clashing with the dark green of Leaf.

Congratulations to all our winners! Go give your favorite tree a hug!

Wordsworth the Poet’s Poe-TREE Contest

Frances H. Kakugawa, author of the Wordsworth the Poet children’s books, and Watermark Publishing announce the Wordsworth the Poet “Poe-TREE Contest,” open to children in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. (Contest rules follow.)

In Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! — the newest Wordsworth the Poet adventure released this month — a bulldozer has invaded the little mouse’s special koa grove where he often writes his poems. What should Wordsworth do? His new friend, Akiko, has an idea! Wordsworth, Akiko and their friends, Dylan and Eliot, have all written poems about the special qualities of the trees they see around them — mango trees, coconut trees, kukui trees. Akiko tacks poems to each tree and reminds their neighbors of how important a part of their community the trees really are.

To enter the Wordsworth the Poet Poe-TREE Contest, kids can follow Wordsworth and his friends’ example and write a poem that celebrates their favorite tree. For an example, see Akiko and Eliot’s “Save This Tree” poems (above and below; click on the images to enlarge).

Six prize packages will be awarded, two per grade division (K-5, 6-8 and 9-12). Each prize package includes a copy of each of the three books in the Wordsworth series, a child’s gardening tool kit and a Koa Legacy Tree from the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, donated by Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods.

Send entries ATTN: Wordsworth’s Poe-TREE Contest to or to Watermark Publishing, 1088 Bishop St., Ste. 310, Honolulu, HI 96813. Download an entry form here.

Contest Rules:

  • The contest is open to all children kindergarten through 12th grade residing in the United States.
  • Each entry must include the child’s name, age and grade, school, hometown and parent, guardian or teacher’s contact information and signature. Download an entry form here.
  • Poem must be about the entrant’s favorite tree.
  • Winning poems will be selected by the judges, including Frances Kakugawa, based on creativity and poetic merit.
  • Materials submitted will not be returned.
  • Entries must be received by January 15, 2013 DEADLINE EXTENDED: March 1, 2013.
  • Winners will be notified February 1, 2013 April 15, 2013. Winners may be asked to submit a photo of themselves for publicity purposes. Winners’ name, hometown and likeness may be used for publicity purposes.

For those who are ineligible to enter the Poe-TREE Contest, or who aren’t inclined to write poetry, Frances and Wordsworth have another way to celebrate trees: They invite readers far and wide to plant trees in their own communities. “It’s not only about trees being cut down where we live,” Frances writes in the introduction to Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer! “Our children and their children must have trees in their future to hug and enjoy and sit under in the shade. Trees also help keep us alive and healthy.”

Frances has created Wordsworth’s Plant A Tree Society to recognize readers of all ages who plant a tree in Wordsworth’s honor. To receive a membership certificate in the Plant A Tree Society, readers must plant a tree for Wordsworth in their community (in the backyard or at school, for example) and post a photo of themselves with their tree on Wordsworth’s Facebook page. Photo submissions should indicate the variety of the tree and where it was planted. Submissions may also be e-mailed to or mailed to Watermark Publishing. Photos will not be returned and will be posted online.

We understand that not everyone can plant a tree in their own backyard, so we have teamed up with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative to offer a solution: A program to plant Wordsworth Legacy Koa Trees on Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods’ 1,000 acres of conservation land on the Hamakua Coast of Hawai‘i Island. Groups or individuals may sponsor a Wordsworth Legacy Tree for $60. The purchase also includes a copy of Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer!, a certificate bearing the GPS coordinates of the planted tree, and automatic membership in Wordsworth’s Plant A Tree Society. Additionally, $10 of the sponsorship fee will be directed to a fund dedicated to providing Legacy Trees for underprivileged children. Wordsworth Legacy Trees may be purchased at

We are very excited to work with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative to help return native growth to the Hamakua Coast! The land set aside by Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods for this conservation program once belonged to King Kamehameha I, and some original koa trees still remain on the property. HLH uses seeds from these ancient Hawaiian trees to grow the Legacy Trees. Each tree is implanted with an RFID chip which transmits information on the tree’s growth, as well as identifying it as the sponsor’s tree. What an amazing project!

Happy Birthday, Don Ho

This August 13th, legendary Hawaiian entertainer Don Ho would have been 82. The multi-talented Ho passed away in 2007, just a few short months after completing the interviews for his autobiography—a project he’d put off doing for years.

These were the final interviews of his life, and the book went on to be completed by his co-author, Jerry Hopkins, finally assembled in what Hopkins called “a modern Hawaiian quilt” of oral history, a format Ho had approved before his death.

Pilot, musician, actor, cultural icon. Don Ho took it all in stride. His view, as his good friend and sometime collaborator Kui Lee sang: “Ain’t no big thing, bruddah.”

It’s no big thing in terms of what Mainland guys do—the Beatles or the Doors or whoever the hell they are. But I don’t think you will find many other groups that sustained themselves this long—night after night after night—for 45 years. You know what I’m saying? I mean, I’ve got to be nuts to have done that.

– Don Ho, 2007

Nuts or not, audiences loved Donald Tai Loy Ho. He charmed the ladies, made the men laugh, and embodied the Aloha Spirit to millions worldwide.

In celebration of his birthday, we’re giving away 10 copies of his memoir, Don Ho: My Music, My Life, via Goodreads. (You do need to be a Goodreads member in order to participate in the giveaway program.)

If you just can’t wait to find out if you’re a winner, you can purchase the book at the very special price of $8.13 in honor of his birthday, 8/13. This price takes effect on August 13 and expires August 31, 2012.

Critics have said of Don Ho: My Music, My Life:

The inclusion of people who refused to participate in efforts by other authors makes this book a milestone, and a must-buy for anyone interested in Ho or his impact on modern Hawaiian entertainment.

– John Berger, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

You’ll chuckle over the Don Ho bubble machine and that bottle of bubbly that paid homage to his hit song. You’ll recognize his failing health. And you’ll relive the watery farewell, when hundreds bid him adieu. You’ll remember Ho in a way that he probably would approve.”

– Wayne Harada, Honolulu Advertiser

Hau‘oli lā hānau, Mr. Ho!

July Goodreads Giveaways

Watermark Publishing is launching a giveaway campaign on Goodreads! Each month, we’ll offer selected upcoming releases or backlist titles to give away via the Goodreads giveaway program. Keep an eye on our giveaways at our Goodreads Giveaway Page. (You do need to be a Goodreads member in order to participate in the giveaway program.)

Discover more about our titles on Goodreads, and share your reviews with your friends!

Here are our July giveaways: the new release, Why Smart People Do the Same Dumb Things, by Dr. Rosalie K. Tatsuguchi, and Frank, Sammy, Marlon & Me by beloved Hawaii columnist Eddie Sherman.

Good luck!

Happy OctoBEER!

October means Oktoberfest, which means people everywhere are celebrating beer. The Hawaii Beer Book: Bars, Breweries & Beer Cuisine has everything you need to celebrate in beery fine fashion, whether you’d prefer to brew up your own batch of suds at home, go out for a pint, or cook with your beer instead of drinking it.

It’s still pretty hot here in the Islands, but this hearty soup (right), one of the recipes featured in the book, is just something we can’t beer to pass up sharing. (For recipe, see below.)

And maybe it’s the beer in the air, but we’re feeling in a mood to give away some prizes! Tell us where you stand on cooking with beer: “Sacrilege! A waste of a perfectly good beer.”  OR  “Mmm, beer…it makes everything better!” Give us your opinion in the comments section and we’ll randomly pick a winner* to receive a copy of The Hawaii Beer Book and a Beer Book pint glass.

Purchase The Hawaii Beer Book at our online store and take 30% off your entire order (non-sale items, through 10/31/11). Prost!

Bread Soup with Dark Beer and Cheese
Courtesy of Executive Chef Oliver Beckert, Four Seasons Resorts Lana‘i

3 slices bacon, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
4 slices rye bread, medium diced
1½ c. dark beer of your choice, preferably German
2 bay leaves
12 c. chicken stock
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. roux (butter-flour mixture)
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon over low heat in a stainless steel pot. Add onion and bread. Sauté until brown. Add beer, bay leaves and chicken stock, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add roux and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and add mustard, cheese and seasonings. Serve hot in a deep bowl and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and snipped chives. Serves 6.

*Contest closes at 11:59PM on October 16, 2011. A winner will be selected at random from the valid comments posted prior to the contest closing time. To be counted as an entry, the comment must include an on-topic answer, stating what you think of cooking with beer. One entry per e-mail. The winner will be notified via e-mail; in the event that we do not hear back from the winner within 48 hours to confirm acceptance of their prize, a new winner will be chosen. Winners who do not respond within the stated time frame forfeit their prize claim. Employees of aio LLC companies and their immediate families are ineligible to win.

Rice is So Nice…And so is Winning a Dinner for Two!

We had a really “rice” time at the 2011 Hawai‘i Rice Fest this past Sunday (Sept. 11, 2011)! We brought 11 chefs with us to make 12 different tasty rice dishes, all featured in Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi’s The Hawai‘i Book of Rice. Our new Rice Book Gift Sets proved so popular we sold out halfway through the festival! (Cane Haul Road is hard at working printing up more adorable “Ochazuke” dishtowels, so the sets will be back in stock at our online store soon — they’re perfect for gift-giving and a real steal at just $18 for the whole set.)

Congratulations to Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi of Tokkuri-Tei, the defending Rice-ipe Champion, who edged out (by one hundredth of a point!) Chef Wayne Hirabayashi of the Kahala Hotel & Resort, with his Unagi Donburi Risotto in the Professional Division of the Rice-ipe Cook-off. (Chef Santa’s winning recipe from last year, Seafood Risotto, can be found in our cookbook; this year’s recipe was a new creation for the contest.) In the Amateur Division, Loreen Matsushima took the top honors with her Hurry Curry Fried Rice.

Take a peek at all the cooking action in our slide show below (click on it to go to the full-size photo gallery), and be sure to take a good look at the 12 different recipes our contributors dished up in competition and demonstrations.

Leave us a comment here on the blog and tell us which of the “rice-ipes” you’d most like to try. We’ll pick a winner randomly from all the responses to win a great prize!*

What do you win? Well, Turtle Bay Resort has generously donated a Dinner for Two at Leonardo’s Italian Dining Experience. If you like  Italian food and sharing with your family and friends, this is the right venue for you, featuring house-made pastas, thin crust pizzas, meat and fish dishes, great appetizers and salads and for the finale, miniature “guilt free” desserts!

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*Contest closes at 11:59PM on September 30, 2011. A winner will be selected at random from the valid comments posted prior to the contest closing time. To be counted as an entry, the comment must include an on-topic answer, stating which of the 12 dishes made by our chefs at Rice Fest  (featured in our slideshow; or see the list here) you would most like to try. One entry per e-mail. The winner will be notified via e-mail; in the event that we do not hear back from the winner within 48 hours to confirm acceptance of their prize, a new winner will be chosen. Winners who do not respond within the stated time frame forfeit their prize claim. Contributing chefs and their immediate families, as well as employees of aio LLC companies and their immediate families are ineligible to win.

Kualoa Rice Bowl Art Contest Winners

The First Place winner in our Rice Bowl Art Contest at Kualoa, Grayson K. of Kalihi. We love how Grayson drew each grain of rice!

Our Rice Bowl Art Contest at Kualoa’s Keiki Arts & Reading Festival in August received over 80 entries from aspiring artists. Hawai‘i Book of Rice author Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, who hosted the coloring activity for the children, loved seeing how creative the kids got with their artwork. We saw white rice, brown rice, red rice, blue rice and rainbow rice! And a handful of entries also featured veggies in their fried rice — who says kids don’t like eating healthy?

Our winners, by popular vote, are:

First Place: Grayson K., age 7, of Kalihi (Entry #41)
Second Place: Shane C., age 4, of Kaneohe (Entry #33)
Third Place: Shannon G., age 8, and Megan G., age 5, of Kaneohe (Entries #11 and #12); a tie between sisters, so their family wins all around!

Click on any image in the slide show to view the complete gallery of artwork.

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And check out this photo gallery of our young artists, hard at work!

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Have a Rice Day!

Join us at the 2011 Hawai‘i Rice Festival on Sunday, September 11 at Magic Island! The festival runs 10AM – 6PM, with plenty of entertainment and…rice!

Contributors to The Hawai‘i Book of Rice will demonstrate recipes and battle it out in the Rice-ipe Contest for cash prizes, rice and bragging rights as the year’s Rice-ipe Champion! Visit the Festival’s website for full details on the entertainment schedule and food vendors.

Stop by our booth and purchase an autographed copy of The Hawai‘i Book of Rice by Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi. A portion of each book purchased will go to the Festival’s two charitable beneficiaries, the Hawai‘i Foodbank and Lanakila Meals on Wheels. Buy a book and receive a complimentary Book of Rice rice paddle! We’ll also have unique gift sets for sale: just $18 for a copy of The Hawai‘i Book of Rice, a rice paddle and a Cane Haul Road dish towel featuring an “Ochazuke” design (see photo above; total retail value $24.95)

Here’s a brief schedule of who, when and what’s cooking (all recipes are featured in The Hawai‘i Book of Rice). Learn more about our competitors and demonstration chefs by clicking on the links!

11:00am-11:20am – Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo
Chef Kent Thompson and Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto will prepare Chef Kent’s Creamy Korean-Style Musubi (right)

11:30pm-12:00pm “Rice-ipe” Cooking Competition – Amateur Division

Leticia Buhr – Cascaron

Cathy Nobriga Kim – Cathy’s Curry Shrimp Rice

Loreen Matsushima – Hurry Curry Fried Rice

Mao Moeng – Chicken Fried Rice

Joan Murata – Ono Fried Rice

12:00pm-12:30pm Judging for “Rice-ipe” Cooking Competition – Amateur Division
Judges: John Heckathorn, Nadine Kam, Melissa Chang and Mari Taketa

12:30pm-1:00pm “Rice-ipe” Cooking Competition – Professional Division

Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri-Tei), Current Rice-ipe Champion! – Quack-quack Risotto (Chef Santa’s winning recipe from last year, Seafood Risotto, is published in The Hawai‘i Book of Rice; this year’s entry is not.)

Chef Wayne Hirabayashi (Kahala Hotel & Resort) – ‘Ahi Poke Musubi (right)

Chef Hector Morales (Turtle Bay) – Island-Style Black Bean Rice with Steak (Update: due to a scheduling conflict, Chef Lloyd Kukino of Turtle Bay Resort will stand in for Chef Hector)

Chef Kent Thompson (retired; formerly of Sam Choy’s Breakfast Lunch & Crab) – Mango Bamboo Sticky Rice Truffle

1:00pm-1:30pm Judging for “Rice-ipe” Cooking Competition – Professional Division

2:00pm-2:20pm Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo
Chef George Mavrothalassitis (Chef Mavro) and The Cat Dish’s Catherine Toth will prepare Chef Mavro’s Keahole Lobster Risotto

4:00pm-4:20pm Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo
Chef Craig Erickson (Napili Kai Resort, Sea House Restaurant) and KHON2’s Justin Cruz will prepare Chef Craig’s Pineapple Rice Cake (right)

Kualoa Keiki Festival – Rice Bowl Art Contest

We spent Saturday (Aug. 20, 2011) at Kualoa Ranch coloring with kids! The Hawai‘i Book of Rice author Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, along with our friends from Island Family Magazine, hosted a coloring activity for the children. We were so impressed with all the young artists!

These talented kids could win their families a Hawai‘i Book of Rice prize package, and you can help them do it! Vote for your favorite Rice Bowls at the photo gallery below. (All you have to do is click the “like” button on any artwork you want to vote for. You can vote for as many artists as you like, but only once for each Bowl. As a “Mahalo” gift for voting, take 30% off your purchase of The Hawai‘i Book of Rice at our online store; use code KUALOAART at checkout. (Offer expires Sept., 30, 2011.)

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And check out this photo gallery of all our young artists, hard at work!

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In addition to our coloring activity, we invited former Hōkūle‘a cremember and Eddie Wen’ Go author Marion Lyman-Mersereau and her cast of Eddie voices to perform a reading. Slack-key guitarist Danny Carvalho, whose wonderful music is featured on the Eddie CD (and on two fantastic CDs of his own!) also joined the cast and played a solo set himself.

If you’ve never experienced a live Eddie reading, you might want to take a look at the video book trailer:

Family Fun & An Art Contest!

“Hawai‘i Book of Rice” author Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi’s Decorate a Rice Bowl artwork.

“This is really bad…I’ve now stopped working to play with the crayons!!!” reported The Hawai‘i Book of Rice author Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi when we asked her to decorate her own Rice Bowl Coloring Sheet (that’s her artwork at right). Stop by our booth at Kualoa Ranch’s inaugural Reading and Arts Festival from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 20 to color your own Rice Bowl and enter our Art Contest!

It’s simple and open to all festival attendees:

Decorate your rice bowl however you like! We’ll photograph it and post it here on our blog.

A first-, second- and third-place winner will be selected from among the entries by popular vote – be sure to tell your friends and family to vote for your entry! Voting starts at noon on August 23, 2011 and closes September 4, 2011.

After the festival, we’ll contact you via email to provide you with an URL for a direct link to your entry to share with your family and friends.

Marion Lyman-Mersereau, former Hokule‘a crewmember and author of “Eddie Wen’ Go,” and her brother, Danny Lyman, voice of Mr. Mano on the book’s audio CD.

To vote: Once the voting period has started, click the “like” button beneath the photo. The “like” must be registered on the original photo posted (“likes” on Facebook or other social media do not count, so make sure if you’re sharing your entry on Facebook that you tell everyone to follow the link to vote!).

CONTEST RULES: One entry per person.  All entrants under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian signature. Only entries with a valid contact email will be accepted. Winners will be selected via the process described in the contest literature. Winners will be notified via email; in the event we cannot reach the winner within 36 hours of our first attempt, the prize will be forfeited.

PRIZES: (In the event of a tie, the winner will be selected randomly from among the tied entries.)

  • 1st place: A copy of The Hawaii Book of Rice; 5-lb. bag of rice; rice paddle; Cane Haul Road dish towel
  • 2nd place: A copy of The Hawaii Book of Rice; 2-lb. bag of rice; rice paddle; Cane Haul Road dish towel
  • 3rd place: A copy of The Hawaii Book of Rice; rice paddle; Cane Haul Road dish towel

Slack-key guitarist Danny Carvalho composed the songs for and plays on the “Eddie” audio CD.

More Family Fun at the Festival!

  • Marion Lyman-Mersereau and other members of the Eddie Wen’ Go audio cast will perform a reading from Eddie at 11:30AM.
  • Slack-key guitarist Danny Carvalho (who composed music for and plays on the Eddie CD) will perform at noon.

Eddie Wen Go’ and Danny Carvalho’s CDs (plus a selection of our other children’s titles and cookbooks) will be available for purchase at our booth. Marion and Danny will also be sticking around to sign books and CDs after the performances.


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