Huli the Hawaiian Chicken

Last summer, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, two Maui mamas, Jenny Coon and Nicki Barsamian, decided to make the best of a difficult situation by creating Huli the Hawaiian Chicken: Dances on the Moon. A fun and engaging children’s book for families to enjoy!

Jenny Coon had been laid off from her position as the Sales and Special Events Coordinator at Trilogy Excursions and found herself at home with her young daughters. Her toddler was learning about rhyming words and her favorite word to rhyme was “chicken”. These words inspired Jenny to create a story featuring a little Hawaiian chicken. 

Nicki Barsamian, formerly the middle school art teacher at Kamehameha Schools Maui, had made the choice to stay home with her two young daughters. She was approached by Jenny to illustrate her story, and a new friendship and partnership was born.

This happy and colorful book could not come at a better time when many have been down and discouraged by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The story is about a fun loving chicken named Huli, who decides to build a rocket with friends and scientists at the Haleakalā Observatory and blast to the moon! The illustrations are bright, colorful, and also capture the local and endemic plants with a hunt to find them at the end of the book!

Julia Cost, local artist and designer commented: “I love the story, the pace, the rhyming lines, the humor, the recognizable places for Maui keiki, the hunt for Hawaiian plants and the lollipops! A beautiful arc from beginning to end. Such a joy and it put a smile on my face!”

Hardcover books can be purchased at Paperbacks are available at Links are listed in the “Shop” tab on their website at

Reading to your child is such a fun and important activity. With this book you can support local, all while learning about Maui in a fun and bright way and fostering your keiki’s love of reading.


On Saturday, April 3rd Jenny and Nicki will be launching their second children’s book, “Huli the Hawaiian Chicken: Searches for Snow.” There will be a book signing event at the Kihei Ululani’s shop from 12:30pm-4:30pm. A percentage of each sale will go directly to support IMUA Family Services, a local nonprofit focusing on providing resources and educational opportunities to Maui’s most vulnerable population of children.

Mark your calendars and bring your ‘ohana to enjoy a new book and some
delicious shave ice, in support of your local community!

Image Credit: Waikapu Publishing

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