Eddie Wen Go: The Story of the Upside-Down Canoe

Eddie Wen Go: The Story of the Upside-Down Canoe


Author: Marion Lyman-Mersereau | Illustrator: Melissa DeSica | Paperback

What really happened to Eddie Aikau? In her inspirational children’s book, Eddie Wen’ Go: The Story of the Upside-Down Canoe, former Hokule‘a crewmember Marion Lyman-Mersereau imagines what Hawai‘i’s ocean creatures saw when the voyaging canoe capsized and the heroic Aikau went for help.

Illustrated in lavish watercolor by Melissa DeSica, the 64-page book tells the story of the Hokule‘a’s disastrous journey—over 40 years ago—from the canoe’s launch to the crewmembers’ rescue.

Each of the animals take their turn in relating their part in the tale, the events they saw, or the family lore handed down about the “upside-down canoe” and the brave human who went for help. Together, they come to a conclusion about what happened to Eddie: “As long as there’s an ocean and creatures in it, that’s where Eddie will be.” Eddie’s example, the animals remind us, challenges us all to live courageously and to use our own gifts to be of service to others.

Author Marion Lyman-Mersereau helped to build the Hokule‘a, and was a crewmember on its fateful journey in March 1978, as well as on a subsequent voyage in 1980. In 1995, she wrote an article published in HONOLULU Magazine titled, “Eddie Would Go,” which inspired the book by the same title, authored by Stuart Coleman. A teacher and paddling coach, she has been sharing the story of Eddie Aikau and the Hōkūle‘a for 40 years, most recently in the form of a play adapted from her children's book, performed with oversized puppets at The Hawai‘i Theatre and the University of Hawai‘i Kennedy Theatre.