Pele and the Rivers of Fire
Pele and the Rivers of Fire
Pele and the Rivers of Fire
Pele and the Rivers of Fire

Pele and the Rivers of Fire


Adapted & Illustrated by Michael Nordenstrom

Color-rich paint and paper collages with playful, easy-to-read text bring the story of Pele to life for children. Pele and the Rivers of Fire introduces Hawaiʻi’s beloved volcano goddess and her siblings in an inspiring tale about personal strength and overcoming adversity. Pele and the Rivers of Fire has been nominated for the Utah Children’s Book Award.


“This story recounts how Pele journeyed from Tahiti to the Hawaiian Islands accompanied by her shark brother and followed by her sea-goddess sister Namakaikahai... The strength of this work lies with the dramatic collage acrylic and watercolor art dominated by bold oranges and blues.”


“Author and illustrator Michael Nordenstrom spent seven years getting Pele and the Rivers of Fire published and even longer to create it... He incorporated bright colors and bold images to fit the grandeur of the tale... Kids will like the bright pictures but might also get a kick out of hearing their parents try to pronounce words like Namakaokahai.”

—Salt Lake Tribune

“Nordenstrom’s book is a wonderful telling of this story for children, but it’s actually equally appealing for adults too. The artwork is fascinating, brilliantly colored, and really unique because it’s all collage! The results are very striking... the writing is excellent too!”

—Hawaii Island Journal

“For living such a long and turbulent life, Madame Pele sure looks fresh here. First this just-released picture book has a futuristic binding... the illustrations are striking... And while the book is geared to a 4-to 8-year old audience it should appeal to older readers.”

—The Honolulu Advertiser


Michael Nordenstrom is Associate Librarian and Volunteer Coordinator at the Salt Lake City Public Library. Pele and the Rivers of Fire blends his love for art and anthropology and embodies his belief in preserving legends.