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Ori the Whale: Mother Whale’s Favorite Things to See on Maui

It’s Ori the Whale’s first time making the long journey from chilly Alaska to the warmer waters of the Hawaiian Islands, and Mother Whale has so many things to show him! For twenty-five years, Mother Whale has been making this roundtrip journey, and in Ori the Whale: Mother Whale’s Favorite Things to See on Maui, a new 32-page illustrated children’s book from Legacy Isle Publishing, she shares with her calf Ori all of her favorite things to see when she comes to Maui each winter—from Haleakala, the dormant volcano towering over the island, to the surfers and hula dancers on the sandy shore, and one final, very special sight. What could it be? 

Just like Mother Whale, authors Gwen and Harry Mirijanian have visited Maui annually for the past twenty-five years. “Sitting on the beach one day,” Harry recalls, “we thought about all the people who come to Maui to see the whales. And then we thought about what the whales who return each year were seeing and thinking,” which led to the couple’s idea to create a children’s book to share everything they treasure about Maui. “We enjoy whale watching with a close friend who was a humpback whale researcher, and year after year, we would see the same whale, usually with a calf.” This mother whale guiding her offspring inspired the storyline for Ori the Whale.Vivid illustrations by Darren Sanchez bring the people, places and activities of Maui alive. 

Gwen and Harry Mirijanian


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