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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Bid on treasures

Hawaiian treasures will be among the auction items for sale in a Saturday benefit for Moku'aikaua Church in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Auction chairwoman Barbara Meheula, pictured above, a floral master and carver, has assembled koa and milo bowls, Hawaiian quilts, a koa cradle and more. There also will be a one-of-a-kind coconut-and-koa 'ukulele by Meheula, with kokua from Andy Berard, who finished the frets, strings and pheasant overlay on the koa neck — value: $2,000. But the real gem may be an original hand-written score of the only operetta written by the late Charles E. King, Royal Hawaiian Band leader and composer. It's a 1925 work, called "Prince of Hawai'i" — value: $25,000.

— Wayne Harada

Peter Rabbit's 100th

"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter ... " In 1902, English parents began reading Beatrix Potter's classic "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" to their children. One hundred years later, Peter's story is told in 35 languages, and the industry built around him includes CD-ROMs, china, baby clothes and Christmas ornaments — to the tune of $500 million in international retail sales a year.

Penguin Putnam is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Peter Rabbit, retelling the story of how the world-famous character was based, on a real rabbit that Beatrix and her brother kept as a pet, and how the book originated as a letter written to amuse the ailing child of a former Potter governess. Potter herself was the first to merchandise her creation, securing a patent in 1903 for a doll, a jigsaw puzzle, wallpaper and a game. Learn more, and shop, at www.peterrabbit.com.

— Wanda A. Adams, Assistant features editor