Easy Butterfly Origami

My new book, Easy Butterfly Origami features 30 bold full-color patterns designed to accurately portray the dorsal and ventral sides of some of the most beautiful butterflies from around the world!

Origami Folding Tips

Origami, from the Japanese ori (to fold) and kami (paper), began in the 6th century when Buddhist monks introduced paper to Japan. The print-and-fold crafts and easy diagrams are designed to help children with fine motor skills, directions and hand eye coordination. Some basic origami folding tips:
  • Print and cut out patterns carefully.
  • Fold with clean, dry hands.
  • Follow the instructions. Study the diagrams and be patient.
  • Be precise: fold each crease well, flattening the creases by running your fingertip over the fold.
  • Folding the paper away from you is easier than folding towards you.
  • Be creative...use your origami on greeting cards, holiday decorations, table place cards and bookmarks.

Children's Books

In addition to creating fun crafts and origami online, I write and illustrate children's books. Here's a list of some of the 30+ books I've written and/or illustrated.

S is for Sumo: Celebrating Hawaii, the Aloha State
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Windword Books 2013
ISBN: 978-1492885757

Dancing dolphins, surfing sumotori, 'ukulele-strumming ukus and more! From 'a'ama to zori, children learn the alphabet by finding objects hidden on every page.

Hawaii is more than tropical beaches and lush rain forests. Its unique blend of Hawaiian, Pacific Rim and American culture welcomes visitors from around the world. S is for Sumo celebrates local culture by introducing both newcomers and longtime residents to island favorites such as laulau, Spam musubi and malasadas. For the people of Hawaii, aloha i smore than just a word—it is a way of life.

Order from Barnes & Noble
Order from Amazon

Malia in Hawai'i
Written by Karyn Hopper
Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Mutual Publishing 2013
ISBN: 978-1939487-19-3

Surfing or dancing, parades or hula, noodles or sushi? Malia likes them all!

Malia in Hawai'i is the story of a little girl with a long name, and an even longer list of things she likes to eat and do. Join Malia Sachi Ging Ging Lee as she explores the food and fun of her Hawai'i home.

"Overall, it’s a sweet book about a busy little girl whose life is full of fun and love because of her family and her background.  Culture is important because, like reading, it enriches our lives. That’s a great message for a kid and it’s a good book for getting keiki interested in exploring their own heritage."

Keiki Counting 1-2-3
Written by Tammy Yee
Illustrated by Yuko Green
Island Heritage Publishing 2013
ISBN: 1-61710-199-0

Learn numbers one through ten with Hawaiian animals, plants and more in this fun-filled book. This delightful Hawaiian children's book makes a great gift for that special child in your life.

Available at:

Amazing Mazes Under the Sea
Written by Ellie Crowe
Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Mutual Publishing 2012
ISBN Soft Cover: 1-56647-973-8 

Help Naia the Spinner Dolphin find her friends and safely guide Honu, the newly hatched baby sea turtle, to the ocean in this special maze book just for kids! These twenty one amazing mazes take kids on an underwater adventure in Hawaiian waters where they can wind their way around reefs and coral to learn more about its sea creatures; from ink squirting octopus to soaring flying fish. Author Ellie Crowe introduces fascinating facts about each animal, and illustrator Tammy Yee brings them to life in detailed, textured drawings that makes you feel as if you're diving deep under Hawaii's sea.

Available at:

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Love to read on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
"This is not your typical maze book. The illustrations are beautiful and the mazes are large (one per page). Event though the mazes are in black and white, there is so much of a gradient in the pictures that it feels like it's in color. Also the paper is nice, not like your typical maze book. The illustrations are just gorgeous- so cute!- my daughter fell in love with the different sea animals and their charming faces. And there are cute descriptions on each page, like a story book, introducing you to each sea animal and the dilemma it must solve to get through the maze to the other side! You even learn about Hawaiian animals from each lively description! Each maze is in a very different style to the last (some like spaghetti, some more squared), which makes it fun."

On Vacation with Tutu
Written by Lynne Wikoff
Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Mutual Publishing, 2011
ISBN Hard Cover: 1-5667-957-6

For Kainoa, Nani and little Mehana, being on vacation with Tutu means no bedtime, no baths, and n cleaning up. Being on vacation with Tutu is going to be the best fun ever! Or is it? As Tutu's mynah bird Akamai says, "Tutu is smarter than you think." 

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"This is a very sweet book. The funny story and colorful pictures are perfect for those sly little buggers who try to get the upper hand on you. The kids I read it with were intrigued at the prospect of never having to go to bed early. They laughed at the pictures of the kids with dirty faces who didn’t have to take a bath. I was almost afraid it would give them ideas. But just as Tūtū’s bird says in the story, “Tūtū knows best” and the kids realize, along with the kids in the book, that it’s not so great being dirty and sleepy all the time."

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In a Hawaiian family the tutu, or grandmother, is the one person everyone most respects and listens to. As Akamai (smart) the mynah bird says in this story, "Tutu knows best." Lynne Wikoff has shown just how patient and clever tutu's wisdom can be as she gets her grandchildren to want to do what they need to do, with Akamai's last "Tutu knows best" punctuating the satisfying conclusion. Tammy Yee's dynamic illustrations, in the palette of the islands, capture the calmness of tutu, the watchfulness of the mynah, and especially the headlong exuberant play of children who have been told they can do whatever they want. A treat for those familiar with Hawaii, but a universal story as well--fun with a gentle moral.

Whales' Tails and Turtle Trails
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Island Heritage Publishing, 2010
ISBN 1-59700-928-8

Go on a dreamy adventure with Turtle as he explores the ocean and the wondrous creatures that inhabit it. Turtle is joined with his friend Seal and together they encounter many delights along their travels. Children will enjoy the rhyming prose and vibrant illustrations throughout this charming board book.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By sierra on January 23, 2011 
This book was an excellent investment, a book that I could read over and over again. We have enjoyed this book so much we are searching for more by the same illustrator and author. At first my son was captivated by the colorful and enchanting illustrations; then he grew into the activities on each page, from finding shapes in the clouds, to counting fish. We also enjoy following the different sea creatures on each page including turtle, seal, fishes, dolphin, and whale.

another great book for kids by Tammy Yee
Books by Tammy Yee always delight. This is another great book for little kids, filled with imaginative text and illustrations.

From Hawai'i with Aloha, Grandma and Grandpa
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Island Heritage Publishing, 2008

Did you know... That Kilauea has spewed enough lava to fill more than a million Olympic-sized swimming pools? That a newborn humpack whale calf drinks one hundred gallons of milk a day? Or that twenty-seven Waimea Canyons stretched end to end can fit into the Grand Canyon? Children learn about the wonders of Hawai'i as they join Grandma and Grandpa on a trip through the Hawaiian Islands.

With additional space for postcards, keepsakes, and notes from their visit, grandparents can share their personal memories with their grandchildren

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Honor Awards winner for the 2008 Storytelling World Awards in the Stories for Pre-Adolescent Listeners category 

Listed by the Bank Street College of Education in New York City as one of the "Best Books of the Year" for 2007

The Tsunami Quilt The Tsunami Quilt: Grandfather's Story
By Anthony D. Fredericks
Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Sleeping Bear Press, 2007
ISBN 9781585363131

April 1, 1946--an enormous tsunami wave strikes Hilo, Hawaii. Even those islanders who are fortunate to have survived find their lives forever altered. Young Kimo loves his grandfather very much--they go everywhere together, sharing island stories and experiences. But there is one story his grandfather has yet to share and that is the reason behind their yearly pilgrimage to Laupahoehoe Point. Here, in silent remembrance, Granfather places a flower lei atop a stone monument.

It is only after his grandfather's sudden death that Kimo learns the story behind their annual visit and the reason for the sadness that has haunted his grandfather throughout the years. Evocative writing by award-winning children's book author Anthony D. Fredericks brings this tragic event from Hawaiian history to present-day reality for young readers today.

"Although the events of the tragedy are depicted in the book, the horror is lessened by using a framework story that sets the disaster in the past and by showing children running from the tsunami but not engulfed by it. A historical note is appended. Many readers will respond to this book's soft watercolors, understated tone, and moving story."
--Carolyn Phelan, Booklist, June 1, 2007

"The author tells the story in a very memorable and sensitive way. The use of warm watercolors enhances the story and the feelings of Kimo at both losses. A wonderful book to have in any collection - especially helpful when studying Hawaii or to help a child understand death and natural occurrences."
--Catholic Library World, December 2007

"Written with great pathos and warmth, the author of this book not only tells the story of a historic event but he also shows his readers how close the grandson and his grandfather are. We are able to see that this is a closeness that the grandson will continue to respect and remember even after his grandfather is gone."
--Through The Looking Glass, 2007

"The book deals with the difficult themes of loss within families and the devastating sadness of the death of innocent children in natural disasters. Some children may recall the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that took thousands of lives, giving adults an opportunity to talk honestly with them about such disasters.
--Kristen O. Daniel, Paper Tigers, 2007
More information, comments from the artist and author
Teaching Guide by Sleeping Bear Press

Available at:

Selected by the Hawaii Center for the Book to represent Hawai'i at the 2006 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
  A is for Aloha by Uilani Goldsberry, illustrated by Tammy Yee
A is for Aloha
Written by Uilani Goldsberry
Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Sleeping Bear Press, 2005
ISBN 9781585361465

Completing Sleeping Bear Press's acclaimed Discover America State by State series is A is for Aloha: A Hawaii Alphabet. The landscape of Hawaii is as exotic as its history and people. Written and illustrated by native Hawaiian U'ilani Goldsberry and Tammy Yee, A is for Aloha is a lovingly created introduction to one of the most-visited places on Earth.

From the meaning of the word aloha to the plight of the state bird author U'ilani Goldsberry answers questions that most Malihinis have about this lush multi-island paradise.

"This company's niche is alphabet books that not only teach letters, but facts, culture and history about each of the 50 states. Their Hawaii effort draws on the talents of master storyteller Goldsberry and fantastic illustrator Yee and is a gold mine of cleverly presented data about the 50th state. Each letter also uses the mnemonic of a sing-song couplet poem to remember the lesson. Clever package, well-presented."
--Star Bulletin (Honolulu, HI), July 2005
"...a wonderful research book about Hawaii. The artwork is delightful for all ages and very colorful for the young. This would be a wonderful addition to any library."
--Book Buzz, August 2007
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Island Best Seller!

Baby Honu's Incredible Journey
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Island Heritage Publishing
ISBN No. 0-89610-285-8

Baby Honu, a Hawaiian green sea turtle, has just hatched from his egg. Will he find the courage to face sand crabs and sea birds on his perilous journey to the sea? And what wondrous creatures will he encounter in the ocean? With a helpful glossary to educate children about Hawaiian marine life. An Island classic.

"Yee draws in readers through her bright watercolor and soft pastel paintings of luscious tropical settings, soft baby sea turtles' eyes, and treacherous endangering animal faces. Young readers will enjoy this adventurous tale about Hawaii's sea turtles."
--Kathryn Mitchell Pierce (Ed.), National Council of Teachers of English's Adventuring With Books, 12th Edition
Available at:

Island Best Seller!

Baby Honu Saves the Day
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Island Heritage Publishing
ISBN: 0-89610-327-7

What difference can one tiny turtle make? Not much, thinks Baby Honu, until a baby dolphin trapped on the beach inspires him to try.

"The Spirit of Aloha is perfectly embodied in this wonderful book. Akahai: kindness expressed w/tenderness, Lokahi: unity expressed w/harmony, Olu-olu: agreeable expressed with pleasantness, Ha-aha-a: humiltiy expressed w/modesty, and Ahonui: patience expressed w/perseverance. Baby Honu is a little dude, but nevertheless learns of his importance to the collective existence of all living creatures."
--L. Lee (Chicago, IL), Amazon Customer Review
Available at:

Mo'o's Colors
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Island Heritage Publishing
ISBN: 0-89610-477-X

Mo'o's Colors teaches youngsters about the vibrant colors of our Hawaiian environment as Mo'o (lizard) plays in the wonderful outdoors. Youngsters also learn Hawaiian words for colors, and are introduced to the red Hawaiian honeycreeper, the ilima flower, and the Pacific green sea turtle. Each page highlights one color that is notated with an image of a crayon imprinted with the English and Hawaiian translations.

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Island Opposites
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Island Heritage Publishing
ISBN: 0-89610-465-6

Learning opposites has never been more fun. Written in a rhyming fashion to help keiki develop a tune that will aid in sustaining long term memory.

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The Boy Who Tricked the Ghosts
Written by Ellie Crowe
Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Island Heritage Publishing
ISBN: 0-89610-769-8

Award-winning writer Ellie Crowe recounts the harrowing tale of Kaulula'au, a real-life mischiefmaker who is banished to Lana'i, the "island of ghosts," more than five centuries ago. Through bravery and determination, he tricks the ghosts, chases a sorceress away, and wins the hearts of those he loves. A page-turner for older readers.

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This is the kind of book that boys love - lots of gross stuff, and scary! The paintings are wonderful - colorful and the ghosts look so scary! Grade school boys will love this book. Also, its interesting because the tale is an ancient Hawaiian tale. A very unusual and beautiful book. 
- "Loves to Read" Amazon Customer Review  
A young kolohe boy gets banished to Lanai, the "island of ghosts," for misbehaving. One of Hawaii's most talented artists, Tammy Yee, has done an excellent job depicting the eerie scenes and really makes those ghosts look frightening. There were parts of this book that even scared ME, but it all ends happily.
- Misty, Hawaiibookblog.com

The Hawaiian Wildlife Coloring and Activity Book
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
The Bess Press, 1997
ISBN: 1-57306-059-3

Make a wetland diorama, a pueo (Hawaiian owl) puppet and a Hawaiian Hawk flier in this fun-filled activity book! Children will learn about Hawai'i's unique ecosystems through coloring, puzzles and activities.

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2003 Ka Palapala Po'okela Award Winner, Excellence in Children's Books

Lullaby Moon
Written by Elaine Masters
Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Music by Malia Elliot
Island Heritage Publishing, 2002

A dreamy adventure about Koa, a little Hawaiian boy who would rather play outside than fall asleep. Koa soon finds himself befriended by an owl, or Pueo, who takes him on a magical exploration of the island's wildlife. Under the watchful gaze of Lullaby Moon, Koa learns how bats, bees and green sea turtles spend their night.

Featuring boldly illustrated lift-a-flaps and a CD by Malia Elliot, of the popular performing and songwriting duo, Leon and Malia.

Copyright ©2009 Tammy Yee
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