Synopsis from Lee & Low Books:
While gathering firewood, Yasuhiro comes upon an injured crane hidden in the snow. He rescues and comforts the bird, then watches as it flies away over the wintry hills.
The next night, a mysterious young girl arrives at Yasuhiro’s home seeking shelter from the cold. The boy and his father welcome the girl, named Hiroko, to stay with them. But when Hiroko notices that Yasuhiro’s father is struggling to earn money, she offers to weave silk for him to sell. After the fabric fetches a good price, the boy’s father becomes impatient for more silk, and his greed has a life-changing effect on them all.
Lyrical storytelling deftly interwoven with original haiku create a magical adaptation of a popular Japanese folktale—an inspirational story of friendship and the power of kindness to transform lives.
About: The Crane Girl is a Japanese folktales and children’s picture book written by Curtis Manley and illustrated by Lin Wang. It was published on 3/1/17 by Shen’s Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books Inc, hardcover, 40 pages. This book is for ages 7 to 8, grades 1 to 4. Lee & Low Books is the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in USA. Their mission is “to publish contemporary diverse stories that all children could enjoy”. Please see below for more information about the author.
My Experience: I started reading The Crane Girl on 2/28/17 and again on 3/2/17 as a bedtime story for my 5 year-old son and we finished it that same night. This book is such a lovely read! I have never read a Japanese fairytales before and I am super excited to read it for my son. We love the story and the beautiful illustrations. We love the magic twist with the boy at the end of the book. Besides the crane folktales, this book also introduces Haiku, well-known form of Japanese poetry. It runs alongside the story. I like to read the Haiku separately from the story.
In this book, readers will follow Yasuhiro (yah-soo-hee-roh), a boy out gathering firewood for his dad when he notices an injured red-crowned crane and gently rescues it. When a girl, Hiroko (hee-roh-koh) shows up the next day looking for shelter, Yasuhiro and his dad welcomes her in. Yasuhiro and his dad are poor and so the girl, Hiroko offers to weave silk to raise money so that they can have enough to eat. When the money is easily earned, Yasuhiro’s dad becomes greedy and demands for more. The girl asks Yasuhiro and his dad to promise not to open the door until she finishes weaving the silk, but the dad grows impatient and opens to discover a surprise. I love that this book introduces friendship, kindness, greed, the obligation to repay, and a little magic. I highly recommend the read to everyone.
Pro: Japanese folktales, friendship, kindness, retelling, illustrations, Asian oriented, magic
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Curtis Manley is a full-time writer and a member of the Haiku Society of America. He enjoys watching the behaviors of birds and other animals—whether in his backyard or in the forests, deserts, and canyons of the western United States. In his travels, he always hopes to see a sandhill crane. Manley grew up in western Pennsylvania but now lives in the Seattle area with his wife and daughter. Visit him online at curtismanley.com.
More Information about Lee & Low Books:
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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Lee & Low Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please assured that my opinions are honest.