Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
The Crane Girl

The Crane Girl

Spring 2017 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Curtis Manley
Illustrator: Lin Wang
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
ISBN: 978-1-885008-57-2
Hardcover Price: $18.95

While out gathering firewood, Yasuhiro stumbles across a crane held fast by a trap around her leg. Released, the crane stood as tall as Yasuhiro and paused to be caressed before flying away. The next night, someone knocks on his door. A lovely young girl, Hiroko, stands there offering to serve Yasuhiro and his widowed father, Ryota in exchange for a place to live. After living with and faithfully serving the two men, Hiroko spies the loom used by Yasuhiro's mother to weave her famous silks. Hiroko said that she would weave silk overnight but neither of them must open the door while she is weaving. The next morning, she hands the father a bolt of cloth light as a summer breeze; "white silk speckled with black - tracks of summer birds."

Sprinkled throughout with original haiku, Manley's retelling of the Japanese folktale is has the classic elements of love, greed, and destructive curiosity. The underlying minor tone of such tales, however, does not define or overcome the love found in this one. With a muted brown palette, Wang's fine-lined realistic pictures, are exquisite and beautifully carry the story.

Kemie Nix   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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