- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Shen's Books (February 1, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1885008570
- ISBN-13: 978-1885008572
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Crane Girl Hardcover – February 1, 2017
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*STARRED REVIEW* A popular Japanese folk tale in which a crane pays back an obligation by becoming human is retold with an unusual ending and with haiku-sprinkled prose. In this version, Yasuhiro a young man who lives with Ryota, his embittered, widowed father carefully frees an enormous crane from a trap pinning its foot to the snow-covered, "sharp buckwheat stubble of the landlord's field." As the crane flies away, Yasuhiro heads for home with firewood he has been gathering. Two nights later a beautiful maiden appears at the door, asking for a place to live in exchange for labor. Ryota accepts her offer, warning her that she must work hard and not be lazy or steal. When Ryota's own attempts to find manual labor dwindle, the maiden, who calls herself Hiroko, offers to weave silk for him to sell, with the caveat that neither he nor Yasuhiro open the door of the weaving room while she is inside. The polished, full-color illustrations, strongly reminiscent of art by the fairy-tale illustrator Adrienne Segur, complement the lyrical text. Interspersed, color-coded haiku reveal the characters' unspoken thoughts, adding an excellent dimension with potential for drama-group presentations. Although it's a bit hard to believe that strapping Yasuhiro does little to bring home the tofu, the story otherwise rings satisfyingly true. More from this team would be a welcome addition to folk-tale collections. -- --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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 withhis wife and daughter.
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Top customer reviews
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!
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Lee & Low Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please assured that my opinions are honest.
Jasmine at howusefulitis dot wordpress dot com
This is the kind of book I buy for my children, but secretly it will be for myself, because I adore beautiful books. The illustrations are alluring, so much so that they often overshadow the actual written story.
This is a lyrical version of a well-known Japanese folk-tale. The moral of the story is one found in fairy and folk-tales all around the world. Greed destroys all and makes even the kindest person forget the things they once held dear. They say money can corrupt even the most upright citizen, and that everyone has a price.
One day Yasuhiro comes upon a crane caught in a trap. He comforts and frees the bird. Not long after a young girl called Hiroko appears on his doorstep and Yasuhiro gives her shelter. In return for the help Hiroko helps Yasuhiro’s father by weaving silk behind closed doors every night. Soon he wants more than she is willing to give.
This is about friendship and random acts of kindness. A smile, a helping hand or perhaps just a moment of your time to help another living being. It’s important that we don’t lose our sense of humanity in the midst of all the indifference, violence and conflict.
The Crane Girl is nice way to teach our children and remind ourselves that we can and should help others without expecting anything in return.
*I received an ARC/free copy courtesy of the publisher via Edelweiss.*