Tree of Cranes

Tree of Cranes

5.0 1
by Allen Say
     
 

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As a young Japanese boy recovers from a bad chill, his mother busily folds origami paper into delicate silver cranes in preparation for the boy's very first Christmas. "A gift from artist to child that indicates a ripe maturity in both its illustrative and textual elements. Serving as a bridge between American and Japanese cultures, . . . understated and pristine,…  See more details below

Overview

As a young Japanese boy recovers from a bad chill, his mother busily folds origami paper into delicate silver cranes in preparation for the boy's very first Christmas. "A gift from artist to child that indicates a ripe maturity in both its illustrative and textual elements. Serving as a bridge between American and Japanese cultures, . . . understated and pristine, Tree of Cranes is the achievement of a master in his prime, one of the best picture books of this or any other year." -- Horn Book, starred review

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Heedless of Mama's warnings, a Japanese boy cannot resist playing at an ice-cold pond ``filled with carp of bright colors.'' When he comes home, he is immediately treated for a cold, with a hot bath and rice gruel. His mother's attitude chills him more than the weather, though; he cannot understand why she seems to be ignoring him. Hearing a noise in the garden, the boy spies Mama digging up the pine tree that was planted when he was born. She brings it inside and decorates it with paper cranes and candles. It is a Christmas tree, the first for the boy, and the first in many years for his mother, who tells her son she comes from ``a warm place called Ca-li-for-ni-a.'' The story is a poignant one, illuminated with finely drawn illustrations reflecting the serenity of a Japanese home and the quiet love between mother and son. Say ( The Bicycle Man ; El Chino ), who came to this country from Japan when he was a teenager, again exhibits a laudable sensitivity to Eastern and Western cultures--and to both the differences and the similarities between them. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Set in Japan, a boy learns about Christmas from his American-born Japanese mother who explains the essence of Christmas by decorating the small pine tree, planted at the boy's birth, with paper cranes and candles . Japanese life-style is delicately described in the paintings which convey a sense of peace, quiet and love.
From the Publisher
"A gift from artist to child that indicates a ripe maturity in both its illustrative and textual elements. Serving as a bridge between American and Japanese cultures, . . . understated and pristine, Tree of Cranes is the achievement of a master in his prime, one of the best picture books of this or any other year." Horn Book, Starred

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395520246
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/28/1991
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.42(d)
Lexile:
470L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937. He dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from the age of six, and, at age twelve, apprenticed himself to his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei. For the next four years, Say learned to draw and paint under the direction of Noro, who has remained Say's mentor. Say illustrated his first children's book—published in 1972—in a photo studio between shooting assignments. For years, Say continued writing and illustrating children's books on a part-time basis. But in 1987, while illustrating THE BOY OF THE THREE-YEAR NAP (Caldecott Honor Medal), he recaptured the joy he had known as a boy working in his master's studio. It was then that Say decided to make a full commitment to doing what he loves best: writing and illustrating children's books. Since then, he has written and illustrated many books, including TREE OF CRANES and GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal. He is a full-time writer and illustrator living in Portland, Oregon.

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