The Crane Girl

2017 Winner – Children’s Literature

The Crane Girl by Curtis Manley, Illustrated by Lin Wang (Shen’s Books)

Following the tradition of storytellers, Curtis Manley adapts the classic Japanese folktale, The Crane Girl, adding a surprise ending.  His version retains an important theme found in all variants, the Japanese concept of on – an obligation that must be repaid but can also be withdrawn if the agreement is violated.  Manley interweaves original haiku that reveals the thoughts of the characters.  In his “Author’s Notes” he discusses the varieties of crane folktales, Japanese poetic forms, and Japanese names and adds information about red-crown cranes in nature.  Lin Wang’s fine-lined illustrations capture the beauty and strength of these majestic birds, adding traditional Japanese settings and clothing (with some variation).

Teaching Resources: 

Other Awards:

  • A New York Public Library Top Ten Children’s Book for 2017

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