Winner of the 2017 Freeman Book Award for East and Southeast Asian children’s literature.

The Crane Girl

Illustrated by Lin Wang.

from the darkness
an animal’s sudden cry—
its fear, and mine

While gathering firewood, Yasuhiro comes upon an injured crane. He rescues and comforts the bird, then watches it fly away. The next night, a 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.

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 interwoven with original haiku create a magical adaptation of popular Japanese folktales—an inspirational story of friendship and the power of kindness to transform lives.

A Teacher’s Guide is available—see below in Resources.

Available from:

IndieBound Powells
Amazon Books-A-Million


star “The polished, full-color illustrations … complement the lyrical text. Interspersed, color-coded haiku reveal the characters’ unspoken thoughts… More from this team would be a welcome addition to folk-tale collections.” Kirkus (starred review)

“Snatches of haiku add depth to this story based on traditional Japanese folktales. … Exquisite watercolor illustrations accompany the text. … This well-crafted tale offers [readers] an introduction to traditional Japanese culture and folklore…” School Library Journal

“The Crane Girl is a poignant fable, highly recommended for family storybook time as well as public and school library children’s collections.” Midwest Book Review

“The story alternates between prose and haiku, and it’s quite effective… Wang’s watercolor paintings are rich and detailed. It all adds up to an enchanting story, one that bows to tradition while simultaneously striking new ground.” Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog

“A rich retelling of the Japanese crane folktale, this version offers great writing combined with wonderful illustrations.” Waking Brain Cells blog

“…haiku poems, [sprinkled] throughout the retelling of this Japanese folktale … illuminate the characters’ thoughts. … Lin Wang’s illustrations are luminescent and enhance the tale’s new ending.” Maria Marshall – Perfect Picture Book Friday blog