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YOKO'S PAPER CRANES

Rosemary Wells, Author
Rosemary Wells, Author . Hyperion $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7868-0737-6
Reviewed on: 08/20/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-7868-2602-5
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-4231-1984-5
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Wells returns to the plucky heroine she introduced in Yoko with this wistful story about the green-eyed kitten and her far-away grandparents. Yoko writes weekly to Japan to her beloved grandmother, Obaasan, whose garden is visited each year by migrating cranes. Yoko's grandfather, Ojiisan, inspired by the winged visitors, showed his granddaughter how to fold cranes out of paper. When Obaasan's birthday approaches and Yoko doesn't have the money to buy her a present, she sends her some origami cranes, folded just as Ojiisan had taught her. Wells differentiates between the two homelands in palette and artistic style. She dresses the endearing grandparents in autumnal-hued kimonos cut out of silk-screened paper against backgrounds of woodblock-style ocean waves and wind-blown pines. Yoko, meanwhile, sports flowered patterns and spring-inspired colors; Wells outlines the heroine's vignettes in plaid frames. The boxed collages form the main images but, in traditional Japanese style, their borders are porous: leaves fall and cranes fly out into the white margins; Yoko's posted letters and origami diagrams prance across the bottom of the pages. "Soon I will come back to Japan, just like the cranes," Yoko's birthday greeting says, and while the book doesn't portray her return, youngsters will know that, no matter how far away their grandparents may be, their love will find them. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)

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