cover image Pink Paper Swans

Pink Paper Swans

Virginia Kroll. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8028-5081-2

Janetta spends steamy summer days outside her apartment building, mesmerized by a neighbor who is ``making things from paper with no glue, no tape, not even any scissors.'' When Janetta asks how she does ``that foldin'. I ain't never seen anything like it,'' Mrs. Tsujimoto demonstrates and presents the girl with a delicate pink swan. The following summer, Mrs. Tsujimoto's arthritis is so painful that she is no longer able to make her origami figures, which she had sold at local stores. Janetta devises a plan (``You be the mind. I'll be the fingers''); the woman teaches the girl her craft, and they become partners. Though Kroll's ( I Wanted to Know All About God ) story could use some pruning, it is gentle and affecting. Clouse's ( Puzzle Maps U.S.A. ) cut-paper collages are a happy amalgam of geometric, origami-like shapes, silhouettes and realistic scenes. The book's final pages include concise, illustrated instructions for making an origami swan. Ages 5-8. (July)