The Crane Girl

The Crane Girl

By Curtis Manley, Illustrated by Lin Wang (Shen’s Books)
  • Fiction
  • Set in Japan

Keywords: folklore, animals, trust, compassion

While gathering firewood, Yasuhiro comes upon an injured crane hidden in the snow. He rescues and comforts the bird, then watches as it flies away over the wintry hills.

The next night, a mysterious 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. But 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 deftly interwoven with original haiku create a magical adaptation of a popular Japanese folktale—an inspirational story of friendship and the power of kindness to transform lives.

Teacher’s Guide

Archived Book Group The Crane Girl and Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet (Once you have created a login for yourself at, you are able to view and access all current and archived offerings from the main page. One (free) login suffices for all).


Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award

A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year

An Evanston Public Library Best Book of the Year