Tree of Cranes

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by Allen Say. Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades K-4.
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Review

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This appears to be a childhood memory of the author in 1940's Japan. He recalls a time when he played too near the goldfish pond in the garden in the winter and got a little bit wet. He knew that his mother would be angry, but he didn't think she'd be so angry as to dig up the tree in the garden that had been planted to symbolize his life. She sends him to bed and ignores him, a terrible punishment for this little boy. At last she shows him that what she has done in his absence is to put together a Christmas tree based on memories she has of her life in California. The illustrations show a lot of the Japanese home--spare with beautiful lines. This is a beautiful book.

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Related Books

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    Grades 4 - 9
    Drawing from Memory by Allen Say. Nonfiction. 72 pages.
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    In 1937 near Tokyo, Japan, Allen Say was born to parents who didn't understand his passion for drawing. "When I was drawing, I was happy. I didn't need toys or friends or parents." His parents, especially his father, thought that artists were lazy and scruffy. They expected him to stop drawing, even as a child, and focus on preparing himself to earn a respectable living. Read More.

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