A Japanese Fairy Tale and James VanDerZee -- a Multicultural Children's Book Day Review

Disclosure: Lee and Low sent me these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

Today I get to share my final two reviews for Multicultural Children's Book Day 2018. I am sharing two very different books with you from different cultures. The first book is a classic Japanese fairy tale. It is The Crane Girl by Curtis Manley and illustrated by Lin Wang. 

This is the tale of a boy finding a hurt crane and helping it. Then a mysterious girl shows up at his house asking for food and shelter. The girl becomes part of the family and helps to make money by weaving but will only weave if no one will disturb her or open the door. At some point the father opens the door and sees a crane weaving. The girl leaves and turns back to the crane and flies away. This version has a few differences than I have read previously, but the changes add interest to the story. The words are clear and easy to read and the illustrations are gorgeous!!
The book itself does a wonderful job of sharing the Japanese culture. From the illustrations to the actions of the people. One gets a good sense of what it was like to live in Japan long ago. 

Now for activities to go with this book, an obvious one would be to do some weaving. I also thought of the origami crane. I love adding origami to this beautiful Japanese story. In the Japanese culture the crane represents good fortune and longevity and is called the bird of happiness. Legend says that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will have his/her wish come true. (Source) Below is a tutorial to make an origami crane.

Origami Crane Tutorial

1) Take a piece of origami paper or square paper with design side up and fold and unfold along the diagonals (to make an x on paper).

2) Flip paper over (print side down) and fold and unfold square in half matching sides (horizontally and vertically).

3) With print side down hold paper as a diamond. Take top corner and bring it to the bottom corner while pushing side corners inside.
Push the fold down and you have made a square base. This is a common start to origami projects.
4) Fold top layer of square base bringing the bottom sides to the center line. Unfold.
5) Fold top corner down at the folds made in step 4. Unfold.

6) Bring bottom corner up using fold lines from steps 4 and 5. Fold the sides in to make a diamond shape. (I did my best to show you the folds in this collage.)

7) Flip over and repeat steps 4 through 6 on this side.

8) Fold bottom sides to center line.

9) Flip over and fold bottom sides to center line on this side.

10) The next step will be a reverse fold. To make it easier, fold the bottom points up so they will point in direction we want. 

Then reverse fold them.

It will look like this when both sides are done.
11) Fold the wings down. 

12) Reverse fold one of the sides for the head.

You have your finished crane! You can attach a string to it and hang it up!
For an illustrated tutorial check out this one on The Spruce. All origami paper used in this post is from Tuttle Publishing (another sponsor of Multicultural Children's Book Day). 

Our second book for today is Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! by Andrea J. Loney and illustrated by Keith Mallett. This book shares a bit about the life of photographer James Van Der Zee. Now I will admit I knew nothing about James Van Der Zee. He was a famous Harlem photographer. He was born in Lenox, Massachusetts which is even more exciting for us since Hazel's class is studying Massachusetts history!! This book shares the details of him becoming a photographer and how his photographs captured the spirit of the person and not just their looks. He is known for taking pictures of all sorts of people during the Harlem Renaissance and not just the poor or wealthy. He focused on the every day middle class person which was different from many photographing African Americans during that time. 
The illustrations in the book are beautiful and share his life but his photographs capture so much more of the history. This book is a wonderful piece of history that is not well known and a story that I hope many will read and learn more about this time period!!
Evening Attire
Evening Attire By James Van Der Zee [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Now to go with this book I thought of making a camera from a box, but I have not had time to make one. You can check out these ones from Highlights and Red Ted Art

Some books this one made me think of are Jazz Day and Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library. Be sure to check out my reviews of these books!!

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 

Current Sponsors: MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors
HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild
PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs
GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books,Worldwide Buddies
SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press
BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors
Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina
Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo, Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw,Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver,Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu,Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One,Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards,RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler,Nicholette Thomas and MFL Publishing Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

I am a CoHost, so be sure to check back on January 27, 2018 for the amazing link party where all the reviews are shared!!

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party!

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: 

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.