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THE ORIGAMI MASTER by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer


by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer & illustrated by Aki Sogabe

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8075-6134-8
Publisher: Whitman

A serene lesson about the futility of cages. Shima the Origami Master lives alone in the mountains. A warbler, nesting nearby, watches him at his craft. While Shima sleeps, the warbler folds paper with its claws and beak, creating an elephant, a dragon, a spider—all better then Shima’s. Intrigued and perhaps jealous, Shima cages the bird and tries to force it to make more origami. Distraught, the warbler refuses, and Shima eventually falls asleep. When he awakens, the bird is gone; next to the cage’s open lock sits an origami key. Shima finds the bird outside, building its nest in a pink flowering tree. Although Shima’s change-of-heart focuses revolves around what he almost lost (fearing he “scared the bird away”) rather than the pain he caused (“[t]he warbler cried and beat its wings against the cage”), Sogabe’s neat, tranquil illustrations in watercolor and cut paper leave room for readers to see the whole picture. (origami-bird instructions) (Picture book. 4-7)