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PEACE CRANE by Sheila Hamanaka


by Sheila Hamanaka & illustrated by Sheila Hamanaka

Age Range: 8 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-688-13815-2
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

 The African-American narrator of this apostrophic verse has heard the story of Sadako's thousand paper cranes; the crane, traditional Japanese symbol of longevity, represents her hopes for peace, both in her violent urban milieu and the world. A dream flight (through old-growth forests, over whales, and above the homeless on city streetsmany concerns are pulled in here) culminates in an apotheosized vision of Sadako in a cloud of paper cranes. The cotton-candy colors of this spread contrast with the menacing purples and blues and large expanses of black in the city scenes and the flaming orange-red and yellows of a blast site. Adults may wish to compare Hamanaka's pictorial uses of the crane with Ed Young's Sadako (1993), the picture book abridgement of Coerr's Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (1979). Despite rather muddled imagery and a labored, intermittent rhyme scheme, readers will respond to the earnestness of its sentiments, especially those who know Coerr's book. They may question Hamanaka's statement that Sadako folded a thousand paper cranes; as the story goes, Sadako died before she was done, and other childrenin tributecompleted her work. (Picture book. 8+)