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Yoko's Paper Cranes
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Yoko's Paper Cranes (Yoko)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
When Yoko was very small, she and her Grandmother, Obaasan, fed the cranes in the pond at the end of the garden. When Yoko moves to California, she remembers her Grandmother and Grandfather in Japan. Every week letters go back and forth. She thinks of their garden and their cranes. And when Grandmother's birthday comes, Yoko sends the most wonderful gift of all. Rosemary W ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Hyperion
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Sarah Sammis
Aug 10, 2009 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
Yoko's Paper Cranes is the third from the Yoko and Her Friends series I've read to my children. It's my favorite so far.

Yoko's Paper Cranes is about Yoko's grandparents who still live in Japan. The book shows how her grandmother taught Yoko to make origami cranes. When she has moved to California she makes a bunch of the cranes as a gift for her grandmother.

The illustrations match the theme of the book. They appear to be collages made of origami paper. Rosemary Wells includes a note of thanks to
Oct 04, 2008 Matt rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
Rosemary Wells is not among my favorite children's authors, and Yoko is for reasons outlined elsewhere my least favorite of her characters.

'Yoko's Paper Cranes' is not nearly offensive to me as 'Yoko' was, but it was however boring. My girls like it moderately well though, so we've read it a couple times. I don't think they'll like it well enough to call for it again once it goes back to the library, so there it will probably stay.

As a side note, the picture of the ship crossing the ocean done i
The Library Lady
Sep 22, 2009 The Library Lady rated it really liked it
The Yoko books are not for toddlers but for thoughtful preschoolers and early elementary school age kids. This is a lovely story about the Japanese art of origami, about family traditions and above all about the idea that family is family, no matter how far away they may go. This would be lovely to use in any sort of library or school program about Japan, especially if followed with a lesson in the art of making paper cranes. And that's the one thing I wish this book had--a page on origami or a ...more
Amanda Day
Story about a kitten who moved away from Japan but sent paper cranes to her grandma for her birthday.
Destiny Dawn Long
My young daughter and I enjoy reading the Yoko books together. She seems to enjoy the stories, which are accompanied by cut origami paper illustrations.

Yoko is a kindergarten aged Japanese immigrant living in America. The books generally introduce elements of Japanese culture, challenges that Yoko faces, and familial relationships. In this installation, Yoko learns how to fold origami. When she moves to the US, she leaves behind her grandparents, but keeps in touch. She misses Japan and her gran
Dec 02, 2007 Deidra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells. Published by Hyperion, copyright 2001.

Grade Level: K-3

This is the story of Yoko the cat who began life in Japan where she loved to feed the cranes at the pond with her grandmother. She then moves to America with her family, but leaves her grandparents behind. In order to surprise her grandmother on her birthday, Yoko makes paper cranes and sends them to her grandma as a gift.

This is a heart-warming story of the life of an immigrant that many children c
Daryl Rothman
Nov 11, 2015 Daryl Rothman rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for preschool classrooms. I especially like this book because of the cultural significance of its beautiful illustrations that depict famous themes from Japanese paintings. I also really love how Rosemary Wells describes the symbolic nature of the cranes in Japan. This book is great resource for children to gain a basic geographic sense of how far Japan is in relationship to the United States. The book is also great for children going through tough transitions, like ...more
Nov 11, 2015 Daryl rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for preschool classrooms. I especially like this book because of the cultural significance of its beautiful illustrations that depict famous themes from Japanese paintings. I also really love how Rosemary Wells describes the symbolic nature of the cranes in Japan. This book is great resource for children to gain a basic geographic sense of how far Japan is in relationship to the United States. The book is also great for children going through tough transitions, like ...more
Jan 09, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful tale about Japanese culture, extended family relationships, and keeping close across the miles when families live far apart. Our girls were born in Japan, so we love to read books about Japan and Japanese culture. We enjoyed the origami theme, small bits of Japanese language (Obaasan and Ojiisan) and colorful illustrations, including the Hokusai-style backgrounds. Our oldest has a new-found appreciation for origami, so we selected this story based on that, but I'm glad that t ...more
Samantha Zapata
Sep 22, 2016 Samantha Zapata rated it liked it
This book had beautiful illustrations. They were made up of lovely patterns that seemed to be close to a Japanese ethnic background. Even the clothes that the characters wore were made up of patterns as well. Very simple -- really nothing to the storyline. I enjoyed the pictures more than the story, only because of the way it ended doesn't make sense. I just don't know how you could explain it to children.

Not my favorite, but the illustrations make up for it along with the representation of a Ja
This story is about Yoko, a little girl who moves away from her beloved grandparents to the United States with her parents. She misses them so much and continues to create paper cranes, an activity that her grandparents taught her. She sends the cranes over seas to her grandparents. This story is so cute, and is a great read aloud for an acitvity involving letter writing, or even a craft involving paper cranes.
Katherine Kim
Jul 16, 2014 Katherine Kim rated it liked it
The illustrations in this book are beautiful and filled with a lot of culture. I love how the Japanese culture is portrayed in this book, but there was not a very good plot. This book is about a cat from Japan who learns to make paper cranes. She moves to the United States and makes paper cranes to send back home to Japan. This may be a good book to introduce different cultures during multicultural month, but it is not as exciting and fun as I thought the story was going to be.
Feb 24, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is a sweet story for kids- especially if they are separated from their grandparents by distance. The paper cranes become symbols of family and cultural connections. Also, the richly colored illustrations and their elegant borders are amazing.

This is a great book for kids, adults, and origami lovers!
I love Rosemary Wells' books and illustrations. This is my favorite book of hers because of the beautiful illustrations in a traditional Japanese style with vibrant colors. Plus the cat characters are adorably cute. As with her other books, it's a great multicultural book where the character shares her cultural heritage with others.
Apr 18, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-library
35 month - A short read but we really liked it. After making paper airplanes a few weeks ago with O she is very interested in folding paper. This was a great book that has sparked her interest to fold paper and use her imagination as to what it might become. I must learn to make paper cranes! The story touches on moving away from loved one, geography and appreciation for our loved ones.
Anna Pasko
Mar 15, 2015 Anna Pasko rated it it was amazing
This is a story about making paper cranes and letting them fly with your heart to those you love, even if they are thousands of miles away. I liked this book very much Because schools in NYC are very multicultural and it is a very nice book which teaches children not to forget their country and the people they left behind.
In this book Yokos grandparents teach her how to do origami. Then she and her family move to America and when it's her grandpa's birthday she makes him three cranes and sends it as a gift to him, with a letter.
Nov 02, 2007 Kate rated it liked it
This sweet story revolves around immigration and long-distance relationships. Before Yoko's family moved away from Japan, she and her grandparents were very close. For her grandmother's birthday present, Yoko decides to make origami cranes like the grandmother taught her.
Tuyet Tran
Nov 22, 2010 Tuyet Tran rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture, oragami
Yoko has to immigrate to a new country. She is missing her grandparents. Making paper crane is the only memory to cure her homesick and her loving grandparents. This book adopt some of the Japanese's culture and it is a great way to engage student by teaching them how to do oragami.
Jessica Bennett
Yoko's grandparents teach her about cranes and how to make them. Then, she moves far away and she sends her grandparents cranes to make them happy. This book shows a lot of love between grandparents and granddaughter. I would read this book when there is extra time between lessons.
Apr 28, 2011 Tara rated it liked it
This cat sends oragami from America back to her home in Japan to her father. She is doing it so he knows she is going to come back soon. This book is a very loving and even could be used for a science lesson, explaining the different seasons in different countries.
Susannah Goldstein
Jun 23, 2013 Susannah Goldstein rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
Sweet, but unexceptional. I appreciate a book with simple text, but the words have to be carefully chosen-- this seemed almost terse instead of sparse. And I loved the majority of the illustration style, but I really didn't like the cats, which I found distracting.
Jun 02, 2014 Shannon rated it it was amazing
My kids both love the Max and Ruby series by this author, and we have a couple of other books by her too, so we were very excited to discover this little series about Yoko. My 6 year old is particularly interested in origami right now, so she liked this one best.
Nov 28, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rosina
The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous--and we all got a kick out of the map. Though they aren't a whole ocean away, my daughter's grandparents and mine live far away. Right in the feels...
Mar 28, 2010 Tricia rated it liked it
Yoko, who moves to the US from Japan, sends her grandmother origami for her birthday. Sweet story of family ties.
Molly Darr
This book is very cute. It describes a child who misses her home town and family. This would be a good read for new students or children who have moved.
Mar 27, 2012 Sara rated it liked it
This is a cute story about Yoko. She moves away and sends paper cranes in the mail to one of her grandparents to their birthday.
Aug 07, 2016 Kit rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated book, and the story follows the experience of what it's like to grow up in one country, immigrating to another, but still trying to keep your roots and your relationships.
Feb 26, 2010 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
This might be my favorite Rosemary Wells book. The illustration is beautiful, and we really liked the storyline about receiving mail from and sending mail to a grandma who lives far away!
Oct 24, 2012 Peacegal rated it liked it
I just love the Yoko books, as well as the way in which the illustrations incorporate different Japanese design elements.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Rosemary Wells is the author of a number of popular children's books, most notably the Max and Ruby series which follows the everyday adventures of sibling bunnies - curious three year old Max and bossy seven year old Ruby. She gets the inspiration for Max and Ruby from her two daughters and the experiences they
More about Rosemary Wells...

Other Books in the Series

Yoko (7 books)
  • Yoko
  • Yoko Writes Her Name
  • Yoko's Show-and-Tell
  • Yoko Learns to Read
  • Yoko Finds Her Way
  • Yoko's World of Kindness: Golden Rules for a Happy Classroom

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