Tree of Cranes

by Allen Say

Hardcover, 1991

Status

Available

Call number

514

Collection

Publication

Scholastic Inc (1991)

Description

A Japanese boy learns of Christmas when his mother decorates a pine tree with paper cranes.

User reviews

LibraryThing member lianedewan
As a little boy in Japan, he wasn't supposed to play near the neighbor's carp pond, but he did, and fell in! Mother was a little mad at him, but she was preoccupied with making origami cranes. She put them on a tree that she brought in from the garden, and explained to her puzzled son that this was
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called a Christmas tree. (She had lived in California as a girl.) The boy asked for and received a Samurai kite as a Christmas gift. He never forgot that day, because it was the first time he learned about Christmas, and he never played in the carp pond again.

I thought this was an incredibly beautiful book. The connection that you can feel between the mother and the son is wonderful. The illustrations lead to you being able to feel the emotions of the characters.

Classroom Extensions:
1) Teach students how to fold origami cranes
2) Have students write about their family traditions during the Holiday season
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LibraryThing member swimr23
Tree of cranes is about a family who has been living in America and decide to move to Japan. They are a multicultural family and have to cope with a drastic cultural change. In Japan they do not have christmas trees so his mother goes and finds a tree, they decide to make paper cranes as the
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decorations.
I just liked this book, I have traveled to Japan and spent a lot of time there because my family lived there. I understand how hard it it to cope with moving to a completely different area. This book did a good job at illustrating the Japanese culture.
I would use this book when explaining different cultures in the world. I would use this book around christmas time and explain that the culture is not the only way to celebrate christmas. You could have all the children bring something in that shows their heritage.
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LibraryThing member lhkitchens
This is a story about a little boy learning about the holiday some celebrate in the U.S. in December called Christmas. The little boy's mother brought their heritage and Christmas together when she made origami cranes for the tree that she and his father planted when he was born and lit candles on
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the tree. It was his very own Christmas tree. How mother told him about how children would get presents underneath the tree. The next morning he wakes up to find the fierce warrior kite he had been wanting. This story is for children to learn about different cultures outside of theirs. It is a good book for 3rd- 5th graders. It is a good book for group readings and individual readings.
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LibraryThing member kljohnson2
Tree of Cranes by Allen Say (2009) This story is about a little boy who lives in Japan. It is winter time and he disobeys his mom by playing on the frozen pond. One day his mom acts very strangely and doesn't talk to him. Later he finds out why. His mom wants him to know about Christmas and
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decorates a beautiful Christmas tree for him. The next morning he gets a kite he wanted and he promise his mom he won't play by the pond anymore.
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LibraryThing member bamabreezin4
I like the way the book alludes to Christmas before outright telling the reader that they are going to celebrate Christmas. This way, it teaches a powerful lesson to children about wishing, giving and receiving, obedience, and love.
LibraryThing member kkcrossley
This story is about a young boy and his mother in Japan, who for reasons he can’t explain, is having a very bad day. He gets into trouble for being where he should not, his mother is short with him, she won’t explain what she is working on, and to top it off she thinks he is coming down with a
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cold and sends him to bed. The next day she explains that she was thinking of her home land in America and that this would be Christmas. She digs up a small tree from the garden and decorates it with paper cranes and he gets a Japanese Kite as a present. This is the author’s first experience of Christmas and he shares in his mothers remembering.
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LibraryThing member mildred981
A tree of Cranes is a story of an Asian boy who has his first Christmas. That morning he had done his usual routine he played at the pond his mother forbidden him to go. However, when he came home his mother was acting strange. She was making silver doves and then she went outside and dug up a tree
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they had planted when he was born. She then explained that in California she remembers the bright Christmas trees there and now she wanted to do this for her son.

This book has vividly illustration that helps unfold the story. Also, the book is multicultural and would be a great book to read aloud to children.

This is a good book for teachers to read if they have Asians in their class. Also, a good activity for parents to do with their kids is create their very own special ornament for their Christmas tree.
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LibraryThing member Frye
This story is about a young boy and his mother in Japan, who for reasons he can’t explain, is having a very bad day. The won’t explain what she is working on. The next day she explains that she was thinking of her home land in America and that this would be Christmas. She digs up a small tree
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from the garden and decorates it with paper cranes, giving and receiving, obedience, and love.
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LibraryThing member elgood
Book Summary: This book is about a young little boy in China who has a mother who once lived in the United States. The mother wants to teach her young child about Christmas, a holiday not celebrated in their culture. The story begins with him getting in trouble for going out to play in the pond.
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His mother is upset because she is fearful he will get sick. As he comes inside to rest, his mother is acting strange. She digs up a tree in the backyard, puts paper cranes that she made on it, and puts candles on it. She tells her son about Christmas. The next morning he wakes up and has received a kite.

Content Summary: families, making predictions, christmas, chinese culture
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LibraryThing member Maria.kuntz
Summary: A little boy comes home from the pond only to see his mother is sad. She later tells him about Christmas and how she misses the holiday in America. They celebrate Christmas even though they live in Japan.

Personal Experience: It was an interesting book, made me think about how Christmas is
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not celebrated in Japan.

Classroom Ideas:
1. I would have the students share if they celebrated a different holiday.
2. I would ask a parent who has lived or is from a different country to come and share with the class about the experience.
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LibraryThing member Tien.Nguyen
A young Japanese boy was not suppose to play at the pond in a gray winter day.His mom was making a thousand or two thousands cranes at home to make wishes. He got sick when I fell into the pond. His mom brought the pine into his room and then they hang cranes and candle light on it. He recieved a
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fierce warrior from his parent. It was his first Christmas.They made snowman and ha fun together.
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LibraryThing member ktinney2315937
This book is about a little boy who lives in Japan. His mother tells him that before she met his father she lived in California. In California they celebrated what was called Christmas, when celebrating this they would decorate a tree. So she decorated a tree for him and let him celebrate his first
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Christmas. This book shows that no matter where you are you can still celebrate the holidays.
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LibraryThing member Schuman
The story about a boy's first Christmas in Japan. The illustrations are amazing and it shows that people celebrate the holidays in different ways but what stays the same is family ties and love. Great read for understanding different cultures.
LibraryThing member JEastwood12
Great message, and helps explain how the Japanese culture celebrate Christmas. The story is about a boy who notices his mother making origami to get ready for Christmas. This could be a great book to use when teaching geometry.
LibraryThing member ALossing
This picture book, a fictional piece of multicultural literature, tells the story of a young boy in Japan who celebrates his first Christmas. His mother lived in California as a child, and she shares some of the American Christmas traditions she used to practice. The family decorates a tree, and
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the boy receives a gift. It is also, of course, winter in Japan at this point; thus, some winter elements, such as cold, snow, and the potential for getting sick (the boy catches something like a cold) are present in the story. Since Christmas and other holidays are typically celebrated during winter in many cultures, this book could be read aloud, potentially along with other cultural books, to help teach students about the holiday aspect of the winter season.
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LibraryThing member sarahjohouck
Summary:
A young boy's mother is acting strange one day and she ends up telling him of a time when she lived in California, and how they celebrated Christmas. She took a tree from the backyard and placed paper cranes on it with candles, and shared this experience with him.

Personal Reaction:
In the
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first half of the book I was wondering where this story was going. I couldn't really make any kind of conclusion of what was going on. Over all I really enjoyed it. I liked how she shared her California experience with her son.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1) I would use this book probably around Christmas time. Showing the different culture, and how in different countries people don't always celebrate just Christmas. And how this mother wanted to share her experience of something different.
2) I would use this book as an introduction to my class. Then the students will have a discussion on what each of them might do to celebrate during the holidays. They would be able to share different holidays such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and many more.
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LibraryThing member KatieKirk
Summary:
Tree of Cranes is about a little boy's first Christmas. He doesn't understand all the things his mama is doing at first and he thinks that he is in trouble. In the end everything is explained and the boy has a wonderful first Christmas with his family.

Personal Reaction:
I was honestly
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confused for awhile about what was going on in the story. However, I did enjoy the book, especially when i finished it and understood it all! Also, I really liked the illustrations.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. One activity I would love to do after reading this to students is show them how to make paper cranes. My 6th grade teacher taught us how to make paper cranes and my whole class really enjoyed learning.

2. This is also a great multicultural book! You could have a lesson on different Christmas traditions
around the world. You could also have the students talk about their own families' Christmas traditions.
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LibraryThing member JLGadberry
Summary:
Following a little boy's disobedience of his mother's instruction not to play in the pond, he is horrified to realize that she has dug up the tree that was planted to symbolize his life while he lays in his bed rewarming. She decorates the tree and then proceeds to explain to him that she
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did not always live in Japan, but had lived in California for a portion of her life and that the tree was in celebration of the Christmas tradition.

Personal Reflection:
This was a great book exemplifying how what is normal tradition in one cultural seems strange to another. It also shows how where one has lived and what one has seen can impact a household. It is a great example of respecting other traditions and not being afraid to participate in it, even if it is not from one's personal set of beliefs.

Classroom Extension:
- Would be a great addition to a unit involving study of various winter traditions
- Could be used to help students understand the importance of learning about other cultures and keeping an open mind when things seem strange to them.
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LibraryThing member patrick.brautigan
Summary: A young boy Plays in the snow and gets sick because he didnt listen tohis mom> His mom makes him go inside and to bed for the day. Throughout the day his mom is doing different things in the house but she makes the boy stay in bed. Later on at night she introduces him to his first
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christmas.

Personal Review: An interesting way to keep a suprise from being spoiled. The mother keeps her son in bed because he disobayed and got sick, but during all that she is preparing to suprise her son with his very firts christmas.

Classroom Extensions: Can be used to show that not all kids celebrate the same holidays. Can be used to show ho different each of us really are.
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LibraryThing member MataSoolua
Summary:
Tree of cranes is about a little boy who lives in Japan with his mom and dad. It starts with the little boy knowing he would get in trouble from always getting wet and cold at the lake that his mom said to stop going to. The boy comes home and knows he is in trouble and saw that his mother
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was acting a little wierd. His mother was making little paper cranes and then dug up a tree from the yard that was planted when the boy was born. The mother brang the tree into the boys room and put the cranes she made and then candles on the tree. The mother told the boy how she used to live in a place that decorated trees. The mother goes on to tell more of her story which leads to the boy having his first Christmas.

Personal Reaction:
Its a great story about a boy's first Christmas. I love the little Christmas twist of the way another culture embraces Christmas. Its a very calm story that I would definitely read on Christmas.

Classroom Extension:
Probably could read this on diversity day and also use this book during Christmas season. The kids can read this book to get ideas on how different people decorate their Christmas trees.
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LibraryThing member dukefan86
This is a nice multicultural Christmas story! I enjoy Allen Say's illustrations, and in this book, the origami cranes and candles on the tree are especially nice.
LibraryThing member stephanie.west
Summary
A little boy in an Asian country is introduced to a new holidays by his American mother, where you excoriate a tree and exchange love and gifts, sound familiar?

Personal Reaction
The writing was a little dull for my taste but, the message it shows about beliefs, actions, and thoughts of
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another culture is really eye opening.

Class Extension
1. Depending on age/ability go step by step in making paper cranes with my class to hang up and decorate up room and also discuss the belief of 1,000 cranes in another culture.
2. Discuss Christ,as amd a holiday and the importance of thoughtful gifts rather than expensive gifts
3. Do a homemade gift exchange with class
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LibraryThing member matthewbloome
This was an exceptional book. It really brought up the issue of cultural education from another point of view, that of a Japanese mother teaching her son about an American custom, namely celebrating Christmas. It was a good book and I'd be open to sharing it with an audience of children as a means
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of opening a discussion of cultural differences and mutual respect. Also it's an unusual point of view for a Christmas story, one that would interest children.
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LibraryThing member SuPendleton
In the story, the narrator's mother shares a memory of what Christmas is like in America. Although she lives in Japan, she grew up in California and shares some of her memories with her son. I really like the illustrations because they show students a glimpse of life in Japan (clothing, food, toys,
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tradition). A good book to share at Christmas.
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LibraryThing member lauren_hayes
Summary:
This is about an Asian boy who learns about Christmas. He goes to the pond and catches a cold. The whole day his mother doesn't talk to him. But she makes paper cranes and digs up his tree and puts it in the pot. She explains to her son that she was from California before she married his
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father. She tell him about Christmas and uses his tree to make a Christmas tree.
Personal Reaction:
I thought this was a great book talking about different cultures and that not all cultures share the same holiday as the United States. I thought it was really great that the mother is trying to show her culture from the US as well as cultures from his father. I also loved the pictures the really show the true Asian style very soft and has that unique style.
Classroom Extensions:
1) Have the students make paper cranes.
2) Have the students pick a country and tell us about their special holidays.
3) Have students from a different culture have their parents come and talk about their culture.
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Awards

Texas Bluebonnet Award (Nominee — 1994)
Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Picture Book — 1994)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades K-3 — 1993)

Original publication date

1991

ISBN

0590462377 / 9780590462372
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