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Crane Boy

School Library Journal

Kinga is a young Bhutanese boy who eagerly anticipates the black-necked cranes' migration back to the Phobjika Valley—his home—each year. According to Kado, who is called the "Caretaker of the Cranes," fewer birds are migrating back each year. Kinga consults with his family and friends and decides to propose a festival to celebrate the birds' migration and draw attention to their need to be protected. Local monks partner with the schoolchildren to present a new crane dance to the King of Bhutan, as well as the townspeople, which attracts spectators from near and far. Cohn's straightforward text chronicles the fictionalized genesis of this very real festival held in the Kingdom of Bhutan each year, which has boosted awareness of ecologically sound farming practices to include wetlands habitat protection, as well as encouraged ecotourism in the area. Told from Kinga's perspective, the narrative serves as a very real answer to the question children often ask when they encounter an issue larger than themselves: "What can I do?" Landowne's brightly colored illustrations and soft-edged figures serve to reinforce the perspective of the child narrator while capturing the natural beauty of the Bhutanese culture and people. VERDICT Give this lovely picture book to any child who is looking to change the world for the better. —Colleen S. Banick, Westport Public Schools, CT
- Colleen S. Banick, School Library Journal, November 1, 2015  Visit Website

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