I’m kicking off our 24 Days of Christmas Books with my favorite Christmas book, Tree of Cranes. Had you asked me before being introduced to Tree of Cranes, I would not have been able to tell you my favorite as there are so many wonderful ones for the holidays. But, this one is truly unique. A beautiful story paired with beautiful illustrations, Tree of Cranes by Allen Say is a Christmas book like none other, and therefore a great place to start.
Here at ITKM we love holiday traditions. 24 Days of Christmas Books is a rather popular one that you should add to your family’s holiday season. Quite simply, to lead up to Christmas you choose 24 books to read, one each day of December, the last reading on Christmas Eve. This is an advent calendar of sorts. Many like to individually wrap each book, which adds a festive flair, but you certainly do not have to. Let your kids pick their book each day or work it into Elf on the Shelf’s daily duties. We will be recommending awesome Christmas books, new and old, to add to your collection this year. So without further adieu…
Tree of Cranes by Allen Say is a story of a young boy’s first Christmas in Japan. Two cultures come together to form a most magical story, a special memory for this now grown boy. Many families here in the US are a mismatch of cultures and religions. That is the nature of the melting pot. And so I think many families will not relate to this story, but be inspired by it.
Well this young boy lives in Japan with his parents, his mother a Japanese woman who grew up in California. One special Christmas, his mother surprises him by digging up a small pine tree from the yard and potting it. She decorates the tree with paper cranes she crafted with origami skill. The silver cranes sparkle on the tree in the light of the candles she adds, and she tells her son of the magical holiday called Christmas.
It is a heartwarming holiday story that illustrates diversity and acceptance. We may all celebrate a variety of holidays and traditions, but the root of them all is familiar. It is about the spirit of giving, the joy of receiving and the life lessons we learn along the way. My daughter is completely in love with this book, partially due to the story and partially due to the gorgeous Japanese house the little boy lives in. Tree of Cranes has also stirred up a desire in her to make new origami creatures, meaning I will be making a lot of paper cranes this season for our tree. Gotta love when a book makes an impact on your life!
A copy was provided to facilitate this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.