A man owned a restaurant on a busy road, and business was good until a new highway was built close by. Because travelers no longer stopped at the restaurant, the man became poor. One day a stranger with a gentle manner came into the restaurant. He did not have money to pay for his meal. Instead, he folded a napkin into the shape of a crane. "You have only to clap your hands," he said, "and this bird will come to life and dance for you." The stranger's gift was worth more than the cost of his meal, and it brought great happiness to the restaurant owner. Can you guess why?
The Paper Crane is Molly Bang's adaptation of an ancient Japanese folktale. The detailed three-dimensional illustrations are photographs of her paper cutouts. They are a wonderful accompaniment to the story.