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|Lotus & Feather|
Author: Jiang, Ji-li
A lonely girl finds a friend when she and her grandfather rescue a wounded crane.
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/16)
School Library Journal (+) (12/01/16)
The Hornbook (00/03/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2016 K-Gr 2—Lotus lives near a lake with her grandfather, a basket maker. While the setting is unspecified, the students' red scarves suggest China during the Cultural Revolution. The protagonist has been ignored by her classmates since a "winter illness" rendered her speechless. Her grandfather mourns another kind of solitude: the absence of animals in their wetlands habitat, which has been "ruined by greedy fishermen and hunters." A single crane, and the offstage hunter who wounds it, transforms everything. The girl's ability to communicate in other ways reveals her resourcefulness, as when she pounds on a pail to scare the gunman away. Downing's watercolors are atmospheric: muted blue-grays, greens, and purples blend, creating a foggy, mystical backdrop. Varying page designs manipulate focus or indicate passing time. The color red (in the child's clothing and the bird's crown) visually connects the girl and the animal. Lotus carries the wounded crane home, where he is tenderly nursed back to health. Feather becomes a beloved companion, following her to school and dancing to her reed whistle in the falling snow—to the delight of the students. His crowing warns the sleeping family and then the villagers, saving everyone from rising floodwaters caused by a distant earthquake. Because a wild creature must heed the call of migration, there is an inevitable parting, but a stunning finale shows the crane's return, his family and flock descending upon the water. According to the jacket flap, this book is based on actual events. VERDICT Elegant storytelling and arresting compositions combine for a deeply satisfying emotional and aesthetic experience. Best shared one-on-one or in a small group so that children can pore over the lively and engaging artwork.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2017 Lotus, a lonely girl who cannot speak, lives with her grandfather. After a beautiful crane is injured near the shore of a nearby lake, Lotus rescues him. She and her grandfather nurse the bird, which she names Feather. Gradually recovering, Feather follows Lotus to school, where he helps her connect with the other children. When he is strong enough, he joins a flock flying north, and eventually he returns, leading hundreds of cranes to the lake near Lotus’ home. The author of Red Kite, Blue Kite (2013) and Red Scarf Girl (1997), Jiang offers a beguiling story of animal rescue in which Lotus and Feather form a bond, each befriending and helping to heal the other. Created using digitally combined watercolor, ink, and other traditional materials, the illustrations portray Asian characters within a number of lovely, fluid landscapes and warm interior scenes. A satisfying addition to picture-book collections. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.