January 3 – Book Tour Launch for Love Made Me More

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I’d like to thank Two Lions and Barbara Fisch at Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy of Love Made Me More for review consideration. All opinions on the book are my own.

Love Made Me More

Written by Colleen Rowan Kosinski | Illustrated by Sonia Sánchez

 

An origami crane reveals how it came to be after its origins as “just a piece of paper—orange with white and blue spots” and the day when “a boy folds me many times, giving me a head, tail, and wings” under the watchful eye of his grandmother. The crane becomes an instant favorite, and for the crane, the boy is “My Boy.” The young child places the crane on his nightstand, so that he sees it right before going to sleep and again as soon as he wakes up.

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Image copyright Sonia Sánchez, 2022, text copyright Colleen Rowan Kosinski, 2022. Courtesy of Two Lions.

Over the years, the origami crane shares in his play, his dreams, and his wishes and it comforts him in his grief of losing a loved one and when shadows scare him. But as the boy grows older, finds new friends and interests, and becomes braver, he talks less and less to the origami crane. And while the crane still sits on his nightstand, the paper has grown dusty.

Then “one day,” the origami crane says,”My Boy places a photograph in front of me. I peek around and see a picture of a girl with an orange, white, and blue shirt. My colors. I fume.” The crane is jealous that “now she is the last thing he sees” at night and the first in the morning. But more years pass, and a day comes when the boy reaches for the origami crane once more. The crane is hopeful that they will play together again as in the past, but instead the boy unfolds it and “scrawls tickling words” on the paper before refolding it.

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Image copyright Sonia Sánchez, 2022, text copyright Colleen Rowan Kosinski, 2022. Courtesy of Two Lions.

The origami crane has not been forgotten during all of these years. In fact, the crane’s stature has only grown, now offered to the girl with a love-affirming question hidden inside. “‘Yes, I will marry you,’ she says.” The crane embraces her as “My Girl too” as the boy refolds it. Soon, the origami crane finds itself in the center of a flock floating above a crib where a baby, wrapped in an orange, white, and blue blanket sleeps. “My colors,” the crane thinks happily.

The crane is proud that his flock is “the last thing Our Baby sees each night and the first thing he sees each morning” and that “he loves us.” As the baby grows into boyhood and learns how to make an origami crane himself—with his father’s crane close by—the origami crane realizes that what has made it so much more than “just a piece of paper” is all the love it has been shown and has been a part of.

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Image copyright Sonia Sánchez, 2022, text copyright Colleen Rowan Kosinski, 2022. Courtesy of Two Lions.

Colleen Rowan Kosinski’s unique story, told from the perspective of an origami crane that has been molded by a boy from a simple piece of paper to become a beloved keepsake, reveals the endurance and transformative power of love. Infused with feelings of belonging and purpose, the story flows through the changes a lifetime brings not only for the boy but for the origami crane. Just as the boy finds friends, meets a girlfriend, gets married, and has a baby, the crane slowly learns to integrate other people and, finally, a flock of origami cranes into its sphere, changes often told with honest emotions and a sense of the years passing by.

When the boy proposes to the girl with the help of the crane and it now accepts his fiancé as “My Girl too,” the crane seems to gain a sense of new life and autonomy when the boy refolds the paper. Instead of defining itself as “his Origami Crane” it now asserts itself as “Origami Crane.” The idea of the importance of being seen, embraced, and given love over an entire lifetime is woven throughout the story and becomes the central theme as the crane realizes that the baby loves it too. Readers take away the knowledge that it is love freely given—and accepted—that makes all the difference in a person’s self-esteem and the way their life evolves.

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Image copyright Sonia Sánchez, 2022, courtesy of Two Lions.

Sonja Sánchez’s vibrant and lively illustrations glow with the magic and comfort that the origami crane brings to the boy’s life as a child. Using angled images, strong lines that suggest the creasing that defines the origami crane, and warm earth tones, Sánchez centers her illustrations on the crane. Pages full of movement and color paint a picture of the boy’s childhood spent playing, wishing, and dreaming with the crane always by his side give way to a spread shrouded in brown, where the boy and his friends appear only as silhouettes and the orange crane, pushed to the side of the desk and dwarfed by the boy’s new interests in a computer, guitar, and other objects, is the only bright spot in the brown and darkened room.

Time passes and within two page turns, the boy, grown into a young man, once again has the crane in hand. Its former glow of magic is back as the boy unfolds, writes on, and refolds the paper. A baby comes along and, like his father, sails into imagination and play with the crane, finally learning how to fold his own crane as he grows into boyhood.

Love Made Me More is a singular story to share with children to reaffirm their special bond with a favorite toy or memento, but more: to remind and reassure them of the power of enduring love, expressed in so many ways, to transform people, experiences, and life itself. The book would be a unique, uplifting, and affecting addition to home, school, and public library collections.

Ages 4 – 8

Two Lions, 2022 | ISBN 978-1542006200

About the Author

Colleen Rowan Kosinski is the author of A Home Again and the author-illustrator of Lilla’s Sunflowers and A Promise Stitched in Time. She received her BA from Rutgers University in visual art, is an alumna of Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art and Design, and spent many years as a successful freelance fine artist. Colleen calls New Jersey her home and resides there with her family. To learn more, and to watch a tutorial on making an origami paper crane, visit www.colleenrowankosinski.com. You can connect with Colleen on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

About the Illustrator

Sonia Sánchez is the illustrator of a number of picture books, including Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina, A Crazy-Much Love by Joy Jordan-Lake, and The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier. Her books have been nominated for the Eisner Award and named a CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year. She lives with her husband, her kids, and a sleepyhead cat in Barcelona, Spain. You can connect with Sonia on Instagram.

Love Made Me More Tour Launch Activity

Make an Origami Crane

 

Follow along with this tutorial from Origami Tsunami to make your own Origami Crane to love!

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You can find Love Made Me More at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

To support your local independent bookstore, order from

Bookshop | IndieBound

Picture Book Review

November 11 – Origami Day

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About the Holiday

The art of paper folding known as Origami is enjoyed around the world and has it’s roots in paper craft traditions of Europe, China, and Japan. Once primarily used at ceremonies and special events, origami is now enjoyed by people of all ages around the globe. World Origami Days are held from October 24—which commemorates the birthday of Lillian Oppenheimer, the founder of the first American origami group and instrumental in the founding of the British Origami Society and Origami USA—to November 11, which is Origami Day in Japan. To celebrate today’s holiday create some origami figures of your own. Visit OrigamiUSA for more information and lots of templates to download and follow.

More-igami

Written by Dori Kleber | Illustrated by G. Brian Karas

 

Joey was a little boy with a particular fascination. He was captivated by all things folded. At home he had a collection of “old road maps,” the bellows on an accordion made it his favorite instrument, and he even tucked himself into a foldaway bed at night. One day Joey witnessed the most amazing thing at school. Sarah Takimoto’s mother came to his class, and—right before the students’ eyes—folded, flipped, and pulled a plain white piece of paper “until it became…a crane.”

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Image copyright G. Brian Karas, text copyright Dori Kleber. Courtesy of Candlewick Press

“Joey’s eyes popped. His jaw dropped. Mrs. Takimoto called it origami.” Joey was smitten. “‘I want to make origami,’” Joey told Sarah’s mother. “‘Will you teach me?’” Mrs. Takimoto  answered that while she could teach him the right folds, it would take practice and patience to become an origami master. Joey raced home that afternoon and began folding. When he ran out of notebook paper and construction paper, he used his homework…the newspaper…his sister’s sheet music…gift wrap… even “Aunt Vivian’s pineapple surprise” recipe card. But when he folded up all thirty-eight dollars in his mom’s purse, she put her foot down.

“Joey drooped.” His cranes were still coming out wrinkled and crooked, and he’d never be able to become an origami master without practicing. To soothe his disappointment, he headed next door to Muy Mexicana for some fajitas. Right away Mr. Lopez noticed Joey’s disgruntlement. When Joey explained that everyone was losing patience with him, Mr. Lopez said, “‘Many artists are misunderstood, amigo.’ Especially when they are just learning.’” Mr. Lopez went into the kitchen, and when he came out with the sizzling fajitas, he was delighted to see a napkin pyramid sitting on the table.

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Image copyright G. Brian Karas, text copyright Dori Kleber. Courtesy of Candlewick Press

Joey apologized, but Mr. Lopez thought it made the table look fancy. In fact, he liked it so much that he had Joey fold every napkin on every table. After that, Joey went to Muy Mexicana each day following school and folded the napkins into decorative shapes. One day he made fans, the next candlesticks, and the day after that, crowns. He patiently worked until each one was perfect.

Finally, he felt ready to attempt his original challenge. “He took a crisp napkin. He folded. He flipped. He pulled.” When he was finished, a perfect crane sat in front of him. Just then a girl with a paper fan walked in. Her eyes widened as they zeroed in on Joey’s crane. Joey offered to show her how to make it, but warned, “‘It takes practice—and lots of patience!’”

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Image copyright G. Brian Karas, text copyright Dori Kleber. Courtesy of Candlewick Press

Dori Kleber’s unique multicultural story of a little boy who finds the perfect creative outlet for his singular interest will captivate kids who are just beginning to try their own hands at favorite hobbies, schoolwork, or other pursuits. With humor and honest depictions of Joey’s frustration and persistence, Kleber shows readers that practice and patience really do pay off. As Joey meets another folding enthusiast, kids will see that there are always others with whom to share favorite pastimes.

Opening More-igami to the first page where Joey sits gazing lovingly at a taco with a folded napkin next to his plate, readers will know they are in for something special. As always, G. Brian Karas’s characters are enthusiastic, encouraging, and adorable. Readers will empathize with Joey as they watch him folding and folding, and giggle at the many, many practice cranes that litter his home, even perching atop his sister’s music stand and appearing in his mom’s purse.

Karas makes full creative use of the origami theme in his clever page designs and illustrations, beginning with the square shape of the book itself and the origami paper-styled endpapers. Vivid, solid-color background pages are divided diagonally, vertically, or horizontally with subtle changes in hue or nearly invisible lines. In depictions of Joey’s school, home, and favorite restaurant, diagonals, angles, and sharp edges predominate: tables and floors create triangles on the page; windows, walls, and doors divide pages into shapes associated with the steps of origami’s folded creations; and floor tiles, the sidewalk, and even Joey’s shirt portray grid lines. The color schemes of each page, inspired by the patterns and shades of origami paper, are dazzling and unite the varied aspects of this special book.

For any child undertaking a new activity or venture, More-igami is a charming and encouraging companion on the way to proficiency—one that would make a wonderful home library and classroom addition.

Ages 4 – 8

Candlewick Press, 2016 | ISBN 978-0763668198

To learn more about Dori Kleber and her writing, visit her website!

G. Brian Karas has a whole gallery of illustrations, books, information, and “what nots” on his website!

Origami Day Activity

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Origami Pets

 

Origami is a fun hobby that can grow in complexity as you gain skill. Here are two templates to get you started! All you need is a square piece of paper and—if you’d like to decorate your piece—some markers or colored pencils.

Puppy Template | Penguin Template

Picture Book Review