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.
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.
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.
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.
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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