Yoko’s Paper Cranes

by Rosemary Wells

Yokos paper cranes
Rosemary Wells’ Yokos Paper Cranes is an endearing story about the love between a child and her grandparents: love that extends beyond a great ocean.
Written with choice words and simplicity, children will adore this story about Yoko who grew up in Japan with her grandparents, Obaasan and Ojiisan.
As a young girl, Yoko enjoyed feeding the cranes in Obaasan’s garden pond. In the winter, when the cranes fly away, Yoko folds paper cranes with her grandfather, Ojiisan.

When she grew up, Yoko moves to America. She misses her grandparents and the peaceful times she spend with them. Although Yoko could not go back to Japan to celebrate Grandmother’s birthday, she expresses her love by sending 3 paper cranes which she folds from special Japanese paper.

For those who know Rosemary Wells’ books and characters, this book does not disappoint. Yoko’s Paper Cranes is a prequel to her earlier book Yoko and her other adventures.

Yoko’s Paper Crane: Illustrations

The artwork is typical of Rosemary Wells’ work with the soft kind faces and round, hugable bodies.

In addition to her usual style Wells recruits the expertise of Johanna Hurley, a person described as “Master Cutter of Japanese Paper”.

Indeed, this picture book is filled with patterns often seen in traditional origami paper.


Instructions on how to fold a paper crane are embedded in the storybook as a border. One might think that they’re decorations, but those in the know will recognize the dashed lines and arrows as cleverly designed origami instructions.

Illustrations also include scenes with snow covered Mount Fuji and crashing ocean waves similar to those by Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849).

Photo from Wikipedia


    Books with Easy Origami

    • Easy Origami: over 30 simple projects by John Montroll
    • Origami Fun Kit for Beginners by John Montroll
    • My First Origami Kit by Joel Stern
    • Easy Origami: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids by C Alexander & M Meinking
    • Fun With Easy Origami (Dover Origami Papercraft)
    • Origami: A Step-by-Step Introduction to the Art of Paper Folding by T Cook & S Henry
    • Easy Origami For Kids Book Traditional Japanese Folding Papers Overs 20 Projects by J Wish
    • Easy Origami for Kids: Over 40 Simple Origami Projects by O Brooks


    Easy Origami Books


    Please Help

    Please help by reporting broken links so that we can fix them. One easy message from you can save us hours and hours of clicking. Thanks!


    More Origami Diagrams and Instructions…

  • These free origami instructions are made available to you by the paper folding community at large. If you have a diagram you would like to share, or if your diagram is listed here and you wish to have it removed, please Contact Us. Diagrams are intended for personal use. Copyright of the models lie with the origami creators and designers. Please contact the designer and/or creator directly for non-private usage of a model and/or artwork.