Curtis Manley has taken versions of the Japanese folktale The Crane Wife and made his own variation—with the addition of insightful haiku—in The Crane Girl (Shen’s, $18.95). In this incarnation of the tale, a young man named Yasuhiro rescues a crane and befriends her transformed human incarnation, Hiroko. Her repayment of Yasuhiro’s kindness with magical weavings leads to a climactic clash with Yasuhiro’s greedy and threatening father. Hiroko’s final transformations, which diverge from the original tale, are magical and satisfying. Lin Wang’s realistic watercolors are full of beautiful gestures and details, with a hint of Japanese ink-scrolls in her background landscapes. Endnotes provide further information on crane folktale motifs, Japanese poetic forms, and the Hokkaido red crane. Ages 7-10.