The Paper Crane


Readability Age Range



Year Published

Book Review

The Paper Crane by has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.

Plot Summary

A man owns a thriving restaurant along a well-worn road. Once a highway is built, almost no one uses the small road or stops at the restaurant.

One day a weary stranger enters the restaurant. The owner prepares a feast, even though the man can’t pay for the meal. In appreciation, the stranger folds his paper napkin into a crane and says that if the man will only clap his hands, the crane will come to life and dance. Then the stranger leaves.

When the owner claps his hands, the napkin becomes an elegant dancing bird. People come from all over the world to see the dancing crane, and the restaurant once again bustles with business.

Eventually the stranger returns, he plays his flute, and the paper crane dances. Then the stranger climbs on its back, and they fly away.

Despite the crane’s absence, people still visit the restaurant. They want to hear about the mysterious stranger and his magical dancing crane.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

A stranger folds his paper napkin into a crane, and the crane will come to life and dance. This magic continues each time the owner claps his hands. Eventually the magic crane carries the stranger away.

Authority Roles

The owner of the restaurant has a son who helps him with his work. The illustrations portray the son learning to play the stranger’s song on the flute at the end of the story.

Profanity & Violence


Sexual Content


Discussion Topics

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Additional Comments

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book’s review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

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