Making friends through paper art 



Written and illustrated by Sue DiCicco (North Clarendon, Vt.: Tuttle Publishing, 2017, 32 pp., 12 sheets of origami, $12.95, hardcover)
This is an upbeat children’s book about making friends.

When young Emma enrolls in a new school, she struggles with lack of self-confidence. Her classmates reach out to her, but she rebuffs them because she feels that she isn’t special enough to warrant their friendship.

The bright and perky illustrations show us children from various racial and ethnic backgrounds — black, East Indian, Japanese, Caucasian and Latina — each making overtures to Emma.

Luckily for Emma, the teacher shows the class how to fold origami cranes and write messages on the wings. Emma soon finds colorful cranes on her desk, each with a friendly message or drawing of favorite activities from all the children she had rejected once before. Encouraged by the cranes, Emma soon makes friends and finds that they truly enjoy time spent together.

The author founded the Peace Crane Project in 2013 to promote peace and understanding through the arts. She invites groups of readers to send origami with a message to her for exchange with a partner group. Visit to sign up.

Children from over 150 countries have participated.

Included in the book are directions for folding the crane and a few pieces of origami paper. Care to try this? What are you waiting for?

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