A winter illness left Lotus, a little girl, without a voice and without friends. A hunter's bullet left Feather, a crane, injured and unable to fly. As Lotus nurses Feather back to health, their bond grows. Soon Feather is following Lotus everywhere, even to school! The bird dances to the girl's reed whistle, much to the delight of the other children. One day, when the village floods, Feather helps raise the alarm as Lotus and her grandfather urge their neighbors to get to high ground. Feather is a true friend to Lotus, but the time comes when Lotus must be a true friend to him--by encouraging him to migrate with the rest of the cranes. The next spring, Feather miraculously returns, and that's not all . . . he has brought new life to the nearby lake. Inspired by the true story of a crane that rescued a Chinese village, and graced with sensitive watercolor illustrations, this lovely book about respecting nature offers deep emotion and delightful surprises.
Ji-li Jiang (www.jilijiang.com) was born in Shanghai, China. She brought her memories of the Cultural Revolution in China to life in her first book, Red Scarf Girl, which has become required reading in many schools. Following the success of Red Scarf Girl, she published her adaptation of Chinese classic folklore, Magical Monkey King: Mischief in Heaven. Her picture book Red Kite, Blue Kite, illustrated by Greg Ruth, won an Asian/Pacific-American Award for Literature from the ALA. When she isn't writing or speaking, Ji-li devotes time to various cultural exchange programs, including leading group trips to China. She believes that a better understanding among people around the world is the only route to global peace. Ji-li lives in San Francisco, California. Julie Downing (www.juliedowning.com) is an internationally published author and illustrator with over forty children's books to her credit. She is known for her innovative approach to illustrating traditional stories and has won many awards, including a Parent's Choice Award and the New York Public Library's Best Books Award. Julie lives in San Francisco, California.