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by Molly Bang

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In this adaptation of "The Crane Wife," a shipbuilder marries a mysterious woman who makes him promise never to look at her while she weaves.



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Dawn is a story that is based on the Japanese legend of the the crane wife. But in this story the man rescues and nurses a Canadian goose back to health. One day it just flies away and then a few days later a mysterious woman comes knocking on his door. A woman that he would later marry and having a child with. She makes the man promise to never come into the room while she made sails for a boat that the man had pushed her to make sails for. He ends up breaking his promise and finds out that she is the goose and she is using her own feathers to make the sails. The story does a good job of trying to incorporate a legend from another culture into their story. ( )
  D.Patzan | Sep 11, 2019 |
This was a very interesting book. The story and illustration made it very captivating. This book could teach young kids that not everything ends in a happy ending and they should learn how to enjoy the story instead. This book could be a bit confusing for younger kids and they might question it a lot but overall it is a very good adaptation of a Japanese folktale. ( )
  JPham4 | Aug 29, 2019 |
This was a lovely Japanese legend of a shipbuilder who is telling his daughter Dawn a story about when he rescued an injured goose. Shortly after a strange but lovely woman appears that wants a job as a sail maker weaver. The man and woman fall in love and marry. They have a daughter named Dawn. A rich man hired the man to build a schooner with large sails. The woman tells the man never to come in while she is at the loom. She warned that over time she would become weaker and weaker. He pushes her to get the sails done faster then he hears the looms running slowly. He goes in and sees that his wife is the Goose and she had been pulling out her feathers and weaving them into the loom. A flock of geese come and take her away. Dawn tells her father that she will set out to bring her back in the spring. I liked the folktale, it was interesting. The pictures were lovely illustrated. level at about 2nd or 3rd grade for reading on own. ( )
  asburns | Aug 25, 2019 |
Knowing that I love the traditional Japanese folktale of The Crane Wife, a friend recommended this American retelling, in which the story is transplanted to a nineteenth-century New England coastal village (thanks, Jude!). Despite my mixed feelings about revisionist folkloric retellings, in which tales are transplanted from one culture to another, I decided to give Dawn a try, and I'm glad I did! One of the things I look for, in such projects, is a sense of why this new setting is necessary for the story: what cultural parallel does it highlight? What new insight does it bring? If I get the sense that the author/artist just wants the characters to look different - to be from a different culture or race, in order to make readers feel more comfortable - than I'm less than impressed. But if it's obvious they're drawing something from the tale, and applying it to another setting or culture, than I'm intrigued.

Molly Bang seems to be doing the latter, and it's easy to see why: the original tale features a sail-maker, and speaks to a culture that is oriented to the sea. So too were (and are) the fishing villages of New England, and while the latter aren't regularly visited by cranes, they do see quite a few Canada geese. And so this retelling is very true, in some ways, to the original, despite being set in a very different place, and featuring a different species of bird. It also offers some additional details and insight, not found in the original, and can lead the reader to consider what happens next. I found the narrative here - related after the fact to the couple's daughter - very moving, as it really speaks to the husband's futile regret, his remorse, his longing. The open-ended conclusion - does Dawn (the daughter) ever succeed? - was very impressive: no neatly tied off end here, folks! The artwork, too, is most moving, alternating between black and white drawings and color paintings, both of which capture the sense of mystery and beauty to be found in the story.

All in all, this is a lovely little book, one I am glad to have picked up, and one which I recommend to young readers who enjoy sad stories, and (quality) revisionist fairy-tales. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 30, 2013 |
Bang, Molly. (2002) Dawn. New York: SeaStar Books.
This is the story of a man who is telling his daughter Dawn the story of her mother. He tells her of a goose that he found in the swamp as he was looking for wood. The goose was injured so he nursed it back to health and it flew off. A few weeks later a beautiful woman came to look for a job as sail maker and they fall in love, marry and have Dawn. A man comes to ask the father to build a racing boat and he agrees even though his wife says that she cannot make the sails without sacrificing herself. She asks him not to come into the room while she is working and one day he does and sees that she is a goose plucking the last feathers off her chest and weaving them into the sail. A flock of geese are waiting for her outside and she leaves with them.
What makes this traditional story unique is that it is based on a Japanese legend of the Crane Wife. It was written by Molly Bang who is a well known Caldecott winning illustrator. Although the story could be a little confusing for young children, the illustrations are great. ( )
  cacv78 | Jul 19, 2010 |
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"A long time ago, Dawn, before you were born, I used to build ships."
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In this adaptation of "The Crane Wife," a shipbuilder marries a mysterious woman who makes him promise never to look at her while she weaves.

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