By Diana Cohn
by Youme Landowne
Every year, Kinga and his classmates wait for the black-necked cranes to return to the kingdom of Bhutan. The birds fly south over the highest mountains in the world to winter in the valley where Kinga lives, deep in the Himalayas. The cranes have been visiting the valley since ancient times, but every year, fewer cranes return. Kinga is concerned. "What can I do?" he wonders. He and his classmates approach the monks for permission to create and perform a dance to honor the cranes and to remind the Bhutanese people of their duty to care for them. The monks caution them to first watch the cranes to see how they move and learn from them. The children watch and practice. And practice some more until the big day when they perform before the king of Bhutan.
About the Creators
Diana Cohn has worked on environmental, economic, and global justice issues as a teacher, a media activist, and an advisor, program officer, and executive director in philanthropic institutions. She is the award-winning author of seven children's books, including ¡Si Se Puede! / Yes We Can! Janitor Strike in L.A., The Bee Tree, and Crane Boy, all published by Cinco Puntos Press/Lee & Low. She lives with her husband on a houseboat in northern California.
Youme (Landowne) Nguyen Ly grew up loving stories. She has lived and worked as a community artist in New York, New Haven, Miami, Woods Hole, San Francisco, Kenya, Japan, Lao P.D.R., Vietnam, St. John, U.S.V.I., Haiti, and Cuba. Youme's books include Selavi (That Is Life): A Haitian Story of Hope, Mali Under the Night Sky: A Lao Story of Home, and Pitch Black with Anthony Horton. She is drawn to stories of survival and champions for social justice. Youme lives in Western, Massachusetts, Pocumtuk land, with her partner and their two children.