by Colleen Rowan Kosinski

I’ve been waiting for this month for a long time. My new picture book, LOVE MADE ME MORE, released on December 13th.

LOVE MADE ME MORE is a heartfelt tale of a friendship between a boy and an origami crane that continues throughout the boy’s life.

LOVE MADE ME MORE book cover. Little boy holding an orange origami crane.

When a boy’s grandmother shows him how to fold an origami crane, the boy and crane become instant friends. They sail around the room and play, but the crane also watches over the boy and comforts him in a time of loss. The crane is always on the boy’s nightstand―it’s the last thing he sees each night and the first thing he sees each morning.

Over time, the boy grows older, and the crane becomes dusty. But even when the boy becomes a young man, the crane plays a part in the most important moments of his life. And one day, just like his grandmother before him, the man shows his own son how to fold an origami crane as the original crane looks on.

Black mother and Asian father sit at an outdoor table with son. On the porch there are baskets, books and papers. On the table are many colorful, decorative papers, and the father is holding an orange square of paper and showing the son how to fold it. A darker color orange origami crane sits on the table, watching.

When I showed my agent this book I thought it might be a hard sell. After all, we writers often hear that books written about inanimate objects are tough to pull off—and to sell. But I believed in this story and so did my agent. Also, it wasn’t my first rodeo writing and selling a book about an inanimate object.

In 2021, my story A HOME AGAIN came out. This story was told through the eyes of a house whose family had moved away—leaving it sad and depressed, not knowing if it could ever love again. My new story, LOVE MADE ME MORE, is told through the eyes of an origami crane and how it’s life and love changes over time. So why were both these books so successful in attracting an editor? I think perhaps it’s because, while writing, I always kept in mind the idea that these characters were children who were dealing with changes in life.

Boy sits in front of a white lounge chair. In the background is a floor-to-ceiling window and it is night--the sky is dark blue sprinkled with white stars. The stars seem to have come indoors to the room with the boy. He holds an orange origami crane that appears to be glowing with yellow stars and blue/green around it.

One of the things I did with both of these books was to think about emotions and how an object would express that emotion without the use of eyes or a mouth, or whatever attributes that object possessed. For example, how would a paper crane express excitement? Flutter its wings? Sadness? Let its tail droop? And, how about words associated with paper? Crinkle, fold, rip—could they also be incorporated into how the crane expressed itself?

Try it out. Find an object and see if you can think of creative ways the object could show happiness, sadness, anger, etc. It’s a really fun exercise.

I was also very fortunate to be paired with a talented illustrator named Sonia Sanchez. Being an illustrator myself, I know that endowing an inanimate object with emotion and making it a character that children will care about is not an easy task. But, Sonia pulls this off wonderfully creating graceful movement on the pages with her loose line work and bright colors.

So, now my little crane is soaring its way into bookstores and hopefully into the hands of many young readers. I think my little crane would flutter its wings, and swish its tail from side to side at that idea.

I think so, too, Colleen! Congratulations on your newest book!

Blog readers, Colleen is giving away a copy of LOVE MADE ME MORE. Just leave one comment below to enter. A random winner will be chosen…next year! (I mean next month.)

Colleen Kosinski writes picture books and middle grade novels. Her picture books include LILLA’S SUNFLOWERS, A HOME AGAIN, and LOVE MADE ME MORE (2022). Her middle grade novel is titled, A Promise Stitched In Time. She works as an editor at and teaches classes on picture book writing. She is also involved in her local chapter of the SCBWI, and the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature. Colleen is a graduate of Rutgers University, as are her husband and sons. Her daughter followed the bright lights to work in the film industry in LA. Colleen works from her Cherry Hill, NJ studio with her canine assistant, Sage.

If you’d like to learn more about her or any of her other books, visit her at