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The Red Bookby Barbara Lehman
A 2005 Caldecott Honor Book
Synopses & Reviews
This book is about a book. A magical red book without any words. When you turn the pages you'll experience a new kind of adventure through the power of story. In illustrations of rare detail and surprise, The Red Book crosses oceans and continents to deliver one girl into a new world of possibility, where a friend she"s never met is waiting. And as with the best of books, at the conclusion of the story, the journey is not over.
"Lehman's (Moonfall) ink-and-wash panels show snow falling on a drab city. The square angles of the buildings counter the rounded doll-like features of a girl walking along the street; the delicate blues and reds of her clothes temper the grays of the city. The girl spies a red book sticking out of a snowbank. Once at school, she peeps into her treasure. The book's pictures show successively closer views of a tropical paradise. Green islands on a map loom, a single beach comes into focus, and a small black point grows to become a boy. As she watches, the boy finds a red book just like hers. But when he opens his, he sees a panorama of a city, a closer view of some windows and, at last, the girl in her classroom. Now the boy and girl can see each other; they stare in surprise, then smile. After school, the girl buys a bunch of balloons and sets sail for the boy's island. She drops the red book as she ascends; but it turns out she doesn't need the book to reach him. Next, a stranger on a bicycle picks up the girl's book and pedals away, glancing back with suspicion. It's the only moment that disturbs the book's otherwise perfect equilibrium, in which summer mirrors winter, two children join hands across a great distance, and the tropics provide a refuge from civilization. As visually uncluttered as it is conceptually rich, Lehman's red book is a little treasure of its own. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] perfectly eloquent wordless book....Lehman's story captures the magical possibility that exists every time readers open a book — if they allow it: they can leave the 'real world' behind and, like the heroine, be transported by the helium of their imaginations." School Library Journal
"[C]harming....Simple, nicely drawn, and a friendly toast to the imagination." Kirkus Reviews
In illustrations of rare detail, and without words, The Red Book crosses oceans and continents to deliver one girl into a new world of possibility, where a friend she's never met is waiting. Full color.
About the Author
Barbara Lehman has illustrated many books for children. Born in Chicago, Barbara attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she earned a BFA in communication design. A full-time illustrator, Barbara says, and#8220;Books and art have always held the strongest attraction for me. I have always felt drawn to and#8216;commercial artand#8217; because of its ability to reach many people. I like the idea of being part of the media in a meaningful and thoughtful way, especially with children as the audience.and#8221; She now lives in Philmont, New York.
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