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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

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The Red Tree

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The Red Tree Cover

ISBN13: 9780968876831
ISBN10: 0968876838
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When a child awakens with dark leaves drifting into her bedroom, she feels that "sometimes the day begins with nothing to look forward to, and things go from bad to worse." Feelings too complex for words are rendered into an imaginary landscape where the child wanders, oblivious to the glimmer of promise in the shape of a tiny red leaf. Everything seems hopeless until the child returns to her room and sees the red tree. At that perfect moment of beauty and purity, the child smiles and her world stirs anew.

Shaun Tan's illustrations are remarkable for the way they combine and react upon each other. He creates an otherworldly labyrinth of visual ideas joined with the familiar immediacy of the little child, and condenses them into scenes of extraordinary depth and insight. Every child will appreciate the book's life-affirming message but it will be equally successful with all readers. With sensitivity and wonder, the evocative images in The Red Tree open a window to our inexplicable emotions and tell a story about the power of hope, renewal and inspiration.

Review:

"An imaginative, sad, and ultimately uplifting tale of very few words and extraordinary images." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Perhaps too sophisticated in its point of view for some youngsters, this is nonetheless a book of amazing beauty, high quality, and distinguished artistry." School Library Journal

Review:

"[T]hought provoking, entertaining picture book for children that carries the ultimate message of hope." Midwest Book Review

Review:

"Art students, teens, and even adults will be interested in these gripping fantasies, which capture dark fears and depression's terrifying, illogical power." Booklist

About the Author

Award-winning artist and author Shaun Tan has achieved international recognition for his work, including the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award for The Rabbits (with J. Marsden), an Honor Book Award for Memorial (with G. Crew) and The Lost Thing, an APA Design Award, an Honorable Mention at the Bologna Book Fair, three Aurealis Awards, and Spectrum Gold and Silver Awards. In 2001 he was named best artist at the World Fantasy Awards in Montreal. A graduate of the University of Washington in 1995, with honors in fine arts and English literature, he lives in Perth, Australia. The Red Tree is his fifth book (and the first published in North America).

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

wildsheepchase, October 21, 2010 (view all comments by wildsheepchase)
Today's guest speaker for my editing class was a children's book editor. We did some exercises with various children's books in small groups, and my group got The Red Tree out of sheer luck. Almost as soon as I laid eyes on the cover, I was sucked in and spent several minutes absorbing it from cover to cover. It resonated with me deeply, from the sophisticated art to the tackling of a complex and lesser-acknowledged phenomenon: childhood depression. My adult self identified equally with the feelings given voice in the art, but I can't help but wonder...what if I had read this book at nine years old? The mind boggles.
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Katherine Humphry, March 29, 2008 (view all comments by Katherine Humphry)
The most recent issue of my undergraduate alumni magazine featured an article on Shaun Tan, a West Australian artist. I loved the whimsical illustrations the article featured, and decided to see if my library had any of his books - good news: they do. Shaun describes his books as follows:

They are best described as ‘picture books for older readers’ rather than young children, as they deal with relatively complex visual styles and themes, including colonial imperialism, social apathy, the nature of memory and depression.

I've just finished "reading" The Red Tree, and I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a book about depression - very few (but very effective) words, lush, detailed illustrations, and a note of hopefulness at the very end. I'm not sure I've read such a concise and accurate description of depression before. Needless to say, I have every intention of looking at more of Shaun Tan's books - The Arrival will be next.
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(10 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780968876831
Publisher:
Simply Read Books
Location:
Vancouver
Illustrator:
Tan, Shaun
Author:
Tan, Shaun
Subject:
General
Subject:
Children's 4-8 - Picturebooks
Subject:
Emotions
Subject:
Depression, mental
Subject:
Situations / Emotions & Feelings
Subject:
Social Issues - Emotions & Feelings
Subject:
Hope
Edition Description:
Hardcover, Jacketed, Picture, Sewn
Publication Date:
20030415
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
YES
Pages:
32
Dimensions:
12.5 x 9 in 16.5 oz
Children's Book Type:
Picture / Wordless
Age Level:
04-08

Related Subjects

Children's » Picture Books » A to Z
Children's » Picture Books » General

The Red Tree
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 32 pages Simply Read - English 9780968876831 Reviews:
"Review" by , "An imaginative, sad, and ultimately uplifting tale of very few words and extraordinary images."
"Review" by , "Perhaps too sophisticated in its point of view for some youngsters, this is nonetheless a book of amazing beauty, high quality, and distinguished artistry."
"Review" by , "[T]hought provoking, entertaining picture book for children that carries the ultimate message of hope."
"Review" by , "Art students, teens, and even adults will be interested in these gripping fantasies, which capture dark fears and depression's terrifying, illogical power."
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