Synopses & Reviews
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.
"An imaginative, sad, and ultimately uplifting tale of very few words and extraordinary images." Kirkus Reviews
"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
"[T]hought provoking, entertaining picture book for children that carries the ultimate message of hope." Midwest Book 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).