- Age Range: 3 - 7 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 2
- Lexile Measure: 610 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick (September 19, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763677337
- ISBN-13: 978-0763677336
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.4 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Red and Lulu Hardcover – September 19, 2017
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Surrounded by lights and singing, Christmas is by far the favorite season for Red and Lulu, a pair of cardinals living year-round in a big beautiful evergreen tree. Tragedy strikes late one autumn when the tree is cut down and hauled away with Lulu in it. Red chases the truck as far as he can, ending up lost and alone in New York City. When snow starts to fall, he seeks shelter by following the sound of a familiar song, "O Christmas Tree." He finds Lulu and his tree illuminated in Rockefeller Center, surrounded by a sea of happy people. A brief history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition, which started in 1931, is explained in an afterword. Tavares's detailed watercolor-and-gouache illustrations expertly capture the seasonal atmosphere, including the tension one feels as Red and Lulu are separated from each other. The happy reunion and resolution (including the fact that the tree is recycled and used to build homes for families in need and that the avian couple moves to Central Park) should reassure even the most sensitive of readers. VERDICT A lovely New York story for most holiday collections.—Madeline J Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
Tavares (‘Crossing Niagara’) lets the holiday note waft lightly, bringing equal cheer to the celebration of pair-bonding and New York City.
—The New York Times Book Review
A really engaging visual reading experience – moving from overviews to close ups, vignettes to double page spreads. It’s a very dynamic read – dramatic and tender by turns. My kind of visual storytelling!
Tavares (Lighter than Air) captures Red’s frantic search for Lulu, following the truck to New York City...The birds’ reunion is poignant and well earned, and their decision to stay in the city after the holidays poignantly shows how seeming misfortune can lead to unexpected and rewarding opportunities.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Tavares’s realistic watercolor and gouache paintings make the most of dramatic birds’-eye perspectives, while the story provides a child-friendly backstory for an annual NYC holiday attraction.
—The Horn Book
Tavares’s detailed watercolor-and-gouache illustrations expertly capture the seasonal atmosphere...A lovely New York story.
—School Library Journal
…a joyful and affecting picture book written and illustrated by Matt Tavares.
—The Wall Street Journal
With its bird’s-eye views, this wonderfully imagined, gorgeously illustrated ode to the world-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will have young travelers begging Mom and Dad for a trip to the Big Apple.
Gorgeous artwork, with multiple wordless-pages, advances the tale. Best of all, kids will cheer at the dramatic moment when Red finds Lulu.
A Christmas book you should probably put on your permanent shelf...This is one of the best of the year.
—Betsy Bird, A Fuse #8 Production
A touching, beautifully illustrated story.
Top customer reviews
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I loved that the NY Public Library and Times Square were included. The history lesson in the back is great. We ended up pulling out the laptop and looking at pictures of the real Rockefeller tree and lighting ceremony online. So much of what we read at Christmas is make-believe... elves, Santa, etc that it was really nice to share a story with them that was based on an actual event -- apparently it's an event that has been going on for over 80 years.
I loved that the last picture in the book is the family planting a new tree where the old one used to be...
It's just a perfect story.
Every Christmas their home would be decorated with lights and the birds loved listening to the people singing below. Then one year the unthinkable happened, as Red went out to fetch breakfast and Lulu stayed behind, their tree was cut down and taken away.
Red tried to follow the truck, but he couldn’t fly fast enough. He has lost his home and Lulu too, what was he going to do?
Red and Lulu is one of the most gorgeous children’s books that I have had the pleasure of reading. The story is so poignant and beautifully told. It is also very emotional too.
What really makes this book stand out from the crowd is how spellbinding the illustrations are. They capture the emotions of the story perfectly. The snowy scenes are just exquisite, and look very Christmassy. I especially love the last picture with the Rockefeller tree and the ice rink.
This is a book that will be adored by little children, and one I can see being asked to be read over and over again. I also love that Matt Tavares has added information at the back about the annual Rockefeller tree.
Book Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed