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The Red Tree

4.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,209 Ratings  ·  387 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 c
...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 15th 2003 by Simply Read Books (first published 2000)
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Best Picture Books
170th out of 1,894 books — 1,234 voters
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329th out of 1,991 books — 3,013 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jen Campbell
Jan 18, 2016 Jen Campbell rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the most beautiful picturebook I've ever read.
(Also, it made me cry.)
Manny
Dec 27, 2012 Manny rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Manny by: notgettingenough
description

An absolutely stunning picture book which conveys, in visual language easily accessible to a five year old, what it's like to suffer from a bipolar affective disorder. Move over Sylvia Plath, Tan has done it better.
April
Jan 26, 2016 April rated it it was amazing
*REREAD ON 31ST DECEMBER 2015 TO REACH 200 BOOKS LOL*
This is perfection in a picture book.
Homa Sharifmousavi
Jan 17, 2016 Homa Sharifmousavi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
به خودم قول داده بودم تا وقتی برای چندتا از کتابای ریویو ننوشتم کتابی رو تموم نکنم تو تموم نکنم،اما وقتی این کتاب رو گرفتم دستم نشد.
شون تن با همین تعداد کم کلماتش و با اون تصاویر زیبا وشکلهای عالی و رنگهای فوقالعاده معجزه کرده،خوندن و دیدن کتاب و لمس کردنش لذتی داشت که نمیتونم توصیفش کنم.
از تصاویر کتاب هرچی بگم کم گفتم.
این کتاب رو بعضیها بهتر میفهمند،اونایی که افسردگی(از هر نوعی)داشتند یا اضطراب یا....البته بیشتر که فکر میکنم میبینم حتی اگه برا یه روز حس غم داشتی این کتاب رو تا مغز استخونت و ت
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Sam Quixote
Aug 26, 2014 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing
Shaun Tan's "The Red Tree" is a sparely scripted book with incredible paintings telling the story of depression and how a person copes with it, from waking up and struggling to get out of bed, to finding the energy to walk to work as well as constantly battling the negative thoughts in your head.

One of the most haunting images in the book is of an ordinary street scene rendered nightmarish by a giant fish with a gaping mouth and bleeding eyes hovering above the main character. It's a more frigh
...more
notgettingenough
Dec 28, 2012 notgettingenough rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I completely disagree that this book is about manic depression, which is Manny's take. It is simply about feeling bad and realising that this won't last forever and that things will get better. It is about the irrationality of this process.

The author's take is that you can read it however you like. But having said that, he says:

A nameless young girl appears in every picture, a stand-in for ourselves; she passes helplessly through many dark moments, yet ultimately finds something hopeful at the
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Liz* Fashionably Late
2014 has been a crappy year for me. It has. And I'm not complaining, I'm just saying that when I opened this book I was aware of that fact. And it spoke to my heart through words and colors and emotions you can't just express with words.

You might feel alone, you might sense a grey cloud over you, you might feel the need to define yourself every day but know this: when you least expect it, something good will be waiting for you.

You just need to be patient and it will find you.

Sandra
Feb 07, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, meu, bd, 2014, português
Este objeto NÃO É um livro.

É uma obra de arte.

Só me apetece digitalizar algumas páginas e emoldurar as ilustrações.
Tanta beleza!

Este é um livro aparentemente simples mas com uma mensagem poderosa para quem se sente triste ou desanimado.

Shaun Tan - um nome a reter.



PS - Só um comentário acerca da publicação portuguesa, do qual, apesar de excelente qualidade, acho o preço absolutamente exorbitante. Por acaso tenho-o porque vi-o muito barato.
Lisa Vegan
Jun 03, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
This picture book is for readers of all ages and I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The art is gorgeous and truly interesting, the story of despair and hope is well done. I wish there had been picture books like this years ago; it doesn’t at all underestimate children. This could also make a wonderful gift book for older children, young adults, and adults going through a difficult emotional time, especially those suffering with depression or facing a challenge that seems overwhelming. It di ...more
John Mccormack
Brilliant.Words cannot...
Nojood Alsudairi
Jan 24, 2012 Nojood Alsudairi rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nojood by: One of Thuraya's gifts
This is the best book I read lately. It is about the feeling of despair! Very easy, yet very complicted! I loved the page that goes, "Sometimes you wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait but nothing ever happens" and the eight pictures zoom out the picture of the main character writing on the the floor counting days. You find out on the fifth picture that the girl is sitting on the back of a snail that goes in circles! In the end, a red tree grows into the girl's room.
Simply,
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بثينة العيسى
Aug 09, 2015 بثينة العيسى rated it it was amazing
Brilliant
Angelina
Oct 25, 2014 Angelina rated it it was amazing
A little gem of a book, beautifully drawn.
swan lake
May 06, 2016 swan lake rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, 2016
Amazing book Amazing paintings
It illustrates our worst days, when everything feels not right , the world shrinks and you find no place to breathe ..

But always there is a light at the end of tunnel
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Alan
Nov 20, 2012 Alan rated it it was amazing
Clare bought this to read to her children (she's a teacher), but they're 5/6 years old and she said the subject matter is probably too grim for them. It's about dealing with depression, if that's not too strong a term for the isolation and hurt a child can feel, and features the darkness seen in Tan's graphic novel 'The Arrival' (about immigration to a strnage land). Somehow he captures exactly what it feels like to be alone and sad, but with the glimmer of hope that can happen too..
and in - wha
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Kelly H. (Maybedog)
May 08, 2012 Kelly H. (Maybedog) rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-picture-book
This story is controversial because it’s about sadness. The art is very beautiful like all of Tan’s work, but the text goes beyond what would be considered an ordinary child’s unhappiness and straight on to depression, something the author suffers from. Yet the summation is too simple for a child suffering from a major depressive episode. I think it is more a beautiful book for adults whether they’ve experienced the ravages of mental illness or not.
Josh
Aug 06, 2007 Josh rated it it was amazing
my dear friend carrie gave me this book, little knowing it would speak directly to my heart during a time when my ears didn't seem to be working. powerful stuff in the guise of a children's book.
Danni Hammond
Sep 02, 2015 Danni Hammond rated it really liked it
This picture book is a book which tells the story of a young girl who awakens with dark leaves drifting into her bedroom. Everything seems hopeless through many gloomy moments, until the child returns to her room and finds the red tree. The book is very clever in that it makes you view feelings through the use of metaphors, such as the monsters, storms and rainbows. The illustrations which Tan uses throughout the book are amazing, creating extraordinary depth and insight. The different use of te ...more
Janne Varvára
In looking into ordering Shaun Tan's The Arrival, I checked my stock at work, and found a book of his already in my shelves: The Red Tree (in Norwegian, directly translated: Det røde treet). I opened it, and stunned read this short picture book cover to cover.
This work is absolutely gorgeous. The artwork is impeccable, drenched in dreams and truly inspiring imaginary images, ranging from the dark and dismal to the brightest reds and yellows.
This charming, honest book starts with the words (and t
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is an absolutely beautiful book, art and words and poetry and emotion all used to express what can't be expressed. It's a book for all ages, for everyone. It captures so powerfully our worst moments, moments of self-doubt and loneliness and unhappiness, when things seem too big and too overwhelming, when we feel helpless, misunderstood and unheard. The artwork is beautiful, unique and inspiring.

This is a book of few words, and one you find yourself "reading" again and again. The illustratio
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Anouschka Fernander
Aug 22, 2012 Anouschka Fernander rated it it was amazing
In this picture book, Tan uses text and his own illustrations to address difficult and sad feelings that everyone can relate to in their lives. A little girl is shown waking up and going about her day while trying to understand her feelings. The book ends as the girl returns to her bedroom to find that a red tree has grown which represents that there is always hope no matter how bad things are.

This was a very simple but deep children's book. It can give hope to children who may not fit in and re
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Jacqueline
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven...

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Wonderful things
are
passing
you
by


description
Heidi
Feb 27, 2009 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Heidi by: sanguinity
I think I'm mostly speechless.

There's one spread that, if I ever found a print of it, I'd snap it up. It's the page where the girl is trying to draw a picture of herself on a wall.

I need to go back to this one again (and again and again - I may need to buy my own copy). I'm still puzzling over the multiple meanings of the red tree itself. But it is ... beyond words.

(Warning, from what I've seen of Tan's The Arrival, I'll be even more gobsmacked by that one.)

ETA: Further thoughts on the red tree
...more
Abby Wagner
Aug 30, 2015 Abby Wagner rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite picture book authors and illustrators as an adult. He beautifully illustrates what depression feels like. I would read it over and over again when going through particularly difficult bouts of depression, and I clung to its "this, too, shall pass" message
Starseeker
Oct 26, 2015 Starseeker rated it it was amazing
Brilliant stuff. Fucking love Shaun Tan. All hail the Tan.
Alekz Hannah
Hur det är att leva med ångest.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Red Tree, Shaun Tan
عنوان: درخت قرمز؛ نویسنده: شون تن؛ مترجم: لیدا کاووسی؛ تهران، نشر نی، 1386، در 36 ص، مصور، شابک: ایکس - 964312973؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه از نویسندگان استرالیائی قرن 21 م
عنوان: درخت سرخ؛ نویسنده: شون تن؛ مترجم: ریحانه حرم پناهی؛ تهران، وزارت آموزش و پرورش، موسسه فرهنگی منادی تربیت، 1387، در 32 ص، مصور رنگی، شابک: 9789643486686؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه (مینیمال) از نویسندگان استرالیائی قرن 21 م
هنگامی که سیاهی همه جا را فرا گرفته، همواره برگ کوچک قرمزی وجود دارد. برگی که جان
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Caroline
Jun 12, 2007 Caroline rated it it was amazing
It's a children's book, but it's probably one of the deeper children's books you're likely to come across. The meaning is subtle and easy to miss, but significant. The only clue I can give is this: read it twice, and look for what was always there.
Abbie Mitterhuber
Nov 26, 2015 Abbie Mitterhuber rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
What an incredibly moving book! Tan is so skilled in addressing issues which may be difficult to discuss or understand in a way which is accessible to all. It reminded me a little of "Michael Rosen's Sad Book" because it confronts the fact that many people suffer from depression and describes the feelings that are a result of this illness. Although I know of many people who are not the biggest fans of his work, I find Tan's illustrations mesmerizing and, having looked back over the book many tim ...more
Katherine
Jun 02, 2015 Katherine rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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OSU Marion 3356 S...: Shaun Tan- Red Tree 1 2 Mar 07, 2016 04:33PM  
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Shaun Tan (born 1974) is the illustrator and author of award-winning children's books. After freelancing for some years from a studio at Mt. Lawley, Tan relocated to Melbourne, Victoria in 2007. Tan was the Illustrator in Residence at the University of Melbourne's Department of Language Literacy and Arts Education for two weeks through an annual Fellowship offered by the May Gibbs Children’s Liter ...more
More about Shaun Tan...

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“Sometimes the day begins with nothing to look forward to...” 17 likes
“without sense or reason” 5 likes
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