The Red Book
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The Red Book

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,578 ratings  ·  231 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.Winning a Caldecott Honor for itsillustrations 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. An...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 27th 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published September 2004)
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Community Reviews

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I love the striking cover of this wordless picture book, a small child running through a bright red negative space (although the placement of the medal makes him appear to be fleeing from the moon). Maybe this image set the bar too high, as I found the book itself disappointing. The idea is fascinating if not totally original: finding a book in which one sees someone else reading the same book and looking back. However, I felt as if Lehman had this idea and then dashed something off without givi...more
This is a wordless picture book for kids of all ages. A young girl finds a magical red book that reveals another world where a boy has the same book and can see her as well. The girl finds a way to join her friend at the end of the book and leaves you wondering. It is a delightful story with simple yet telling colorful illustrations.

This book is a good choice for introducing the genre of magical fantasy to young readers. It offers children an opportunity to discuss the story as they look at the...more
My 4 year old son is all ready for Common Core because he connected this book with Flotsam.
 (NS) Amie
In The Red Book, a little girl sees a red book in a snowpile and takes it with her to school. When she opens it up and starts turning the pages, the girl finds herself looking at a boy who is looking at a book with her in it. They realize at the same time that they are seeing into each other's lives. The girl decides to set off in search of her new friend using helium-filled balloons. As she is flying away she drops her book. Soon the little boy can no longer see her in his book and starts to w...more
(NS) Mary
Recommended ages 4-8
From Booklist
PreS-Gr. 2. In this wordless mind trip for tots, Lehman develops a satisfying fantasy in a series of panels framed with thick white borders. The effect is of peering through portals, an experience shared by the characters as they independently stumble across enchanted red books that provide them with a videophone-like connection. Though wordless picture books often seem to be the province of fine artists indulging in high-concept braggadocio (as in Istvan Banyai'...more
Erin Ramai
The Red Book is appropriate for readers in preschool through grade 2. It received a Caldecott Honor Award in 2005.

In this wordless picture book, a young girl from the city takes a journey to visit an island boy via a red book that they both own and acts as their window to the other’s world. The island boy experiences the cold weather of the city when the girl flies to his island using a large bundle of balloons. As she flies toward him, she drops her copy of the book, which is discovered by anot...more
Lisa Vegan
I was left surprisingly unmoved and unimpressed.

I love books, and books about books, and I’ve liked some of this author’s other wordless picture books.

But here her illustrations aren’t that special, though I did enjoy the girl and boy looking at each other, and I did love the balloons.

The wordless story is sparse and very short and simple. The idea of it is great. David Wiesner wowed me with a similar seeming story in his book Flotsam, but this book paled in comparison, and I made the comparison...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jane Holt
This was a really good one, recommended by my friend Maura. Harvard class of 1989's 20th reunion. Hits close to home with reflecting on what you've done in those 20 years, the promise, potential and authenticity of each life, especially this group with its Harvard-fueled expectations. Author has a nice ability to really change voice with each character. A really lovely read.
Harrison Yates
This book is a fun book to read to a class and even have them develop their own interpretations of what may be going on in the book as the story progresses. The story seems to be that there is a book that two different people have found in different "worlds", if you will. These two individuals are able to see each other and form a relationship. This relationship seems to be important to the child stuck on the island because he has nobody to socialize with until the little girl who found the book...more
Feras Nasser
The takeaway of this book is that it is a wordless book. Despite this unique feature, this book has a clear story line with beginning, middle, and (an open) end. In fact, the images depict a rather complicated story that requires the reader's full attention to understand it.

This book would be useful for my classroom, because I can illustrate to my students that images can significantly help us to understand a story. Additionally, I can ask them to tell the story in their own words and to describ...more
Cheryl in CC NV
I loved the almost minimalist simplicity of the illustrations. They made it all the more surreal, in my own opinion. Well, as the saying goes, a good book will take a reader on a journey - why couldn't the converse be true?
Mary Ann
very clever - left me smiling and wondering and wondering and smiling - just what will happen next?
Corey Harris
A wordless red book about a red book found by a girl in New York, and another book found by a boy on an island. They together read their books which gives them visual ability through the book to see each other. After class the girl obtains some balloons, drop the book in flight, and meets the boy on the island. This is shown as the book falls and is picked up by another boy. It is a very imaginative book that blew my mind. The book helps children practice using their imaginations. Great for youn...more
(NS) Brea M
Barbara Lehman’s, The Red Book is a Caldacott Honor Book. The bright red cover, has no title or author, just a boy running in the corner with a red book in his hand. The cover itself lures readers in to see what this simple little book could possibly be about. Lehman’s wordless story begins with a child walking the city streets in the dead of winter. He discovers a red book in the snow and brings it to school. During class, the boy opens the book and sees a map of tropical islands. The pages zoo...more
Shanna Gonzalez
This is a simply yet eloquently drawn wordless book delivering a charming fantasy, undoubtedly influenced by David Wiesner but with a quite different artistic style. A girl is walking to school when she spies in the snow a red-covered book, which she recovers and carries in her book bag. During class she opens it and discovers that it is a portal to another book, just discovered by a boy on a beach. She is mesmerized by this scene until class ends and she straggles out behind her classmates. On...more
Genre: Wordless Narrative
Ages: 4-8
Awards: Caldecott Honor Book

This book is unique in that it is completely wordless. The story opens with a girl walking in a snowy city setting. In the snow, she finds the red book. Inside her red book, there is a map of islands. On one island, there is a boy walking. The boy finds a red book on the beach. Inside his red book is a picture of the snowy city. They recognize that they are staring at each other through the book. After school, the girl buys an abundan...more
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman is a wordless fantasy book about a red book found by a girl who discovers through the book a faraway land with a new friend that she is transported to meet.

After finding a red book in a snowdrift, a girl looks though it at school, discovering a picture of a boy on a faraway island who is looking at her city and her through the window of her clasroom. The girl heads off, buys all the ballons from a street vendor, and floats skyward, dropping the red book. Through t...more
This book received the Caldecott Honor and was also a starred review from School Library Journal. Watercolor, ink and gauche illustrations are found throughout the book. The stage is set on the title page which shows a city from a distance, while the next double page spread shows the city buildings more closely. The first page of the story shows a child walking along one of the city streets. What adventures await this child? The child finds a red book and excitedly waits throughout the school da...more
Published in 2004 by Houghton Mifflin.
Interest Level: K-4th Grade

This is a wordless picture book that has defined illustrations where a young girl finds a red book. After her discovery of this red book she finds that there is something different about this book and eventually becomes part of the book. The various perspectives that are included in this picture book as well as the well-defined illustrations and characters provide a simplistic feeling while exploring a more complex world. In additi...more
Title: THE RED BOOK (Wordless Picture Book)

Author: Barbara Lehman
Number of pages: 28
Illustrator: Barbara Lehman
Reading Level: Grades K-6
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Copyright Date: 2004

Brief Synopsis: This story is told entirely through pictures. A little girl finds a red book in the snow. Inside are maps which show an island where a little boy is walking on the beach. He also finds a red book which shows a little girl sitting in the window of a large building in a large city. She is loo...more
Nancy O'Toole
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allison Webster
1. This book belongs to the wordless picturebook genre.

2. Two young people living in cities very far from each other each find a book, a magical red book. This book acts as a window and allows them to see each other, though they are far away. The girl from the cold city grabs a handful of balloons and begins to float away, but she drops her magical red book onto the sidewalk far below! She eventually reaches her destination by balloons to the other red book, but the journey is not over as a you...more
Rodricucuz Vaughn

1. The genre: Wordless

2. Summary of the content: The Red Book is a wordless book about a little girl who gets lost in the book.

a. The Red Book is a great wordless book and the theme is something we all can relate to , a book so good that you just want to get lost in the story.
b. The Red Book was a little boring for me . I did not quite understand the flow of the pictures in the book . I loved the illustrations in the and the theme of the book on how little girl gets lost in the world of the b...more
Roger DeBlanck
In this superb wordless picture book, the experiences of both the girl and boy allow them to encounter feelings of travel at exactly the same time. The book reflects the idea that people around the world share, feel, and engage in the same types of adventure and wonder. In this way The Red Book merges realism with fantasy by bringing together a phenomenon where a book serves as a type of seeing-glass vehicle into another world. The book has a magical element of finding, questing, and imagining....more
Steven Reid
1. Genre: Wordless

2. Summary: This book is about a girl who find the "red book", and when she opens it, she sees a boy on a beach looking out at her. The girl decides to go visit the boy on the beach, and she buys some balloons to float her way to him.

3a. Illustrations

3b. The illustrations in this book are cropped with a white border around them. It is reminiscent of how the "red book" within this story is drawn, creating a kind of symmetry with the story itself. It appears as a window looking o...more
Davina Cuffee
1. Picture Books-Wordless

2. Two young boys in different parts of the world both discover a red book. When they begin to explore the book, they realize they are looking at each other. The city boy ties balloons to himself to fly away to meet his book buddy who lives on an island. They both lose their red books, and the adventure will begin again for two others.

3a. The plot of the story.

3b. In the beginning, I enjoyed the book ,until about halfway through it. The plot was becoming lost and I becam...more
Amanda Toombs
Genre: Picture book, Wordless

Summary: This book is a magical picture book about two children, a boy and a girl, who are in different locations but they find similar red books. They are able to see one another through the pictures in these books and later, they become connected by dreamlike travels over the world. And the cycle continues….
a. Reading this wordless picture 2005 Caldecott Honor book, this book’s greatest and most understandable strength are the remarkable illustrations in...more
Citation: The Red Book, by Barbara Lehman. (Houghton Mifflin, 2004). 32p. Wordless Picture Book.

Summary: This story connects the very different lives of two children through a book. At the beginning, the girl finds a book in the snow. She is subsequently transported through maps, images, and balloons to a new friend discovered in the book’s pages.

Critique: (a.) The plot of this wordless book is beautifully told through vivid illustrations. Various sized frames progress through events, not only s...more
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MCC Children's Li...: Fun group read 1 1 Mar 03, 2012 09:23PM  
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Barbara Lehman is an illustrator and author of children's books.
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