The Red Book
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The Red Book

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,610 ratings  ·  238 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

(showing 1-30 of 2,547)
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Miriam
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
Lauma
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
Isabelle Jimenez
The Red Book is a book of magic. You would not expect this by just looking at the simple cover: it is a red book, with a little boy on it. Going through the story, you find the cover of the book is supposed to be the exact red book in the book! Crazy! A book about a book (the one you're reading!). This magical book connects readers all around the world, by showing them to each other. Which is an actual true magical thing; books connect people. Although it was a little confusing flipping through...more
Adam
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
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
Brenda  Roman
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman is a book she wrote to show readers she is fascinated with maps, and the adventures that can await in faraway places. Barbara wrote the book wordless and only shows pictures. The little boy in the beach is reading a red book about what’s happening somewhere else in the world. The little girl in class is also reading a red book about what’s happening somewhere else in the world. The two of them will come together and become friends.

Barbara did an amazing job writing...more
Rae
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurie
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Jammie Mays
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman was very reminiscent of Flotsam with the characters being featured in more than one scene/photo. The author did a great job of framing each scene in the story and making the reader pay close attention to the details. At one point in the story the author uses four small boxes to denote the emotions and reactions the little boy on the beach is having when he sees the little boy in the city fly away with the balloons. As the reader turns the page the double spread inv...more
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?
Cesally Shermam
This wordless picture book is delightful. I think that it is so interesting how artists can tell a story simply by drawings. The Red Book- the book within a book- tells a story of how children find a book and then basically become part of the books history and adventure. I think that this book would be for children who are old enough that they are actively using their imagination, so that they may be able to tell the story themselves, so probably starting around Kindergarten, all the way through...more
Mary Ann
very clever - left me smiling and wondering and wondering and smiling - just what will happen next?
Courtney Watson
The Red Book is a wordless picture book that gets your imagination thinking. It starts with the red book in the snow, and then as you look through it, it has been all over the world. The pictures create different types depending on which place they were at. For example, one of the pictures were pieced apart with borders which is a chinese custom in paintings so it shows you through the picture that it was been to China. There are also very light colors used besides the focus, the red book, and i...more
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
Katherine
This is a cool book about a kid who finds a red book, and the adventures that ensue. It follows him and a few other kids. I like this book because it's interesting, and is a multi layer story. this is something that is thought provoking for children, and will lead them to have discussions with themselves or whoever they are reading with. I gave it four stars because it is fun to follow and would be fun for kids. However, I do find that it is a somewhat meaningless book in terms of climax or mess...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
Angela
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
David
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
Chris
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
Esther
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
Jessica
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
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Barbara Lehman is an illustrator and author of children's books.
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