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The Red Book

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,534 Ratings  ·  348 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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14th out of 181 books — 272 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 08, 2011 Miriam rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture, books
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
Feb 16, 2010 Lauma rated it it was amazing
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
Isabelle Jimenez
Sep 16, 2014 Isabelle Jimenez rated it really liked it
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
My 4 year old son is all ready for Common Core because he connected this book with Flotsam.
Aiyana Martinez
Jan 30, 2015 Aiyana Martinez rated it really liked it
The red book by Barbara Lehman all starts with a young boy finding a red book in the snow. HE gets to school, brings it out and starts to read it. He notices that he just sees pictures and each picture gets closer and closer until there is ably walking on this island. The boy on the island comes across a red book in the sand and starts to ready. Now as the boy in school is reading this book, the boy on the island is reading the red book he found in the sand and he's the boy at school reading it. ...more
 (NS) Amie
Oct 08, 2009 (NS) Amie rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Oct 22, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
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'
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
May 01, 2016 Layla added it
Shelves: caldeocott-award
This book is really intriguing and striking. The fact that it doesn't have a true title with words gives an example to students that not all books are the same, and they can be totally different and creative. I also feel the book does a really good job at building a community of readers and connecting them to one another. It can be used in the classroom to show similarities and build a sense of togetherness in the class.
Jim Erekson
Apr 15, 2016 Jim Erekson rated it really liked it
In the jacket notes Lehman wrote that this book plays on her interest in maps. Maps are wonderful for postmodern play on reality versus text. I remember as a kid joking by lowering a finger toward the map, and looking out the window to see if a giant finger was coming out of the sky. Or stomping on the giant world map in the main lobby of the airport playing Godzilla.

Lehman used framing to help me move back and forth between the viewpoints in the book. But another layer that makes it like looki
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
Kylie Narehood
Mar 26, 2016 Kylie Narehood rated it it was amazing
Title: The Red Book
Author: Barbara Lehman
Genre: Wordless Picture book
Theme(s): Friendship, Use of books
Opening line/sentence: N/A
Brief Book Summary: This book is not like a traditional book; this book has no words. As you are flipping through the pages you see the excitement of turning a page and what can happen next. In the end it shows the two characters end up meeting.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1: CCBC(Cooperative Children'sBookCenter Choices, 2005)
A playful and int
Christina Cabezas
Dec 04, 2015 Christina Cabezas rated it it was amazing
Title: The Red Book
Author: Barbara Lehman
Genre: Wordless picture book
Theme(s): friendship, discovery, adventure
Opening line/sentence: N/A

Brief Book Summary:
This wordless book is one that is fun because it lets much of the story up to the readers' imagination. When a child finds a red book in the snow, he/she takes the book and discovers a portal through which he/she can see another child on a beach far away. The child journeys to the beach to be with his/her newfound friend, and the red book is
Sarah Zablotney
Title: The Red Book
Author: Barbara Lehman
Genre: Wordless Picture Book
Theme(s): Picture book, Fantasy, Friendship
Brief Book Summary: As soon as you open the book you find that a girl has found a red book, when she looks inside the book she sees a boy on the beach. This person can also see her in the classroom; she purchases balloons so she can float up in the air to meet the boy. As she floats up she drops the book, but ends up at the beach with her new friend. Another boy had found the dropped b
Ivy Wesner
Oct 04, 2015 Ivy Wesner rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ivy by: Dr. Napoli
Plot: The Red Book takes us on a magical journey between worlds. As one little girl finds a lost red book in the snow on her way to school, another child is finding a red book in the sand as he walks along the beach. While they are oceans apart, they are connected by one magical window; the window of literature.

Literary Merit: This wordless picture book taps into the world of imagination and expanding a child’s creativity. The large, bright, and colorful pictures engage the reader into each scen
Jenny Wu
Oct 01, 2015 Jenny Wu rated it it was amazing
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman is a wordless book that relies on the art and illustrations to tell the story of two people from opposite ends of the world. They are able to find each other and become friends, all with the help of a magical red book that they find.

Since there are no words, the story progresses through the drawings. For the most part, each page contains one image, framed by a black border. Sometimes, the border is not there, and the image blends with the page. It creates a sense o
Lauren Smeltzer
Sep 30, 2015 Lauren Smeltzer rated it it was amazing
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman, is a wordless picture book about a magical red book. The story is compelled by the illustration with a black boarder. Since the book has no words, it does not exclude other culture and other languages. The main character is a little girl who finds the red book in a pile of snow. She than become friends with a boy who also has a red book. The book allows the children to see each other without being face to face. The actions of the characters are driven by the illus ...more
Jose Valadez
Feb 02, 2015 Jose Valadez rated it it was amazing
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman is a remarkable book about a young girl who comes across a red book while on her way to the store. on the dust cover a picture of a young girl and a young boy on the front and back with a red background. The end pages of the book are red which resemble the cover of the book the girl is holding. The dedication page is well thought out it is blank with red letters that read "For My Father" along with the copyrights and book construction materials. The cover however i ...more
Caitlin Lawler
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman is the intriguing story of a girl walking in the cold snowy city to get to school only to stumble upon a mysterious magic red book in the snow along the way. After opening up the book the girls is able to see pictures of people all over the world of different cultures. On the specific page she opens she can see a boy on a beach who at the same time can see her. This makes her excited and as soon as she gets out of class she buys a whole flock of balloons which fly ...more
Melanie Abril
Oct 07, 2014 Melanie Abril rated it liked it
The Red Book is a tale told with the absence of words. It follows children that come across a magical red book. It starts with a girl that finds the book and, out of curiosity, picks it up and peeks inside. She sees an island and as the book starts to zoom in, she sees a boy who can see her and her city inside the book that he found. This book takes us on an incredible journey that has us eager to see what will happen next with the turn of each page.

The Red Book contains a circular plot in whic
The Red Book is about a book within a book. A young girl walking down the street finds a red book sticking out of the snow and decides to pick it up and take it to school with her. As she opens it she sees a map of a different country with a boy in it. The book then switches perspective to the boy viewing the same book where he is able to see the girl in it. They are able to see each other. When school gets let out the girl decides to buy a bunch of balloons to carry her up and up to find the bo ...more
Alexis Adelman
Oct 03, 2014 Alexis Adelman rated it it was amazing
The Red Book is a wordless picture book that takes you on a journey with a couple kids. First a girl sees something red in the snow, so she picks it up and discovers that it is a book. She hurries to class and couldn't wait to read it. She discovered someone on an island inside the book. That person was a boy and he also was reading the book. He saw the girl reading the book in her room in the city. The girl want's to send the book up in the sky to see who else gets the book. She goes and buys a ...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
Kassidy Pine
Oct 03, 2014 Kassidy Pine rated it liked it
The only words written in The Red Book is the introduction, however this does not hinder the impact of the book. The book visually takes the readers through the friendship of characters in different parts of the world. This picture books shows the story of a young girl who finds a special red book laying in the snow, she opens the book to find a world map. While turning the page she sees a young boy on an island who also finds a red book as well, however this read book is buried in the sand. It ...more
Taylor Ray
Oct 03, 2014 Taylor Ray rated it liked it
I'm not totally sure what this book was about because it was kind of hard to follow. What I got from the description and the little part that I did understand, the character finds a book and the book takes her to a different place where the other red book is. There, she can see where the other book is and go to that place. The person with the other red book can see where she is also and do the same.

The characters in this book are strong and meaningful. The show the value of friendship and divers
Oct 02, 2014 Macy added it
This book is a great representation of a wordless picture book. It allows the readers to create their own narrative and leaves room for the imagination to run free, while still guiding them in a specific direction. This clever, short story is about a girl who finds a red book while walking in the snow-filled city. As she opens the book, on one page she sees a young boy on an island and this young boy is looking at a book with a picture of the young girl in it. The young girl devises a way in ord ...more
Alyssa Frank
Sep 30, 2014 Alyssa Frank rated it really liked it
This wordless picture book is a bout a girl who finds a read book buried beneath the snow on her way to school. The girl takes to book with her and opens it in class only to find a picture of an island with a young boy on it. He also finds a red book buried beneath the sand and when he looks into the book he sees a rainy city with a girl in a classroom looking at him inside of the same red book. This book must be magic the children assume. The little girl rushes out of school and buys all of the ...more
Sep 23, 2014 Audrey added it
The red book tells us a story without putting any words on a page. A prologue before the actual stoory starts warns us about how the book and adventure never ends. A little girl is walking cold in the snow and notices something that stands out againgst the white blanket of white. Its a bright red book she picks it up and takes it with her to class. When she opens the book there are also no worse but the image of a little boy on an island. The little boy on the island picks up a red book he found ...more
Apr 29, 2014 Laurie rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2016 KBirdsall rated it really liked it
Looking at this minimalist cover and simple character designs, you would not expect "The Red Book", by Barbara Lehman to be a wordless story about connecting across continents through magic and imagination. On her way to school, a girl in a winter urbanscape finds a book in the snow. She opens the book to a map of an island, where a young boy is also reading a picture book. Utilizing framing and a mis-em-bime, the author establishes that this magical book is the same but different for the two yo ...more
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Wordless 2 5 Jan 17, 2015 04:08PM  
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Illustrator and author of children's books.
More about Barbara Lehman...

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