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The Red Tree
by Shaun Tan
ISBN 0734401728 / 9780734401724 / 0-7344-0172-8
Publisher Lothian Books
List price $16.95
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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 child returns to her room and sees the red tree. At that perfect moment of beauty and purity, the child smiles and her world stirs anew.
Shaun Tan's illustrations are remarkable for the way they combine and react upon each other. He creates an otherworldly labyinth of visual ideas joined with the familiar immediacy of the little child, and condenses them into scenes of extraordinary depth and insight. Every child will appreciate the book's life-affirming message but it will be equally successful with all readers. With sensitivity and wonder, the evocative images in The Red Tree open a window to our inexplicable emotions and tell a story about the power of hope, renewal and inspiration. [via]