Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Red & Lulu

Red & Lulu

Spring 2018 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 7 yrs.
Author: Matt Tavares
Illustrator: Matt Tavares
Manufacturer: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763677336
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Red and Lulu, two cardinals, make their home in a "mighty evergreen" in the front yard of "a little house." In his rich watercolor and gouache illustrations, author Matt Tavares shows a bird's-eye view of the happy cardinals' habitat through the seasons and snowy winter, bringing decorations and caroling, is their favorite. But one day the tree is cut down and hauled away, with Lulu still in its branches. "Tired and hungry" Red searches for her for days, until the sound of a familiar Christmas carol leads him to Rockefeller Center. The two are joyfully reunited in their tree; after the holidays, they take up permanent residence in Central Park. Tavares doesn't sugar-coat either the image of the stump in a bare yard, with its reminder of absence of the tree and the life it sustained there, nor the image of its being hauled away again after the holidays. He does note, however, that once the Rockefeller Center's Christmas tree has had its day, it is given to Habitat for Humanity for use in building homes for those in need.

Lynne Heffley   ©2018 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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