Skip to main content

Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares

Red & Lulu is a beautifully told and gorgeously illustrated new picture book by Matt Tavares with a bit of interesting history at its heart. 
Red and Lulu are a pair of cardinals happily nesting in an enormous tree in the front yard of the home of a happy family of humans. The favorite time of the year for the birds is winter when the family strings colorful lights around the bottom of their tree, singing carols. But, one chilly morning while Red is out looking for breakfast, a flatbed truck pulls up in front of the house. As Red returns, he sees his tree, "strapped to the back of a big truck," the, "sweet sound of Lulu's song, coming from inside the tree."
Red follows the truck until it gets to New York City. Bewildered by the new sights and sounds, Red continues his search for Lulu. Tavares's illustrations show a snowy, bustling, busy New York City, bursts of red and green decorations here and there. Finally, Red gets a lead when he hears the Christmas carol sung around his tree, being sung by hundreds of voices. As Red flies toward the sound, he finds himself in Rockefeller Center where the tree - his tree - has been lit. Red and Lulu are reunited and happy, together again in their tree.

Red & Lulu wraps up with the tree being taken away again! This time, they fly off together, making their new home in Central Park, "surrounded by trees and grass and lots of friends." But, "every year, when the air turns cold, Red and Lulu take a special trip." They return to Rockefeller Center where they snuggle together on a branch of the new Christmas tree and sing along with the caroling crowds. Tavares leaves readers with a page about the history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, the history of which is fascinating! Red & Lulu is a sweet story that combines a New York City Christmas tradition with a story of love that readers will long remember.

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…