Red And Lulu is a jaw-dropping beautiful picture book.
It truly is.
Matt Tavares has carefully created a Christmas picture book with stays away from over the top schmaltz and sentimentality, but still manages to nudge the heart strings oh so gently.
Red and Lulu are two gorgeous birds who have found the most gorgeous home – a huge tree, filled with evergreen needles.
‘It was the perfect place to live, all year long.’
They proudly admire that fact that others love it enough to even sing around in during Winter. It really is that special.
But when Red pops out to find food, leaving Lulu ‘tucked in the branches of their tree’, disaster strikes.
A wordless double page spread depicts the beautiful tree being chopped down, and strapped on the back of a huge truck.
Tavares’s intriguing narrative follows Red’s frantic race for his friend as he desperately follows the truck in order to help Lulu. Before long the truck enters a huge city. It’s all new for Red, and before long he looses sight of Lulu.
Tavares’s illustrations capture the magnitude of the city, which keen readers will start to recognise as New York City. With a magnificent cityscape, followed by Red’s view from the pavement with feet crowding in on him – the great use of perspective truly draws in the reader.
Where will the tree, and Lulu, end up?
Now of course this has a happy ending, but I truly don’t want to put spoilers here. A glorious riot of soft festive colours, a celebration of friendship – it’s all here for a truly feel good ending.
Matt Tavares’s Red & Lulu is one of my favourite festive reads from 2017 – and the competition this year was fierce. Very fierce. It’s not too late to pop out to your local indie bookshop and grab a copy.
Red & Lulu is a featured title in our carefully curated collection of the Best Christmas Books for Children.