#AtoZchallenge: “R” is for The Red Tree (2001) by Shaun Tan

If your day is particularly grey and colorless and you are in need of some bright color, I urge you to open up the book, The Red Tree, by Shaun Tan.


Here’s the GoodReads summary:

“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.

With sensitivity and wonder, Shaun Tan’s 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.”

This beautiful picturebook, though somber at first, and dark at times, illuminates hope and trusting in the promise of something good to come.

The text is simple and clear—the story alludes to a journey from insecurity, hope, and depression, to one of hope and expectation. Even a shred of hope can illuminate a dark story.

Like the protagonist in the story, you may find yourself searching for a red leaf in your own story, believing that a vibrant dream of hope is waiting for you. Somewhere, at one point, you’ll find it.


What do you think? Tell me!

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