cover image Red & Lulu

Red & Lulu

Matt Tavares. Candlewick, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7733-6

Red and Lulu, a pair of cardinals, make their home in “the branches of a mighty evergreen” outside a suburban house: “It was the perfect place to live, all year long.” But one day, Red returns to find that the tree has been cut down and placed on a truck, with Lulu trapped inside. In lush watercolor and gouache paintings, Tavares (Lighter than Air) captures Red’s frantic search for Lulu, following the truck to New York City; dramatic wordless spreads show the tiny bird flitting past the George Washington Bridge and Rockefeller Center. Finally, Red spots his tree in its place of honor at Rockefeller Center, “more sparkly than ever, but definitely theirs.” The birds’ reunion is poignant and well earned, and their decision to stay in the city after the holidays poignantly shows how seeming misfortune can lead to unexpected and rewarding opportunities. Ages 3–7. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Sept.)