Matt Tavares Books
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Red and Lulu, by
Matt Tavares
Red & Lulu
Written and illustrated by Matt Tavares

Indiebound National Bestseller
Huffington Post Best Picture Books of 2017
2017 Junior Library Guild Selection
2017 Nerdy Book Award
*Starred review in Publishers Weekly
The Society of Illustrators, "The Original Art 2017" exhibit

red and lulu
on amazonRed and Lulu at
books a million christmas picture bookindieboundbarnes andnoble
red and lulu matt tavares

Red and

Red and Lulu
on 5th Ave in Manhattan

Red at the
Empire State Building

Online resources for Red & Lulu
Interview with Matthew Winner on the All the Wonders Podcast
Interview with Julie Danielson on Kirkus
The Evolution of Red & Lulu, on the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog
Interview with Dylan Teut on the Mile High Reading blog
Interview with John Schu on the Watch. Connect. Read. blog
Making Red & Lulu: a few things readers might not notice (but I hope they do!),
on my blog
Making Red & Lulu: one last minute change, on my blog
Caldecott Medal Contender: Red & Lulu, by Sammy Juliano, on the Wonders in the Dark blog
A Junior
Library Guild Selection

Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months, and once a year the people who live nearby string lights on their tree and sing a special song:

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Luckily, it's just the season for miracles.

From Matt Tavares comes a heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love.


"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."
*Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Red's journey to find his mate makes for gorgeous sweeping vistas and heightened emotion, especially when he finds her in the illuminated branches of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Tavares lets the holiday note waft lightly, bringing equal cheer to the celebration of pair-bonding and New York City."
-The New York Times

"A really engaging visual reading eperience - moving from overviews to close-ups, vignettes to double page spreads. It's a very dramatic read - dramatic and tender by turns. My kind of visual storytelling!"
-Three-time Caldecott Medalist David Wiesner

"A Christmas book you should probably put on your permanent shelf. If any book on this list today can win a Caldecott, it is this. I have this crazy dream that it might, but holiday books (Polar Express aside) always are at a disadvantage in that arena. This book isn't silent, but might well be for all that the visual storytelling pulls you along.... This is one of the best of the year."
-Betsy Bird, A Fuse #8 Production

"With its bird's-eye views, this wonderfully imagined, gorgeously illustrated ode to the world-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will have young travelers begging Mom and Dad for a trip to the Big Apple."
-USA Today

"A joyful and affecting picture book... In his watercolor and gouache paintings, Mr. Tavares takes advantage of the contrast between Red's scarlet brilliance and the dull browns and grays of New York City as the bird hunts for the tree and his missing mate.... Vibrant color floods the pages as the cardinals reunite amid the lights of Rockefeller Center at Christmastime."
-The Wall Street Journal

"Gorgeous artwork, with multiple wordless pages, advances the tale. Best of all, kids will cheer at the dramatic moment when Red finds Lulu."
-The Washington Post

"A touching, beautifully illustrated story..."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Tavares's realistic watercolor and gouache paintings make the most of dramatic birds'-eye perspectives, while the story provides a child-friendly backstory for an annual NYC holiday attraction."
-The Horn Book

"Red and Lulu is extraordinary."

-John Schumacher, aka Mr. Schu

"Tavares's detailed watercolor and gouache illustrations expertly capture the seasonal atmosphere, including the tension one feels as Red and Lulu are separated from each other.... Lovely..."
-School Library Journal

"This enchanting title will resonate with readers for varied reasons but for all it lifts up the power of love and the hope of a miracle... extraordinary."
-Librarian's Quest blog

"Red & Lulu is also the rarest of books, one as artful as it is popular and as thematically soulful as it is artistically captivating....Two irrepressible cardinals have won a place in our hearts for all time."

-Sammy Juliano, Wonders in the Dark


"Gorgeous illustrations..."
-The Salt Lake Tribune

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RED AND LULU. Illustrations copyright 2017 Matt Tavares. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA.