Tibet Through the Red Box: Through The Red Box

Tibet Through the Red Box: Through The Red Box


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A father's diary, an artist's memoir.

By the author of the best-selling Three Golden Keys.

While my father was in China and Tibet, he kept a diary, which was later locked in a red box. We weren't allowed to touch the box. The stories I heard as a little boy faded to a hazy dream, and my drawings from that time make no sense. I cannot decipher them. It was not until I myself had gone far, far away and received the message from my father that I became interested in the red box again . . .

In New York, Peter Sis receives a letter from his father. "The Red Box is now yours," it says. The brief note worries him and pulls him back to Prague, where the contents of the red box explain the mystery of his father's long absence during the 1950s.

Czechoslovakia was behind the iron curtain; Vladimir Sis, a documentary filmmaker of considerable talent, was drafted into the army and sent to China to teach filmmaking. He left his wife, daughter, and young son, Peter, thinking he would be home for Christmas. Two Christmases would pass before he was heard from again: Vladimir Sis was lost in Tibet. He met with the Dalai Lama; he witnessed China's invasion of Tibet. When he returned to Prague, he dared not talk to his friends about all he had seen and experienced. But over and over again he told Peter about his Tibetan adventures. Weaving their two stories together - that of the father lost in Tibet and that of the small boy in Prague, lost without his father - Sis draws from his father's diary and from his own recollections of his father's incredible tales to reach a spiritual homecoming between father and son. With his sublime pictures, inspired by Tibetan Buddhist art and linking history to memory, Peter Sis gives us an extraordinary book - a work of singular artistry and rare imagination. This title has Common Core connections.

Tibet Through the Red Box is a 1999 Caldecott Honor Book and the winner of the 1999 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Special Citation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374375522
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 11/05/1998
Pages: 64
Product dimensions: 10.98(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile: AD870L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Peter Sís is an internationally acclaimed author, illustrator, and filmmaker. He was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, and studied painting and filmmaking at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, and at the Royal College of Art in London. His most recent book, Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei, was the winner of a Caldecott Honor citation, and his illustrations often appear in The New York Times Book Review. He lives in New York City.

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Tibet Through the Red Box: Through The Red Box 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
EBT1002 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A rich and delightful children's book, this series of stories within a story has much to offer adults, as well. At once magical and profound, it's the story of a boy growing up in post-WWII Prague whose father is sent by the Soviet government to document, through film, the building of a road to Tibet. Later, the boy discovers the adventures of his father though his father's diary. The illustrations are subtle and beautiful, and the narration weaves through them both physically and in terms of story. It's easy to see why this was granted the Caldecott honor.
flashflood42 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A superbly illustrated tale reconstructing the author's father's trip into Tibet in 1959 when he was meant to photograph a road construction project at the time of the Chinese take over of the country. The father becomes separated from the road project and ends up in Lhasa. This is one of the best illustrated books I've ever seen, tiny little drawings, each one a gem. I am so grateful to an artist friend who told me about Peter Sis and his remarkable work.
bronwenh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was given to me by my friend XS. I became totally entranced by the illustrations and caught up in the story/dream, transported to high altitudes and mysterious, forbidden memories. I am giving this as a birthday to a dear friend who is embarked on a landscaping course.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Caldecott, Journey to Tibet with out traveling a mile. This story starts mysteriously with a letter that states ¿The Red Box is now yours¿. The red box contained pages with handwriting, drawing and maps. The papers were complex and involved simple spiritual discoveries made by the artist's father when he was lost in Tibet. All the stories of his father's encounters in Tibet arouse our interests about Tibet and the hidden magic in it. This is a very good book for adult and children. Peter Sis was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1949. He attended the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague and the Royal College of Art in London. He moved to New York City in 1984. Bibliography Sis, Peter. Tibet through the Red Box. New York: Frances Foster Books, 1998.