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Red Sled [Hardcover]

Lita Judge

List Price: CDN$ 18.99
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2011
In this almost wordless picture book, a host of woodland creatures take a child's sled for a nighttime joy ride. Their whimsical ride is gorgeously depicted in bold watercolor, complemented by humorous expressions and pitch-perfect sound effects. With a timeless tone and classic characters, RED SLED will become a wintertime favorite.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Nov. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442420073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442420076
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 25.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #212,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


*“Judge’s latest may be virtually wordless, but it packs a powerful visual punch that will stick with readers long after the final page is turned…. The entirety is wordless but for the carefully chosen onomatopoeic words that perfectly capture the sounds and bring the adventure to life…. Though rendered simply, Judge’s pencil-and-watercolor animals are gloriously full of life and infectious joy. Readers will be hard-pressed to finish this without letting their own joy show through. Pure genius.”

--Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2011, *STAR

*"The premise of this book is simple; the execution is anything but.... Pencil and watercolor spreads create a basic wintry mountain environment, but the stars of the show are the expressive animals. Their childlike delight in each dynamic scene brings a sense of excitement to the story. The text consists entirely of sound effects, laid out on the page in varying font sizes to evoke a sense of movement. The book begs to be read aloud and offers wonderful opportunities for audience participation. This delightful flight of fancy conveys the true excitement of sledding with the imagined fun of befriending wildlife. A gem."

--School Library Journal, October 2011, *STAR

*“With a few well-chosen sound effects, a cozy winter landscape, and a group of enthusiastic, four-legged sledders, Judge (Strange Creatures: The Story of Walter Rothschild and His Museum) creates a story that’s both cuddly and smartly paced…. Judge makes the animals fuzzy and well-padded without slipping into sentimentality. Her spreads are lucidly drafted, the action is easy to follow—peppy, but never frenetic—and the conclusion is both inevitable and satisfying.”

--Publishers Weekly, October 17, 2011, *STAR

"The expanses of snow and starry skies project a remarkable silence in this almost wordless book, broken only by the whoops of the animals. Soft, round shapes abound. Pre-readers will love being able to tell the story themselves; don’t be surprised to see stuffed animals show up in strange places!"

--Library Media Connection, Jan/Feb 2012, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

“Readers-aloud will relish the performance opportunities afforded by the critters’exclamations of “Alley-oop!”…. Audiences will appreciate the fantastical touch, warming particularly to the possibilities of the human-animal outing under the stars…. Use this as a wintry bedtime book, and encourage the kids to listen for animal-sledding sounds as they fall asleep.”

-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December 2011

"I am, at this moment, wracking my brain to recall another children's book that so perfectly captures and portrays the feeling of delight that this one does.... RED SLED is pure magic."

--Richie's Picks, December 1, 2011

“Perfect for toddlers - wonderfully illustrated in pencil and watercolor with big bold images and no real words, just the sounds of woodland animals that have fun with a kid's red sled…. It's strikingly original and totally inspired."
--San Francisco Chronicle, December 25, 2011

“Just the right blend of danger and delight, this book is perfect for a wintry night."

--People Magazine, December 19, 2011

"In another nearly wordless romp in the great outdoors, award-winning author and illustrator Lita Judge (“Pennies for Elephants”) conjures the story of Red Sled.... There is no language – just a marvelous progression of “scrunch,” “ssssffft,” “whoa,” and “eeeee” as the critters whisk through the night on the sled. When the little boy awakes in the morning, there is just a scattering of telltale tracks to hint at what his sled might have experienced."

--Christian Science Monitor

“Talk about joy rides. Lita Judge’s drawings in pencil and watercolor enliven a simple, nearly wordless tale, but the biggest delights are the sound effects…a perfect book for reading aloud, especially by expressive readers who can do justice to a walk in the snow: “Scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch scrinch scrunch.”

USA Today, January 5, 2012

“Each double-page spread features a serene snowscape bathed in moonlight, the perfect foil for the explosive humor of the animals’ antics.”

The Washington Post, January 3, 2012

“This nearly wordless, nearly perfect picture book celebrates winter in a most unusual way….The woodland characters are deftly rendered, and their joy is contagious.”

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), March 4, 2012

About the Author

Lita Judge was born in Alaska and spent much of her childhood in the north woods of Wisconsin and other wintry places. Lita is the award-winning author and illustrator of several children’s books, including Flight School, Red Hat, Red Sled, One Thousand Tracings, and Pennies for Elephants. She lives with her husband in New Hampshire, and you can visit her online at

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caldecott Contender Nov. 1 2011
By Sterling Librarian - Published on
Red Sled may be almost wordless, but it's full of heart and soul. This is a new kind of book for Judge, who is well known for her picture book biographies and nonfiction science. And it seems to be the book she was born to create. The joyous exuberance of the animals is impossible to deny as they whiz through a winter wonderland on a borrowed red sled. Perfect for sharing with your favorite child and a steaming cup of cocoa, this book is bound to become a classic.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Want to Take That Ride! Nov. 3 2011
By Anne Broyles - Published on
This book is packed full of joie de vivre. RED SLED is the visual equivalent of a haiku, with perfectly chosen and formed paintings that tell a simple story that will only grow in retellings. I love the facial expressions, both human and animal, that convey so much emotion. The excitement, thrill, pure terror, and sense of accomplishment in a sled ride; the sense of belonging and community in shared experiences; the possibility of MORE than meets the eye. Judge's work is Caldecott material, but more importantly, RED SLED will be a children's favorite for years to come, great fun to read aloud with a grownup, but just as easy to reread alone with the pictures clearly telling the plot.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Special Book Nov. 3 2011
By Thomas J. White - Published on
Our whole family adores Red Sled. My children, five and seven, my wife, and I are equally enchanted by the warmth of these beautiful--often truly breathtaking--illustrations, and by the poignancy of this timeless story. Like us, you will want to slide off into the moonlit night with this young child and all these loveable friends from the woods outside the snow-covered cabin. This is such a special book!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The joys of sledding Nov. 2 2011
By Carol Ekster - Published on
Red Sled is a wonderful winter book for the very young. It exemplifies the joys and excitement of sledding. Pictures are soft and welcoming and children will want to look through it again and again. I love that children might also get a message here about sharing. Why not share something when you're not using it? Look how many others were able to share in the fun of sledding who may possibly have never experienced it without "borrowing" the boy's sled. This lovely book is a perfect one for cuddling with a youngster and discussing their thoughts as they look through this wordless picture book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and beautiful Nov. 2 2011
By M. Macijauskas - Published on
You don't need words to tell a story, and this beautiful book proves that. The story of animals enjoying a child's sled on a winter's day is carefully told through gorgeous illustrations. My daughter was entranced. Delightful!

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