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Tibet Through the Red Box
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
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What's the story?
Lost in the Himalayas, the author's father kept an illustrated diary of his survival in Tibet. Sis mixes excerpts from this diary with his own memories and artwork to cast a peculiarly Tibetan spell, one in which past and present, fiction and nonfiction, memory and dreams are all mixed together.
Is it any good?
An amazing confluence of history, memory, and the magic of dreams, this sophisticated picture book is based in reality, though it shoots off in several unexpected directions. He uses sketches from his father's diary and many more drawn directly from the younger Sis' imagination. Mandalas, mythical figures, Tibetan architecture and landscape, dreamscapes, decorative patterns, and scenes from the stories are woven together to form a book as colorful, rich, and complicated as a piece of Tibetan fabric. This is a work of literary, visual, and historical art unlike anything else ever published.
What little story there is just ends with the author's father reaching Potala and meeting the Dalai Lama. But this isn't meant to be a storybook -- it's a book of memories and dreams, rooted in reality but not clinging to it. It is really for older readers -- who may need to be encouraged to try it.