Barbara Lehman is the creator of Brown Dog Books & Gifts logo!

Award-winning commercial artist, illustrator, and children's book author Barbara Lehman has been praised for her imaginative, colorful cartoon art, which has appeared in both her own books and those with texts by other writers. In 2005 she was honored for her talents when The Red Book, a wordless picture book that captures the excitement and adventure to be found through reading, earned Lehman a prestigious Caldecott Honor designation.

Lehman was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in New Jersey. As a child, she loved to visit the art museums in nearby New York City. She began to draw at an early age, inspired in part by the prints of John Tenniel's illustrations for Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland that her father hand-colored and hung over her crib. To prepare herself for a career as an artist, she attended New York City's Pratt Institute and earned a B.F.A. in illustration. As a professional artist as well as an illustrator, she has worked as an animator, a graphic designer, and a window designer, although she admits that creating book illustrations gives her the most satisfaction.

Inspired by Lehman's view of the landscape from high atop a Manhattan skyscraper, The Red Book finds a young girl carried on a magical journey after she discovers a bright red book peeking out of a snow bank on a cold winter day during her walk to her city school.

In Barbara Lehman's imaginative picture book The Red Book a young girl takes a journey of the imagination that leads her to a new friend. (Text and illustrations copyright 2004 by Barbara Lehman. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.)

Opening the book at school, she realize that it is magical; its pictures move, revealing a sun-lit island scene and a boy perusing a similar book. With a turn of the page, the boy's view zooms in, revealing the girl sitting at her desk in the city, and suddenly the two children are able to see each other! Inspired by the book, the girl buys a large bunch of balloons and rises into the air, determined to find the boy's island and leave her own world behind.

Telling its story through Lehman's pen-and-ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations and ending with an interesting twist, The Red Book was praised by Horn Book contributor Joanna Rudge Long for presenting a "pleasing puzzle that will challenge young imaginations and intellects." "As visually uncluttered as it is conceptually rich, Lehman's red book is a little treasure of its own," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor, while in School Library Journal Kathy Krasniewicz deemed the book a "perfectly eloquent" work that "captures the magical possibility that exists every time readers open a book." In Booklist Jennifer Mattson recommended The Red Book as "ideal for fueling creative-writing exercises."

Ms. Lehman is the creator of Brown Dog Books & Gifts logo

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