Burgess, Matthew

The Red Tin Box

(2) K-3 Illustrated by Evan Turk. On her eighth birthday, Maude buries a red tin box under a dogwood tree (only she knows what's inside), making a promise to herself. Decades pass. Maude, now an older woman, remembers the box but not its contents. One afternoon she is "seized with a feeling" and invites her granddaughter on a long drive to her old home. The granddaughter is filled with questions ("what's inside the box?"), and they both wonder if they'll be able to find it. They do indeed, and Maude is overcome with emotions as she explores the box's contents and then shares stories from her childhood on the drive back home. Burgess's (Drawing on Walls, rev. 1/21) detailed text is filled with evocative sensory descriptions: "At the foot of the flowering dogwood, in a soft spot where she once discovered a fallen nest, the earth seemed to whisper, 'Here.'" A vivid coppery-red and brilliant golds dominate Turk's (Hello, Moon, rev. 9/22) palette, and he fills the book with intriguing perspectives and distinctive textures. Burgess's warm intergenerational tale leaves Maude's specific memories, the meaning of each item in the red tin box, and Maude's promise to herself a mystery to readers, thereby inviting them to imagine the contours of her childhood and perhaps even consider what they'd put in their own red tin boxes.


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