See an animated excerpt!

Watch a video on
how Peter Sis came to write Tibet Through the Red Box

Tibet Through the Red Box

Full-color illustrations by the author

Ages 10 up / 64 pages
ISBN: 0-374-37552-6 / $25.00
Frances Foster Books
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Caldecott Honor Book
ALA Notable Book
Boston Globe -- Horn Book Award, Special Citation

"The Red Box is now yours," his father's letter said.

For most of his childhood, the old lacquered box had been beyond his reach in his father's study. Now he was being summoned home to discover its carefully guarded secrets.

Opening the red box, Peter Sís finds the diary his father kept when he was lost in Tibet in the mid-1950s. As he turns the brittle pages, covered with faded handwriting and fine drawings, and examines the small treasures that were hidden with the diary, Sís becomes the accidental traveler trekking through Tibet. At the same time he remembers the small boy who longed for his father to come back and recalls the fantastic stories his father told him on his return -- stories that seemed more like fairy tales than real life. Bit by bit, the mystery of his father's journey is revealed; in reliving it, Sís finds the man who had been taken from him many years before and the magical place that held him hostage.

In this very personal book, Peter Sís has given us a kaleidoscopic fusion of truth, dreams, and memory. It is an unforgettable work of rare imagination.

"This is not a book that's easy to describe. Each element folds into the other and blends, then changing shape, like a kaleidoscope. Impeccably designed and beautifully made, the book has a dreamlike quality that will keep readers of many ages coming back to find more in its pages."

"A gauzy, translucent jacket printed with a faint, seductive map covers a full-color painting of a maze with a mountainous city at its heart. An apt invitation indeed to this mystical, mysterious picture book, which tells of the artist's father's journey to Tibet in the 1950's, the stories he told upon his return, and the adult Peter's response to his father's diaries of the trip." --Horn Book

"The luminous colors of the artwork, the panoramas of Tibetan topography and the meticulous intermingling of captivating details and the mystical aspects of Tibetan culture make this an extraordinary volume that will appeal to readers of all ages." --Publishers Weekly

"Adults will see the book as a way to introduce children to the geography, culture, and religion of Tibet. Attentive young people will be drawn to puzzle out the meaning of the stories and pictures. Art-conscious readers of all ages will appreciate the author's groundbreaking, creative use of the picture-book format in ways that challenge both eye and mind." --School Library Journal

"Priceless, extraordinary work. I had no idea there was such an exquisite thing as this that existed on earth." --Robert Thurman, author of Inner Revolution

"A book full of miracles. My eight-year-old son and I read it together and I cannot say who liked it more. We were both riveted and astonished, eagerly turning page after page with increasing admiration. Tibet came pouring off the pages at us, a cascade of color, magic and mystery that ran straight to our hearts. 'Let's read it again, Daddy,' my son cried when we finished. This is a book we'll be reading together for a long time, and one I hope he will read with his own children all the more." --Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts Without a Thinker

For more information, visit

Copyright © 2002-2004 Peter Sís
Designed, developed and maintained by FSB Associates
Flash by Amber Digital