Big Red Lollipop

Big Red Lollipop
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Big Red Lollipop Insert 1

Big Red Lollipop Insert 2
A picture book by Rukhsana Khan
Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Published by Viking Children's Books
Spring 2010
40 pg, Hardcover
ISBN 9780670062874

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Big Red Lollipop is also published in Indonesia, China and Japan.

AR Quiz No. 134832 EN Fiction
IL: LG - BL: 2.2 - AR Pts: 0.5
AR Quiz Types: RP

View Teacher's Guide

A multicultural picture book about greed and temptation, set in North America about two sisters who are invited to a birthday party.  

See Rukhsana tell her version (Sana's version) of the story: Big Red Lollipop video

A tutorial on how educators can use Big Red Lollipop to teach point of view: Big Red Lollipop Tutorial

To hear an audio through of the author talking about and reading from Big Red Lollipop click here

To see a reading of the book: Big Red Lollipop" Read by Amanda Ferraro

To see a review of the book: Liz's Book Snuggery

Awards & Recognition 

  • New York Public Library, 100 Great Children's Books in 100 years selection

  • Winner of 2011 Golden Kite Award for best picture book text

  • Winner of 2011 Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book text

  • Selected for New York Times top ten illustrated books of 2010

  • Bank Street College Best Books of the Year 2011, under 5 category

  • Kirkus list of 2010 Best Children's Books

  • Nominated for Georgia Children's Book Award 2012

  • Nominated for Maine Chickadee Award 2011-2012

  • Selected as a Junior Library Guild Choice

  • Featured in JLG Monthly April/May 2010 issue

  • Featured in Betsy Bird's blog



"..."Big Red Lollipop" is a delight, a simple story with considerable depth. Young readers will recognize some universal truths: the brattiness of young siblings, the great unfairness that birth order wreaks on the world. They will also see truthfully rendered social awkwardness, and learn something of the uneasy spot in which young children of immigrants often find themselves, obliged to obey their parents while also instructing them in the mysterious ways of their adopted land...

-New York Times Review-


"Khan (Silly Chicken) delivers another astute and moving story, ostensibly dealing with sibling rivalry, but actually about hard-won lessons emerging from clashes of identity and assimilation. When Rubina receives her first invitation to a birthday party, her mother, who readers are left to infer is an immigrant, is first perplexed...then insistent that Rubina take her annoying younger sister along...The result, is Khan's characteristically direct prose, is devastating... Blackall's (Wombat Walkabout) subtly textured ink portrait shows ever nuance of the girl's sense of social failure. But Khan's remarkable gift for balancing emotional honesty and empathy, and her keen understanding of family dynamics, keeps defeatism from swamping the book...It's an ending worthy of a novella, and once again signals that Khan is one of the most original voices working in picture books today."

-Publisher's Weekly Starred Review-

"Siblings everywhere will see themselves in this story, even though it is rooted in the experience of an immigrant family. Rubina is invited to a birthday party, and her little sister Sana screams, “I wanna go too!” Their mother, Ami, insists that Sana be taken with, despite Rubina’s vigorous protests, and the party turns out as badly as Rubina worries it will… The story (and its lesson) comes to life in Blackall’s spot-on illustrations, which focus on the family, their expressions, and body language. …At its heart, though, this is an honest, even moving, commentary on sisterly relationships, and the final rapprochement is as sweet as the lollipop Sana offers Rubina."

-Booklist Starred Review-

"This sibling-rivalry story compares well with Kevin Henkes's Sheila Rae's Peppermint Stick (HarperCollins 2001). When Rubina comes home with a birthday-party invitation, her mother asks why people celebrate birthdays, as her culture does not, and insists that Rubina take her little sister along despite the older child's insistence that 'they don't do that here'. Sana is a brat par excellence at the party and steals Rubina's candy...The stylistic scattering of East Indian motifs from bedspread designs to clothing communicate the cultural richness of the family's home life while the aerial views, especially the rooms through which the siblings chase each other, are priceless. The book is a thoughtful springboard for discussion of different birthday traditions and gorgeous to the eye."

-School Library Journal-

"Dynamic visual design distinguishes this tale of sibling conflict in an immigrant family…. Blackall’s peppy watercolor-and-pencil illustrations hum with vibrancy and a wonderful sense of children in constant motion. Every page shows fresh composition and scale…Charming and spirited."

-Kirkus Reviews-