The Red Thread

An Adoption Fairy Tale


“There is an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together.”

A king and queen rule a beautiful and peaceful land. They should be full of joy and contentment, but they both feel a strange pain that worsens every day. Then a peddler’s magic spectacles reveal a red thread pulling at each of their hearts. The king and queen know they must follow the thread—wherever it may lead.

  • 32 Pages
  • 10.75" x 8.5"
  • 9780807569221
  • January 2007

Buy from Albert Whitman


  • The straightforward narrative is enlivened by pattern-filled, color-saturated pictures, with the contemporary family set against a neutral background, while the characters in the fairy tale are surrounded by bright colors…this is a good tale to open adoption discussions.

    - Booklist

  • The illustrations are painted in deeply rich colors and are imbued with details that lend a fairy-tale ambiance. This is a splendid addition to the adoption category, but perfectly wonderful for any reader who likes stories that tug at the heartstrings.

    - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

  • Lin offers a contemporary fairy tale, using a story within a story to weave in a Chinese belief that “an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all who are destined to be together.”…This lovely book has general appeal, but it’s particularly suitable for patrons requesting adoption titles, and especially transracial adoption of children from China.

    - School Library Journal

  • It’s hard to resist the story’s plainspoken magic. Lin builds a sense of awe and mystery as she unspools the monarchs’ journey…the intense expressiveness of her characters and a regal palette make for emotionally vivid compositions.

    - Publishers Weekly

Common Core

RL.K.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10 RL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9 RL.2.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 4.00