Shaun Tan - Author Picture

Shaun Tan - Author

Shaun Tan was born in 1974 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In school he became known as the “good drawer” which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He graduated from the University of WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works full time as a freelance artist and author, concentrating mostly on writing and illustrating picture books.

Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since then he has received numerous awards for his picture books, including the CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) Picture Book of the Year Award for The Rabbits with John Marsden. In 2001 Shaun was named Best Artist at the World Fantasy Awards in Montreal. He has recently worked for Blue Sky Studios and Pixar, providing concept artwork for forthcoming films.

Shaun Tan on himself and Eric:

“A recurring theme in my sketchbook are characters carrying a suitcase. I’m not sure why. Sometimes it arises because I’ve drawn a character and they look silly standing there without anything in their hands, so I’ll often add a suitcase or a box. This constantly suggested a story. The story ‘Eric’ in Tales from Outer Suburbia was suggested by a similar drawing of a little character with a pointy head and the word Eric written underneath.

I do rarely give names. 'Eric' is an exception, but even then the name is a substitute for something we can’t hear or pronounce properly, so we never know his real name.” (interview with Write Away, 2009)

Featured Books, with extracts, by Shaun Tan

The Arrival
Shaun Tan
Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK. The Arrival has become one of the most critically...
Lovereading Price: £8.79 - Saving £2.20 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 02/10/2014
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Sketches from a Nameless Land The Art of the Arrival
Shaun Tan
The Arrival has become one of the most critically acclaimed books of recent years, a wordless masterpiece that describes a world beyond any familiar time or place. How did it come to be created, and what inspired its unique and...
Lovereading Price: £11.99 - Saving £3.00 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 02/10/2014
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Rules of Summer
Shaun Tan
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal This is a large-format picture book about the relationship between two young boys, whose friendship is tested by a many challenging situations. It's a story without any particular narrative, just a list of...
Lovereading Price: £11.99 - Saving £3.00 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 08/10/2013
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Shaun Tan
Exquisitely packaged, this is a beautiful, lyrically written and illustrated fable about cultural differences and how we deal with them. Eric comes on a foreign exchange. The narrator is excited that he is coming but then confused by Eric's responses...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/05/2010
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Tales From Outer Suburbia
Shaun Tan
This beautifully illustrated book takes a quirky look at some of the mysteries of urban life. Once you start reading it's very hard to stop reading more of these short stories filled with darkness and delight.
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 02/03/2009
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