Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

The Lovereading4Kids comment

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 of mysterious rules such as 'Never step on a snail', 'Never argue with an umpire', 'Never leave the back door open overnight' or 'Never leave a red sock on the clothesline'. As each rule is broken – not always by accident – surprising consequences ensue, and readers are invited to decide for themselves what is really happening, and why.


Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Combining humour and surreal fantasy, Shaun Tan pictures a summer in the lives of two boys. Each spread tells of an event and the lesson learned. By turns, these events become darker and more sinister as the boys push their games further and further.

About the Author

Shaun Tan

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)

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


48 pages
Interest Age: From 6


Shaun Tan
More books by Shaun Tan

Author's Website


Lothian Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Australia

Publication date

8th October 2013




You give me age appropriate ideas of books I can read and buy for the children and find out what other children their age think of them too.

Katie Lonsdale

It gives me a chance to read types of books that I would not normally try, and it motivates me to read every night to finish it!

Alice Horncastle, age 14

Writing reviews help the children with their literacy skills and we always read the books together which gives us good quality family time!

Cat Bisland (on behalf of the Bi

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10

It is fantastic, you get to read lots of books and you always find something new and amazing in them.

Erica Motoc, age 7

It’s a community united by a passion for books and promoting the best there is in children’s literature.

Sam Bateman and family

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

Lovereading 4 schools