Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
  

Tales From Outer Suburbia

Written by Shaun Tan

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

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.

Synopsis

Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan

Do you remember the water buffalo at the end of our street, or the deep-sea diver we found near the underpass? Do you know why dogs bark in the middle of the night?A new picture book from the international award-winning illustrator Shaun Tan, "Tales from Outer Suburbia" is a unique and inspiring collection of original stories and illustrations.Shaun Tan, creator of "The Arrival", "The Lost Thing" and "The Red Tree", reveals the quiet mysteries of everyday life: homemade pets, dangerous weddings, and secret rooms filled with darkness and delight!

Reviews

The term 'suburbia

... and the familiar is twisted unsettlingly. Ideas and imagery both beautiful and disturbing will linger. Publishers Weekly 'Tales of Outer Suburbia

. -- Jake Hope The Bookseller 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. -- Julia Eccleshare Lovereading4Kids Yet another masterpiece from the creator of the extraordinary The Arrival. You only have to peruse the cover to know that you are going to be in for a strange and wonderful trip through the more esoteric parts of this most accomplished of author/artist's imagination. Readers will find out why dogs bark in the middle of the night, and uncover the other mysteries of everyday life. The Children's Bookseller This collection of stories is a work of art. The illustrations include etchings, woodcuts, collages, pastels, lithographs and paint, and are variously indebted to, among others, comic strips, Edward Hopper and Samuel Palmer. The images draw the viewer through street scenes and strange landscapes. Some of the stories are told partly or entirely in pictures, expressing ideas that make words seem inadequate. Meanwhile, the text relates surreal, lyrical, witty tales of exceptional events set in ordinary life: an attic leads to a mysterious garden in the middle of a house; two squabbling brothers go exploring to prove or disprove a bet that the world ends where the street map does - only to reach a final chasm that they can hang their legs over; and in one satirical gem, every household has its own intercontinental ballistic missile in the back yard. -- Nicolette Jones Sunday Times This is a stunningly illustrated collection of quirky short stories from an award winning author. Featuring homemade pets, dangerous weddings and secret rooms filled with darkness and delight. Tales from Outer Suburbia is a truly beautiful book. Mums and Dads magazine Although a relative newcomer to picturebook creation, Shaun Tan has established himself as a leading practitioner. In Tales from Outer Suburbia he again offers something different from his earlier work, although not unexpectedly perhaps, given the directions we have seen him taking. ... Each of the stories brings something of a narrative jolt for the reader and each page turn carries a visual surprise - think Raymond Carver meets Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected undercut with a bit of The Far Side. The book itself is a superb artefact: the cover nudges at a sense that all is not predictable within, the endpapers are full of drawings from Tan's sketch book, the contents are displayed in the form of postage stamps. Every home, in suburbia and elsewhere, should have one of these. Inis - The Children's Books Ireland Magazine This may be the most beautiful book you'll see all year. It's an illustrated collection of stories set in the Australian suburbs, about how the fantastic keeps erupting into the most mundane daily lives. Once you've read it, you may find yourself feeling as though an exchange student from another planet has dropped by and left a glowing matchbox garden in your kitchen cupboard. The Guardian This is a book to treasure, with more to discover on each re-reading . Book Trust Dip into this anywhere and you will come up with a gem. This is a truly unique book . 2010 UKLA Children's Book Awards - Special commendation The images and stories in Shaun Tan's Tales from Outer Suburbia have stayed in my mind all year. These surreal, witty tales (accompanied by astonishingly skilled illustrations) imagine intercontinental missiles in back yards, and a garden reached through an attic. Sunday Times Children's Books ...Is an uncategorisable one-off by the unique and weirdly talented Australian Illustrator Shaun Tan. He has always had an eye for the misplaced, bizarre side of life...And in this strange, marvellous bewildering book, he recovers surreal memories of childhood... -- Kate Kellaway The Observer Shaun Tan's new work of fourteen generously illustrated short stories is elegant and accomplished with delight in the detail. It's designed to engage, entertain, intrigue, mystify his reader-viewers, and get them thinking creatively. He leaves space for them in which to ponder on the satire, irony, fantasy, humour to appreciate the moral tale, and tolerate the open ending. There is dark account about government imposed social repression and a delightfully subversive role too, which is a triumph of the imagination over beaurocracy. In illustrative terms there are many styles to wonder at: fine line drawing with tonal modelling, the painterly dip and glide of the loaded brush, tactile expressionist mark-making, scraper board excavations as well as collage assemblages, newsprint, trompe l'oeil foolery. Gentle frescoing, and idiosyncratic cartooning. Colour ranges form monochrome to rainbow, muted to vibrant. As for the themes, Tan is encouraging his audience to see the familiar through fresh eyes, take a delight in everyday objects, wonder at the restorative power of love, discover about life for oneself, accept a challenge, and exercise the gift of imagination. Just looking at the endpapers should get children reaching for their storytelling materials. -- Jane Doonan The SL renowned for his illustrations, Tan experiments creatively with the presentation of his stories by making interesting use of multimodality. This unique collection of tales will certainly invite children back to enjoy reading them time and again. -- Kerenza Ghosh The Reading Zone website ... an exceptionally powerful collection of short stories with astonishing illustrations for older readers. Mysterious and sophisticated, Tan delves deep into the psyche of suburbia for his unforgettably beautiful tales. The Telegraph stunningly original ... most illustrations in books are reactions to the text, but here the picture inspire the stories. They are all strange and beautiful. -- Anthony Browne The Guardian

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)

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
96 pages
Interest Age: 7+

Author

Shaun Tan
More books by Shaun Tan

Author's Website

www.shauntan.net/

Publisher

Templar Publishing

Publication date

2nd March 2009

ISBN

9781840113136

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