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Tales from the Inner City

Written by Shaun Tan

Illustrated by Shaun Tan

Part of the Walker Studio Series

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Tales from the Inner City Review

Anthologies Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers Short Stories Star Books

Short dreamy tales teamed with extraordinary illustrations full of wit - there is nothing else like this around!

Winner of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2020

In this mind-blowingly beautiful book comprising twenty-five tales, visionary artist and writer Shaun Tan turns his attention to the relationship between humans and animals in varied urban contexts. A rhino on a motorway. An owl at the side of a hospital patient. An eagle spied at multiple international airports. Giant snails declared “indecent” by the public.

Dreamlike, mysterious and poignant, this is a book to pore over. Both words and illustrations lend themselves to multiple readings, each experience unearthing alternate interpretations, new discoveries, fresh ways of seeing the world. What a sublimely strange feat this is.

Joanne Owen

Other Info

On his Kate Greenaway Medal win Shaun Tan said; “I am surprised, delighted and then deeply honoured – what a wonderful thing to be! I am especially thrilled to receive the Kate Greenaway Medal in the fine company of so many brilliant artists and authors, many of whom inspired my own love of illustrated stories as a young West Australian scribbler.”

“Tales from the Inner City is a strange book for strange times, suggesting that human frailty might well find expression in dreams of tigers, bears, frogs and lungfish reclaiming our cities. To know that I am not alone in enjoying such speculation – maybe even a bit too much – is no small thing. It is profoundly consoling, to feel part of a larger conversation about our relationship to this planet, particularly with younger readers, in whose imagination the future is already taking shape.”

With relatable stories that show children a range of perspectives and lived experiences, the 2020 Medal winners reflect the Awards’ mission ‘to celebrate and represent a diverse range of experiences’.

Find out more about the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal here

Tales from the Inner City Synopsis

Where can we live if not in each other's shadow? World-renowned artist Shaun Tan applies his extraordinary talent to a reflection on the nature of humans and animals, and our urban co-existence. From crocodile to frog; tiger to bee, this is a dark and surreal exploration of the perennial love and destruction we feel and inflict - of how animals can save us, and how we are entwined, for better or for worse. Tales from the Inner City is a truly masterly work, bearing all of Shaun Tan's trademark wit and poignancy in both its prose and exquisite illustrations.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781406383843
Publication date: 04/10/2018
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406383843
Publication date: 4th October 2018
Author: Shaun Tan
Illustrator: Shaun Tan
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 224 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: Anthologies, Short Stories
Recommendations: Star Books

About 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 ...

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