A teacher librarian friend said to me earlier this year, "You have to read this book."
I said, "Yes, sure. It's by the guy who did The Arrival (last year's Picture Book of the Year). I should read it."
I meant to. For yonks, I meant to. Recently, I did.
This teacher librarian says to you, dear blog reader, "If you haven't read this book, you have to read it."
Shaun Tan has an amazing imagination. It works in all sorts of different, thoughtful, unexpected directions. Sometimes the stories in this book will make you think. Some will make you wonder. The final double page spread of "Eric" had me smiling in delight, and sharing this story with anyone who came into the library that day whom I could collar for long enough to read it. (I was halted by someone then borrowing it...)
The publisher's website page for this book sums it up thus:Shaun Tan, creator of The Arrival, The Lost Thing and The Red Tree, reveals the quiet mysteries of everyday life: homemade pets, dangerous weddings, stranded sea mammals, tiny exchange students and secret rooms filled with darkness and delight.
I'd happily bought it for the school library. Among its many possibilities, it could be used for related material for the HSC Area of Study: Belonging. All of the stories are illustrated, but in a variety of different ways - the balance of text/illustration in telling each story depends on the story.
Enough of it being useful. How much do I like it? I went back and bought a copy for myself.
Read an extract here (.pdf) It includes "Eric". Consider yourself collared.