Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan

51wpaf-pqtl_ss500_1Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
2008
96 pgs.
3.75/5

As you know by now, if you read this blog, I’m a huge fan of Shaun Tan’s beautiful artwork and his fantastic storytelling. He returns with another fantastic book with Tales from Outer Suburbia. This is a quick little read, though it could certainly be enjoyed over many days. It’s a collection of (very) short stories that are well told through Tan’s creativity and fantastical art work.

All of the stories center around a theme of the suburbs. But each story tells it’s own little tale and has it’s own little message. Some are just fun reads, but others carry a deeper meaning to them. I’ve noticed in Tan’s work that he tackles the subject of immigration and being a stranger in a strange land quite frequently as seen in The Arrival. The same is true of this book. A 5 year old would love these stories, but so would their parents. Tan addresses the subject of immigration, war, peace, the environment, etc. in this short collection.

His artwork is nothing short of stunning as usual. There was one story in particular that literally took my breath away when I turned the page and saw this beautiful drawing that he produced. His art has a way of doing that. The Red Tree is another prime example of this. He conveys so much emotion through his art, draws the reader in whether words accompany his stories are not.

This is one that I wish I owned instead of having borrowed it from the library! It’s one that I certainly think would be well loved on any family’s shelf.suburbia_alert_web

Other Views and Opinions:

Reading Rants!
Stainless Steel Droppings
Bending Bookshelf
She Reads Books
readerbuzz
Peeking Between The Pages
A Striped Armchair

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16 Responses

  1. … do I really see a 3.75 rating???? wow!

  2. I haven’t read it, but I do love that cover.
    Have an award for you …. http://justaddbooks.blogspot.com/2009/04/aw-lovely-book-award.html

  3. That pic is beautiful – I love simple yet complex and bright primary colors.

  4. I loved this book too. The artwork is gorgeous. But honestly I thought it would be more enjoyed by adults than children. I’d never read it to my 8yo, he wouldn’t *get* most of the stories. If I remember correctly (I read this when it first came out) there were a couple *I* even didn’t get.

  5. I’ve been meaning to get to this one. Maybe it’ll happen in May?!

  6. Deslily, LOL…I almost always rate short story collections lower because there are almost always a few that I’m not crazy about…I thought this one was good as a whole though!

    Marree, If you love the cover, you’d probably love his whole book! The art is fantastic! And I’m heading over to your blog in a second 😀

    Care, Same here…I love that color scheme and I love dark, melancholy colors as well.

    Nicola, I’m with you on that one…I think that adults would enjoy the meaning of the stories more, but at the same time I think that children could enjoy them at their face value..and it would spark some interesting conversation too!

    Becky, You could knock this one out in 30 minutes! But of course you’d have to go back and spend hours just staring at the art 😉

  7. I really need to pick up more work by Shaun Tan. I have only read one book by him!

  8. I hope my library gets this, I’ve loved Tan’s work since reading the Red Tree!

  9. This looks so wonderful. I got it from the library after I read Carl’s review, and I really need to get to it soon!

  10. I just love those images. His art really is stunning.

  11. Carl just sent this book to Annie…any idea how hard it is to keep my hands off it?!! Seems only fair that I should let her read it before I borrow it, right? But dammit, she’s had it for two days now and hasn’t read it yet. 😉

  12. This book is sitting on my nightstand at this moment. I will pick it up very soon.

  13. Oh crap, I read this one awhile back and thought for sure I had reviewed it 😛
    My favorite story was Eric, I’m telling you when I saw the 2 page spread illustration that ended that story I was speechless! Just too beautiful for words.

  14. […] Droppings | Bending Bookshelf | Peeking Between the Pages | She Reads Books | A Striped Armchair | Stuff As Dreams Are Made On […]

  15. […] Steel Droppings (more pictures here!) | A High and Hidden Place | Stuff As Dreams Are Made On | She Reads Books | Bending Bookshelf | Reading Rants! | Peeking Between the Pages | Monniblog | […]

  16. […] Droppings | Bending Bookshelf | Peeking Between the Pages | She Reads Books | A Striped Armchair | Stuff As Dreams Are Made On […]

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