Read me! Shaun Tan

Utopia scene from The lost thing film. Original illustration by Shaun Tan.

Shaun Tan has always looked at the world in a slightly different way to most people. His work has been described as “at once banal and uncanny, familiar and strange, local and universal, reassuring and scary, intimate and remote”. His strange creatures have a familiarity about them that evokes sympathy and consequently we care about them.





Landscapes are an essential part of his stories. In The Arrival the backgrounds echo the journey of the man – from crowded city to the open ocean to new land. In The rules of summer the sense of space and limitless time adds to our memories of a long summer vacation. In all his works the amount of detail is extraordinary, from expected details like the streetscapes in The lost thing to the exaggerated size of the boats in The rabbits.

Other items by Shaun Tan held in Georges River Libraries include:

As author and illustrator: Eric, The red tree, Tales from outer suburbia.
As illustrator: Memorial, The singing bones, The wrong grave.

Go to Hurstville Library’s catalogue and Kogarah Library’s catalogue to search for items by Shaun Taun.

Come up close with the story of The lost thing and marvel at Shaun’s original illustrations at Hurstville Museum & Gallery.

22 April – 16 July 2017
A Books Illustrated touring exhibition.

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