Anticipating a Tan

Posted: August 25, 2012 in Fantasy, Illustrators, International literature, Picturebooks for older readers

No, not a suntan . . . Shaun Tan. I was immediately mesmerized by Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, his wordless book published in the U.S. in 2007, and it has been announced that The Bird King and Other Sketches, featuring Tan’s art and reflections, will be published by Scholastic/Levine in spring 2013. Tan is a native of Australia, and The Bird King was originally published there, as well as in Germany and the UK, so it will be a treat to have it accessible in the United States. Tan’s father was a Chinese immigrant to Australia, and The Arrival is a wordless fantasy, recommended for grades 7 and up, which speaks to immigration and the fears and trepidations as well as joys of such a significant experience. Shaun Tan has several other books, such as postmodern picture books and short stories (which he illustrated, of course), and now to have a peek into his sketchbook with The Bird King is certainly something to anticipate. His website, which can be found here, is also fascinating.

The Arrival, by Shaun Tan

The Bird King, by Shaun Tan


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