From School Library Journal
Grade 3 Up–Tan's collage artwork for this picture book is full of the wonderfully strange. When a humungous "lost thing" at the beach catches the eye of a boy previously occupied with his bottle-cap collection, no one else seems to notice–not even his parents, although it takes up a good part of their living space when he brings it home. The boy sets off to find a place for the thing within an industrial landscape awash in gray matter–pipes, gears, and a few concrete structures. On the periphery of the central illustrations are postcards, road signs, words and diagrams from an engineering textbook, and faux governmentflierssuch as the one from "The Federal Department of Odds & Ends," where the motto is "sweepus underumcarpetae." Readers are bound to become adept perceivers as they move through the book and delight in discovering these exterior notes. Tan's illustrations offer playful tributes that could serve as introductions to such artists as Miró, Duchamp, Dalí, Kandinski, Hopper, John Brack, and Jeffrey Smart. This book asks important questions: What does it mean to see things differently? What is important to notice? The lost thing suggests that what can not be fit neatly into a box has great potential to wake us (if we pay attention) and help us see the world anew. Tan is a singular talent.–Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA
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About the Author
Shaun Tan has an outstanding reputation for his illustrative work. He won the Crichton Award for Book Illustration (The Viewer) in 1995. His collaborative effort with John Marsden, The Rabbits was named CBC Picture Book of the Year in 1999. Memorial was his third picture book. He has been a leading science-fiction illustrator in Australia for several years; with recognition including the Illustrators of the Future Award (1991) and the Australian National Science Fiction Best Artist Award (1995, 1996). He contributes regular political cartoons to the Western Review and is the art editor and a regular contributor to Eidelon magazine.
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