The Rabbits By John Marsden & Shaun Tan

The Rabbits offers a rich and immensely valuable perspective on the effect of man on his environment. Visually loaded and told with a passion for truth and understanding, The Rabbits aims to promote cultural awareness and a sense of caring for the natural world.

A rich and haunting allegory for all ages, all cultures.

Hodder Children’s Books

The Red Tree by Shaun Tan

The Red Tree is a story without any particular narrative; a series of distinct imaginary worlds as self-contained images which invite readers to draw their own meaning in the absence of any written explanation. As a concept, the book is inspired by the impulse of children and adults alike to describe feelings using metaphor – monsters, storms, sunshine, rainbows and so on. Moving beyond cliché, I sought painted images that might further explore the expressive possibilities of this kind of shared imagination, which could be at once strange and familiar. A nameless young girl appears in every picture, a stand-in for ourselves; she passes helplessly through many dark moments, yet ultimately finds something hopeful at the end of her journey.

Shaun Tan

Memorial by Gary Crew, illustrated by Shaun Tan

Memorial is a story about a tree planted beside a war memorial monument, in a small country town by returned servicemen. Years on, the tree has grown to be huge and unruly, dislodging the statue next to it and creating a traffic hazard in what is now a much larger, busier town. A decision is made by a local council to cut the tree down.

Memorial won an Honour Book award in the 2000 CBCA awards, won an APA Design Award for best designed children’s book and was short-listed for the Queensland Premier’s Book Awards.

– Shaun Tan

Sketches from a Nameless Land: The Art of the Arrival by Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan is from Western Australia. He is best known for his surreal picture books. His books are what our world would look like if they collided with Shaun’s dreams. A couple of these books I have showcased on Magpie That; Rules of Summer & Eric. I plan to do a post soon, showcasing all of his work as I have with David Weisner & Mac Barnett.

The first book I bought by Shaun Tan was The Arrival, recommended by a friend of mine, who is a fan of graphic novels. The Arrival is work of art. It is a migrant story told as a series of wordless images. Reading it feels like looking into both the past and the future.

A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope.

Sketches from a Nameless Land: The Art of the Arrival allows us to look at the creative process of this masterpiece. It is filled with early sketches, sources of inspiration and commentary of the evolution of this massive project.

  • ISBN: 9781444924428
  • Publication date: 02 Oct 2014

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan.

Combining humour and surreal fantasy, Shaun Tan pictures a summer in the lives of two boys. Each spread tells of an event and the lesson learned. By turns, these events become darker and more sinister as the boys push their games further and further.

Hachette hildren’s Books

Find more videos like this at this great website dedicated to the book.