Tan, S. (2008). Tales from outer suburbia. New York, NY: Arthur A. Levine Books.
Reading/Interest Level: Ages 9+
Similar Titles: The Arrival
Awards: Winner of the Aurealis Award, Australian Children's Book of the Year Awards, and Publishers Weekly Best Children's Books Award, nominated for a Locus Award, World Fantasy Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Plot: Fifteen short stories written and illustrated by Shaun Tan are all intriguing and imaginative. From a big water buffalo residing in the grass at the end of the street, to a cultural visit from a small being named Eric, the stories explore the fantastical world of youthful inquiring minds. Tan uses various mediums to collage and sketch his way through the book making each page turn a surprise; the text varies in length and depth, leaving the reader to form their own ideas about what is on the page.
Personal Thoughts: The artwork in this story varies in style and format, creating an interesting visual journey. The stories are short and yet leave the reader asking themselves about what happened and what the story means. Reluctant readers will enjoy this brief yet thoughtful collection.