Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Recommendation- Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan

Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan gives readers great pictures to look at and decipher and short vingettes to think about. Many stories, most only a few pages, make up this book that is part prose and part picture book.

My personal favorite is called Grandpa's Story. It is a story, told by a grandfather, about how "weddings were more complicated in those days". The grandfather goes on to tell how the bride and groom were sent out before the ceremony with an evelope and a compass and had to solve a number of cryptic riddles and find objects on a list. How he and "your grandma" had to work together and almost did not make it back. Like most of the stories in this book, "Granpa's Story" is meant to teach a lesson or highlight some aspect of everyday suburban life.

I liked Tan's first graphic novel The Arrival, which is wordless. It really gave me a lot to puzzle over. Tales From Outer Suburbia gave me a lot to think about too. I would recommend this book to readers who like to be visually stimulated. It reminded me of Chris Van Allsburg's books like The Widow's Broom and The Wreck of Zephyr.

-Katie at Chester County Library

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