Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shaun Tan's Tales From Outer Suburbia

Since our favorite blogger, Sally, is on vacay (well, okay, she's not really on vacay--she's actually braving the wilds of Salt Lake City to attend the American Bookseller Association's mid-winter institute in order to learn how to better serve you, our lovely, loyal customers) she has asked me (Jennie) to guest spot for the next few days. And, since I happen to love graphic novels, it is likely that they will be the subject of my posts. If you have yet to check out our graphic novel section, perhaps it is time to break out of that reading rut and try something new. I'm always happy to make suggestions...

That being said, my current recommendation is Shaun Tan's Tales From Outer Suburbia (Scholastic, $19.99). Tan is the author/illustrator of the amazingly beautiful and moving The Arrival (which is also worth taking a gander at if you happen to be browsing for something different). Tales is a series of illustrated vignettes detailing fantastical little slices of life from suburbia. The characters and plots that inhabit his strange universe may seem unusual and foreign, but the emotions they arouse will most certainly be familiar. Now, I should tell you this--I am not generally a crier. Sure, I can be sentimental, but rarely do I allow the expulsion of salty moisture to leak from my ducts. However, I will admit to you that one paticular story in this book made me bust out into a serious blubber-fest. (What's even worse is that I was reading it at the store, and there were customers around!--which just goes to show you how affected I was by it.) It's not so much that the story was sad, but that it was just incredibly moving in the simplicity of its message. Still makes me feel a little misty just thinking about it...

My point (circuitous as it may seem) is that it is a spectacularly awesome book that is worth a trip to Broadway Books. And, it's appropriate for big and little people of all ages. What a great deal.

1 comment:

  1. We've loved Tan's work for a while, too. His "The Lost Thing" has remained in steady rotation as a bedtime book for two children in particular for a couple of years now. And the reader isn't particularly tired of it, either!


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