Thursday, September 19, 2013

Eric by Shaun Tan

How excited was I when I found this little gem! I have a large collection of Tan's works and was not aware of this existence of this littler number. Turns out that this is a mini gift edition of one of the most loved stories from the multi-award-winning, internationally lauded masterpiece Tales from Outer Suburbia. Despite the fact that in general we tend to think of book with fewer words are reserved for children, this is really a book for all ages.

Some years ago we had a foreign exchange student come to live with us. We found it difficult to pronounce his name correctly, but he didn't mind.

Thus begins the story of the very amiable  "Eric," the name he chose for himself to make life easier for others. Eric chooses to live on a shelf in the pantry rather than in the freshly decorated room the family had provided for him.  Tan showcases Eric's interest in the smaller and less obvious things in the world; those things we often neglect to notice. His illustrations are what make this book so memorable as they are unique and whimsical, with the final illustration which makes you go tingly inside. It is a beautiful and fitting conclusion which makes everything else in the books suddenly very meaningful.

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