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Book DetailsISBN: 9780734417114
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Book Review: Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan - Reviewed by CloggieA (12 Jan 2019)
3.5?s Rules of Summer is a book for young readers by award-winning Australian illustrator and author, Shaun Tan. It begins “This is what I learned last summer”. What follows is a collection of clever illustrations augmented by a set of rules. Those rules might be a bit confusing. Rules like “never drop your jar” will, in conjunction with the illustration, seem to make perfect sense; “never step on a snail” seems less intuitive. Maybe this simply demonstrates that in childhood, many rules seem arbitrary, made by who knows?, displaying little logic but to be followed at threat of some unnamed peril. Perhaps the back cover says it all: “Never break the rules. Especially if you don’t understand them.”
The text pages are already marked with scribbles in coloured pencil, smudges, creases, mildew spots, blotches, stains and crinkles – an ideal book for young readers as it really won’t matter if they add a few of their own. Observant readers will note the bird on every page and soon be checking for its location. All a little bizarre, but with Tan’s excellent artwork.
Shaun Tan grew up in Perth and graduated from the University of Western Australia with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature. He began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery. His works include The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, Rules of Summer and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival. All have been widely translated throughout Europe, Asia and South America, and are enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer and a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar's WALL-E and in 2011, he shared an Academy Award for his work on the animated short film based on his book, The Lost Thing. In that same year, he won the Dromkeen Medal for services to children's literature and the Astrid Lindgren prize, the world's richest children's literature award. For more information visit shauntan.net
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