This anthology by Shaun Tan is a unique collection. The fifteen illustrated stories are packaged in a beautifully designed book. The stories are all very short pieces about strange or unusual events which occur in the outer suburbs, but each is different in visual style.
The Water Buffalo presents a conundrum with a few paragraphs facing an illustrated page.
Eric is more illustration than words, and mostly black and white sketches. The said Eric is a foreign exchange student small enough to sleep in a teacup in the pantry, which indeed he chooses to do. His hosts are very willing to please but don’t really understand their guest. However, they accept him as he comes, and find a pleasant surprise when he leaves.
Broken Toys presents a rather surreal character (even for this book) wandering the streets and apparently finding his way to a home.
In No Other Country
The green painted concrete out the front of the house, which at first seemed like a novel way to save money on lawn mowing, was now just plain depressing.
And there was more to complain about from this family until a freak accident makes a hole in a wall which opens up
– an impossible room, somewhere between the others.
And what a difference this makes.
Shaun Tan has a beautiful website with more information about this book.