what I'm reading next: shaun tan's tales from outer suburbia

"Water buffaloes are like that; they hate talking."

The New York Times recently named Shaun Tan's Tales from Outer Suburbia as one of the Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2009: Everyday Weirdness. Can't believe I missed this one -- has this book even been published in the United States yet? It's apparently been available since February. The book sounds great, and I want it.

The book is an anthology of fifteen very short illustrated stories, each one about a strange situation or event that occurs in an otherwise familiar suburban world. The real subject of each story is how ordinary people react to these incidents, and how their significance is discovered, ignored or simply misunderstood.

I'm a huge fan of Shaun Tan's earlier book The Arrival. It's absolutely brilliant. And beautifully drawn -- with no words at all -- telling the story of an immigrant arriving in a new world. I can't wait to get my hands on Tales from Outer Suburbia. To learn more (and see more cool illustrations), visit Shaun Tan's website here.

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