The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan (group set, 7 books)

£52 Save £17.93

The Lost Thing is a story about a boy who discovers a bizarre-looking creature whilst out collecting bottle-tops at the beach. Having guessed that it is lost, he tries to find out who owns it or where it belongs, but the problem is met with indifference by everyone else, who barely notice it's presence. Each is unhelpful in their own way; strangers, friends, parents all unwilling to entertain this uninvited interruption to day-to-day life. In spite of his better judgement, the boy feels sorry for this hapless creature, and attempts to find out where it belongs.

  • Free discussion notes on this website
  • belonging, identity, imagination, aspiration
  • urban environments
  • 32 pages




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Shaun Tan interviewed by Nikki Gamble

Shaun Tan is the author and illustrator of 'The Lost Thing' and 'The Red Tree', both of which have won international awards such as the Honourable Mention in the BolognaRagazzi Prize, were CBCA Honour Books and have been widely translated. Previous books Shaun has illustrated include 'The Rabbits' by John Marsden (CBCA Picture Book of the Year) and with Gary Crew, 'Memorial' (A CBCA Honour Book) and 'The Viewer' (winner of the Crichton Award for illustration). In 2001 Shaun received the 'World Fantasy Best Artist Award' for his body of work. Shaun is the winner of the 2011 Astrid Lindgren prize, the world's richest children's literature award. The award described Shaun as 'a masterly visually storyteller'.

Tell us about your background. Are you fine art or illustration trained?

My background is in fine art. I didn’t study illustration formally but I have always been interested in books and illustration as a hobby. I want to a high school that had a special art programme, which basically meant there was some extra attention given to the visual arts curriculum.

When I left high school, I didn’t know what to do. I was notable for being a good drawer (probably just that!). I had a lot of other interests. I liked writing. My older brother was very interested in science and I followed quite a lot of his interests. However, I ended up doing an arts degree which comprised four subjects: history, philosophy, fine arts and English literature.

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