Tales from Outer Suburbia
by Shaun Tan
New York: Arthur A. Levine Books
Collection of 15 illustrated short stories set in Australian suburbs. Science fiction and fantasy are flavored with the unseen macabre.
The stories and illustrations share a common element: a stranger -- someone or something lost, unexpectedly out of place, or simply so different that it's impossible to communicate with them. These strangers are sometimes mournful, sometimes frightening, sometimes pathetic or even slightly ridiculous -- but their mysterious appearance contributes to the surrealism of the book. Middle schoolers may be puzzled by the frankly quirky nature of the collection, but high school students could enjoy discussing the themes behind the stories and the artwork.
Media: oil paint, oil pastel, colored pencil