Really, Shaun Tan exists and writes and illustrates and creates on this plain of artistic being, that I have yet to achieve. I never know enough artistic lingo to adequately describe illustration, and always fall back on general statements that probably don't even make sense: I'm going to call his work surreal, and if it's not actual surrealism but some other movement in art (post postmodern surrealistic realism?) then so be it. What I mean by surreal is that I have no idea what the hell is even going on; the illustrations are NUTS in a wonderful way - not just nuts, but roasted nuts, Macadamias even. And even though I don't know what the hell this book is supposed to be about, what I want it to be about, what it reminded me of, was being ten years old, and having a whole summer in front of you, with your brother or your gang of little rascals, and making up stuff throughout June and July, games that occasionally turned into gigantic feuds that were unfathomable to outsiders but made total sense to our gang. The lazy days of summer never existed for us back then, and I totally want and think Shaun Tan's marvelous book captures that.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm not exactly sure what this book was supposed to be about, but for me it represented the lazy days of summer that never existed if you had at least one friend, a fertile imagination between the two of you, and the entire hot months of June, July and most of August spread out at your feet. A great mind is at work here - Shaun Tan exists and writes and illustrates and creates on this plain of artistic being - and I came away nostalgic and impressed.