Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan

A boy on the beach is searching for a bottle cap for his collection when he notices a huge, pot-bellied-stove looking creature that doesn’t seem to belong to anyone, and no one else seems to see. When he takes it home even his parents don’t notice it until the boy points it out to them. Immediately, the boy is told he can not keep it, but finding where the creature belongs proves to be a difficult task.

Filled with the weird and wonderful drawings I have come to expect from Shaun Tan, the story of the boy and his “lost thing” seems very simple. But when one delves deeper into the imagery the book becomes more of a puzzle book as one reads the exterior diagrams and newspaper articles, or perhaps text book entries, which include things such as: "The Federal Department of Odds & Ends," where the motto is "sweepus underum carpetae."

Through Tan’s story and images we see the world around us anew, a world were not everything fits neatly into place, and begs the question, aren’t we all lost things?