I first discovered Shaun Tan's work with The Red Tree when I was teaching in London. His artworks have a sort of mesmerising quality and he tells dreamlike stories with very powerful messages.
Before I received this book I was unaware that Tan is an Australian author/illustrator!
The Singing Bones book is actually a collection of photographs of sculptures he created to go with a collection of fifty of Grimm's tales by Philip Pullman.
This book includes 75 images accompanied by short excerpts of the tales they are from. The excerpts are written by Jack Zipes. If you are unfamiliar with the actual tales of Grimm they are much darker than the 'fairytales' we currently tell or many of us are familiar with.
Clearly the Grimms were prolific collectors of stories and there were many tales in here that I hadn't come across (even though I did do a paper that covered their tales at uni).
Of course it is Tan's work that I was most excited about seeing. His sculptures have the same dream like quality as his illustrations and each one is a true work of art. They are truly evocative and this book would be a beautiful coffee table book. Like the tales some of the images are dark and somewhat haunting. I would definitely see this as a book for older readers as well as adults.
It would also be a beautiful jumping off point for looking at sculpture as an art form.
Details - Allen and Unwin, October 2015 RRP $35.00 HB
I know I'll be enjoying this book over and over.
love you more than a perfect scrap of miniature wonder xxx