The cover of this novel is what drew me in but as I thumbed my initial way through this novel, it was the illustrations and the short stories that made me pick this book. I liked the way the author connected us humans with animals and although sometimes, as I read the stories, my imagination was stretched, I felt like a child again.
As I read, I was free from reality: I could see the bands of ponies navigating the street, I saw the woman giving hope to the frogs as she placed them in her purse and I saw the multitude of sharks sparkling on the street for which the end would never come.
The passages range from a few paragraphs to around 5 pages but they all were different in nature. I found that reading them once was not enough for me. Each time that I read them, I felt like I understood something else in the passage. I really enjoyed the symbolism and the word choice that was in each piece.
The enjoyed looking at the illustrations as I felt that they provided enough detail to get the gist of the piece while allowing the reader to fill in their own particulars.
Tan’s view on life and how he used the elements of humans and animals was interesting and enlightening. Inventive and clever, Tan presented this information in a fun and enjoyable novel that I really enjoyed. I feel that this novel addressed some deeper issues that some YA readers might not fully understand. They’ll still enjoy the novel but I think this novel is also for readers beyond the YA crowd, so don’t look at the YA label and walk away, it addresses issues beyond YA readers. There is a depth to this book.
This is my first novel by Shaun Tan but I feel that I need to look further into other novels that Tan has created.