Eric, by Shaun Tan

Some years ago we had a foreign exchange student come to stay, but he didn’t want to use our guest room. He preferred to sleep in our pantry…

This whimsical small format offering from the brilliant Shaun Tan is an absolute delight. The exchange student who comes to live with a human family is a tiny pointed headed character reminiscent of a leaf. The family have trouble understanding him, but share their life with him and make sure he has all sorts of experiences. They are never quite sure whether he enjoys them or not, but when he leaves, the family discover he has left them a beautiful surprise.

First included as part of Tan’s Tales From Outer Suburbia, Eric is now presented as a standalone hard cover offering, suitable for all ages. With Tan’s delightfully simple illustrations – chiefly in grey-scale but with splashes of colour where needed – and accompanying minimalist text, this is an offering to be simultaneously laughed at and pondered.

A little treasure.

Eric, by Shaun Tan
Allen & Unwin, 2010

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereveiws.