’These little figures of slay, with their simplified features, their single attributes, are perfect realisations of the strangeness of the characters they represent.’ PHILLIP PULLMAN
If you are expecting smiling princesses or Disneyfied beasts in this collection of images interpreting Grimms’ fairytales, then you are probably unfamiliar with the work of its creator Shaun Tan. But if you love Tan’s work, then you will adore this amazing offering.
Tan created sculpture images to accompany a collection of Grimms’ fairy tales edited by Phillip Pullman, and The Singing Bones presents these images plus more, each accompanied by a short extract from the relevant fairytale. The sculptures, created with paper-mache and clay and coloured with acrylics, oxidised metal powder, wax and shoe-polish and could well be the relics from an archaeological dig, an effect Tan was hoping to create. Some are whimsical, others are frightening, but all are breathtaking. Readers who may be unfamiliar with the tales will probably be keen to go and find them for themselves, but in the meantime , a back-of-book index gives a precis of each tale.
A wonderful collectors’ item suitable for all ages.
The Singing Bones, by Shaun Tan with a foreword by Philip Pullman
Allen & Unwin, 2015