Book Review: The Bird King and Other Sketches

The Bird King and Other Sketches

Shaun Tan is one of the most imaginative artists and storytellers around. I love his stories, simple yet always fascinating.

This sketchbook is a little 128-page hardcover. The spine area is clothed and it comes with a wraparound red rubber band and a ribbon bookmark.

The sketches collected are those he created for his other books, like The Arrival, Tales From Outer Suburbia, Lost and Found, and perhaps some other stories I've yet to discover.

There are also many new sketches including some of his drawings from life which look strangely abstract to me.

Many weird and appealing characters live on these pages, all seemingly alive. It's difficult not to be marveled at his sketches. On one page, there's a giant bird treading through an ocean with sharks and octopus, while carrying a cardboard box with a little girl sleeping in it. On another, there's concepts for Aquasapiens, automobiles crossed with aquatic life that roam the seabed.

His works are best to be seen than described. Highly recommended for sketchbook lovers, those who like doodles and fans of Shaun Tan.

Check out more work from Shaun Tan at www.shauntan.net and his other books that I reviewed.

Bird King and Other Sketches is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN)

There's also another edition of this book from publisher Arthur A. Levine Books, The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook, available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN)

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If you buy from the links, I get a little commission that helps me get more books to feature.

The Bird King and Other Sketches is available at:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp | Amazon.cn

The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook is available at:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp | Amazon.cn

This is wonderful. But I think you reviewed this book once before.

Thanks, Parka - high time for this review! ;)

A German version was recently released (Carlsen Publishing). I have to admit, I'm not a fan of that edition. The letters on the cover are not impressed (as in the UK edition), there's no wraparound band and Shaun Tan's notes are translated as end notes (on the last pages), making this rather difficult to enjoy for non-English speakers. Also, the German edition is significantly more expensive. Carlsen Publishing normally releases very, very beautiful, lavish and bibliophile books, so this is an unexpected letdown.

Hi Parka, do the 2 editions have the same contents? Thank. Great blog.

Hi Parka, if 2 editions have same contents why the price is very different? Thank you.

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