The Bird King by Shaun Tan
An Artist's Notebook

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A new book of sketches, artwork, and personal reflection from the brilliant mind of award-winning, bestselling author and illustrator Shaun Tan.

"I'm often wary of using the word 'inspiration' to introduce my work -- it sounds too much like a sun shower from the heavens, absorbed by a passive individual enjoying an especially receptive moment. While that may be the case on rare occasions, the reality is usually far more prosaic. Staring at a blank piece of paper, I can't think of anything original. I feel utterly uninspired and unreceptive. It's the familiar malaise of 'artist's block' and in such circumstances there is only one thing to do: just start drawing." -- Shaun Tan

And when Shaun Tan starts drawing, the results are stunning. In THE BIRD KING: AN ARTIST'S NOTEBOOK, we find a window into the creative process: the stops and starts, the ideas that never took off, and the ones that grew into something much bigger. Fans of THE ARRIVAL will recognize the quirky, surreal sensibility that is so distinctly Shaun Tan in this stunning collection, and gain insight into how his many gorgeous books were made.


About Shaun Tan

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Shaun Tan is the author and illustrator of the award-winning, bestselling graphic novel THE ARRIVAL, and also TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA, a collection of illustrated short stories. Both books were named to the NEW YORK TIMES list of Best Illustrated Children's Books. He won an Oscar for his short film "The Lost Thing" based on a story in the book LOST & FOUND: THREE BY SHAUN TAN, and he is also the recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Shaun Tan lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Published February 1, 2013 by Arthur A. Levine Books. 128 pages
Genres: Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Bird King

Kirkus Reviews

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Most are figure studies, with an admixture of alien landscapes, mazelike warrens of rooms or sustained imaginative flights, such as a full spread of nautically themed characters labeled “language of the sea.” With rare exceptions, the figures are fantasy creatures sporting beaks, armor or other s...

Dec 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Bird King: An Artist's No...

Publishers Weekly

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“Why isn’t the finished work as good as the sketch?” Tan (The Arrival) asks in the introduction to this collection of loose illustrations and rough ideas, wondering why drawings lose their spontaneity

Dec 10 2012 | Read Full Review of The Bird King: An Artist's No...

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Is the next story for publishing going to be one dominated by global and local author and publisher brands, especially in niches?

Jan 09 2013 | Read Full Review of The Bird King: An Artist's No...

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