The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan

Wicked stepmothers, traitorous brothers, cunning foxes, lonely princesses: There is no mistaking the world of the Brothers Grimm and the beloved fairy tales that have captured generations of readers. Now internationally acclaimed artist Shaun Tan shows us the beautiful, terrifying, amusing, and downright peculiar heart of these tales as never before seen.

9781760111038

Even if you’re not a big fan of Shaun Tan or fairytales/folktales, the visually interesting front cover will instantly peak your interest and urge you to pick up the book. Lucky for me, I was in for a treat; beginning with a forward by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman highlights the importance of stories; both written and verbal. He writes, “They (Tan’s sculptures) do not look like moments of stories: instead, they feel like stories themselves.” I couldn’t agree more! Tan selected 75 short extracts of Brothers Grimm folktales/fairytales (some more well-known than others) and paired them with some strange and creepy sculptures. For those lesser-known tales, there is an index in the back that includes a brief summaries on the tales (of course, not a substitute for the full tales!) I had never heard of the Twelve Brothers, and did further research immediately after reading about it. There were plenty more I also enjoyed being introduced to. However, my favourite sculptures were: The Moon, The Riddle and the Frog King.

Overall, I was totally captivated by Tan’s original interpretation of the stories in sculpture form. Pick up The Singing Bones in October 2016.

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