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The Lost Thing

by Shaun Tan

A boy discovers a bizarre-looking creature while out collecting bottle-tops at a beach. Having guessed that it is lost, he tries to find out who owns it or where it belongs, but the problem is met with indifference by everyone else, who barely notice its presence. Each is unhelpful in their own way; strangers, friends, parents are all unwilling to entertain this uninvited interruption to day-to-day life. In spite of his better judgement, the boy feels sorry for this hapless creature, and attempts to find out where it belongs.

The Lost Thing received an Honourable Mention at the Bologna International Book Fair, Italy, was named an Honour Book at the CBCA Awards, won an Aurealis Award and a Spectrum Award for illustration in the United States. Original illustrations from the book were exhibited at the Itabashi Art Museum in Tokyo.

A London-based film production company, Passion Pictures, is currently adapting The Lost Thing as a short animated film, and the Canberra-based youth theatre company Jigsaw has staged a multi-media adaptation of the story at the National Gallery of Australia in October 2004.



About Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan's award-winning books include the highly acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival, The Lost Thing, The Red Tree, The Rabbits and Tales from Outer Suburbia. In 2011, Shaun won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, shared an Academy Award for his work on the animated short film version of his book The Lost Thing, and was presented with the Dromkeen Medal for services to children s literature in Australia. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer, as a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar's WALL-E and as an animator on the Academy Award-winning short film adapted from his book The Lost Thing. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages and have won many prizes both in Australia and internationally.

Other books by Shaun Tan



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