Review: The Bird King by Shaun Tan

bird king

The Bird King: An Artist’s Notebook by Shaun Tan

This book opens the curtain to Tan’s creative process, allowing readers to view art from stories that have not yet been full formed, art from books that have been completed, and beautiful illustrations that may not be stories at all.  The courage this book took to produce is to be applauded.  Allowing readers and other artists to see a process of creativity is raw and soul baring. 

This book is stellar.  One turns the pages slowly, lingering in worlds undreamed of, wondering at ideas, and pausing to allow a particular image to sink in more deeply.  It is a journey, specially designed for a young creative to see that mistakes can be joyous, that creation is messy, and that works in progress are breathtaking.

This is a book to get in the hands of teens who enjoy art and writing, for it is a look at the unformed and the just formed.  It is a book of pure creativity and the creative process.  Beautiful.  Haunting.  Inspiring.  Appropriate for ages 10-18.

Reviewed from copy received from Scholastic.