The Singing Bones

The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan is the last book on my graphic novel list - this one counts as the 'picture book', though I have to say the designations for each category this time around have been more then a little arbitrary!

The Singing Bones is not really a book for children. It is exquisite and uncanny, using short extracts from about 60 of Grimms' fairy tales as inspiration for a series of clay sculptures by Tan, best known for his drawings. An afterword states that Shaun Tan was influenced by Inuit and Mexican sculpture, and these weird, wonderful little works cry out to be held in the hand. But I think if I was a young child, I'd find them slightly terrifying. The extracts from the stories, too, many of which were unfamiliar to me, were dark and creepy. Not saying that's a bad thing, but I think I got more pleasure from this book as an adult than I would have as a child.

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