Shaun Tan: A masterly visual storyteller

The 2011 Astrid Lindgen Memorial Award recipient is: SHAUN TAN

The jury’s citation reads:

Shaun Tan is a masterly visual storyteller, pointing the way ahead to new possibilities for picture books. His pictorial worlds constitute a separate universe where nothing is self-evident and anything is possible. Memories of childhood and adolescence are fixed reference points, but the pictorial narrative is universal and touches everyone, regardless of age.

Behind a wealth of minutely detailed pictures, where civilization is criticized and history depicted through symbolism, there is a palpable warmth. People are always present, and Shaun Tan portrays both our searching and our alienation. He combines brilliant, magical narrative skill with deep humanism.

Illustrator and author from Australia, born in 1974.

Shaun Tan has illustrated more than 20 books, notable among them The Rabbits (1998), The Lost Thing (2000), The Red Tree (2001), The Arrival (2006) and Tales from Outer Suburbia (2008).

Shaun Tan has reinvented the picture book by creating visually spectacular pictorial narratives with a constant human presence. He uses a variety of means of artistic expression: lead pencil, Indian ink, coloured pencil, painting and various print techniques. Shaun Tan sees every book as an experiment in visual and verbal storytelling.

Shaun Tan also collaborates on animated film, musical and theatrical adaptations of his works, as well as producing fine art and murals.

Shaun Tan has received a number of literary awards, including the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 2009 for Tales from Outer Suburbia and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books award in 2007 for The Arrival. At this year’s Academy Awards, Shaun Tan won the Oscar for best animated short film for The Lost Thing, based on his book of the same title.

His works have been translated into more than 10 languages, including German, Swedish, Spanish and Chinese.

Read more about Shaun Tan on

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9 Responses to “Shaun Tan: A masterly visual storyteller”

  1. Alma Carrasco Says:

    From Mexico:
    ¡Congratulations Shaun Tan!!! Good news for a new year. All around good books for kids.

  2. Christina Says:

    Congratulations Shaun, you deserve it. Your work is wonderful, magical, marvelous…and an inspiration to anyone in the art and illustration field!

  3. Congratulations Shaun Tan! « IBBY Australia Says:

    […] of IBBY Australia, as we extend our congratulations to Shaun Tan winner of this year’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the largest award for children’s and young adult literature with a prize of five million Swedish […]

  4. the younger sun Says:

    Congratulations! How wonderful! We are some of your biggest fans here in Yarraville.
    lots of love from the Younger Sun Bookshop. xoxo

  5. Affordable Seo Company India Says:

    Thanks for sharing
    Well done Shaun, you merit it. Your work is magnificent, an inspiration to anyone in the art and picture pasture!

  6. Read Alert » 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award - Shaun Tan Says:

    […] The jury’s statement (care of ALMA): […]

  7. A very well-deserved honour « The Electric oCean Says:

    […] very well-deserved honour Shaun Tan was yesterday announced as the winner of the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. The summary from the jury is a beautiful description of his work. Not only is he one of the finest […]

  8. World Literature Today Says:

    Congratulations to WLT contributor Shaun Tan! In the interview in WLT’s September 2008 issue, Tan discussed his work, his creative process, and the question of audiences for picture books. Brilliant illustrator and author. What truly great news!

  9. Peter Day Says:

    Peter Day…

    […]Shaun Tan: A masterly visual storyteller « Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award[…]…

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