Shaun Tan is no stranger to awards ceremonies. He has the unique distinction of being the only author on our 2014 shortlists to have once accepted an Oscar from Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis for his work… a high point that must, by definition, make everything from that point onwards fade into insignificance by comparison.
Which is why it was especially nice of him to have said this of his 2014 ABIA nomination for RULES OF SUMMER in the Book of the Year for Younger Children (age range 0-8 years) category: “Any attention from the ABIA awards is a real privilege, and nothing beats the judgement of peers working at all fronts of the publishing industry, particularly booksellers who connect literature with readers on the ground (where would we be without them?)”.
Shaun grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, WA, becoming known in school as the ‘good drawer’, which only partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery. Those books are THE RABBITS, THE RED TREE, TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA, the wordless THE ARRIVAL, and his latest RULES OF SUMMER. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer and a concept artist for the films HORTON HEARS A WHO and Pixar’s WALL-E, and directed the short film THE LOST THING, for which he received the aforementioned Academy Award. Shaun also received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for his contribution to international children’s literature in 2011.
We are honoured to have Shaun Tan – and the other extremely talented authors and artists in the running for the Book of the Year for Younger Children (age range 0-8) award – on our 2014 shortlists.