The Singing Bones

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This book is both whimsical and dark. Grimms’ fairy stories were not the cheerful, brightly-painted Disney musicals; they were a collection of morbid and cautionary tales for adults. Artist Shaun Tan perfectly captures this more primordial aspect of the tales through his elemental artworks illustrating many of them. Seventy-five small sculptures capture a scene or an atmosphere or a character from one of the stories; each story’s iconic sculpture seems to somehow encapsulate the whole. The sculptures are sparse, undetailed, and reminiscent of ancient, even antediluvian talismans. They seem both unfinished yet perfectly complete and compelling in their powerful simplicity. They go far beyond addressing the superficial story line to extricate a more primitive and fundamental truth. For example, when you look at the sculpture for Rapunzel, you first notice the simple tower with the liquid golden hair cascading from the top – then you abruptly realize that the tower is actually Rapunzel herself. Suddenly you can interpret the story in a completely new way. These sculptures force you to look at the stories with a new vision, or perhaps a very old one.

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Author Shaun Tan
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Arthur A. Levine Books
Publish Date 2016-10-11
ISBN 9780545946124
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2016
Category Tweens


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