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Lost and Found: Three by Shaun Tan
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Lost and Found: Three by Shaun Tan

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  3,476 ratings  ·  421 reviews
A girl finds a bright spot in a dark world.

A boy leads a strange, lost creature home.

And a group of peaceful creatures cedes their home to hostile invaders.

Shaun Tan, with his understates voice and brilliant draftsmanship, has proved that he has a unique imaginative window to our souls, and an unparalleled ability to share that opening with pictures and narratives that ar...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Community Reviews

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First Second Books
Dear Shaun Tan, I would please like to come and live inside your head. Failing that, can you build an amusement park outside my house? Hearts and flowers, Gina.
This is a beautiful book, full of wonder, but not completely wonderful. The artwork is spectacular and the stories are better-than-adequate. But I see this as a bittersweet collection. The stories end on a hopeful note, but if you're on meds, you may want to dose up before diving in. Not that the stories are depressing, just a bit gray, ironically. The vibrant artwork contrasts pretty sharply with the subdued voice of the stories, making the read a bit of a push-pull. Try this: have someone read...more
Since The Arrival was still very fresh and vibrant in my mind, this suffered a little in comparison to me. Lovely, all of them. The first two were sweet, with a red leaf to find on every page of the first and the second conveying simplicity even with complex drawings. The last, "The Rabbits," was amaaaaaaaazing!, grim, sad, and unfortunately easily understood to represent historical events - the page that opens to children carried by The book ends with a short essay by Tan explainin...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Three picture books are included in this volume so I will review them separately but overall the book is breathtaking. Although all three books are illustrated with wondrous, inventive, and unrecognizable things like The Arrival, they are the perfect illustrations for the metaphorical tales they are illustrating. Tan’s artwork is astonishing. His text is less so but that’s okay, it’s still fairly good and that’s not what this is about anyway. Also like The Arrival, the pictures pretty much speak...more
Tony Keefer
I loved this rerelease of 3 stories by Shaun Tan. As usual the artwork is amazing and in some cases very haunting. All three stories deal with the place of people in a society.

The first story the Red Tree is a beautiful and somewhat disturbing tale of a girl who doesn't seem to fit in, but when she stops waiting for something perfect to happen she discovers good right in front of her eyes. There is a stunning 2 page spread of little illustrations that I studied for many minutes before turning t...more
First of all, I'm not exactly sure how to go about classifying this book. It isn't a graphic novel as it contains three short illustrated stories/fables. It isn't a picture book (in the traditional sense) for young children. I suppose that it is a graphic picture book meant for older children and adults. It is one of those books that you need to see to fully understand, which is why you should look through the book to get a feel for its art and tone.

Perhaps the best way to review the book is to...more
Typical Tan! Impossible to classify or adequately describe. Can I just say brilliant, weird, and unforgettable?
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simcha Wood
I don't generally take the opportunity to read picture books these days, so I feel a bit fortunate to have come across Shaun Tan's Lost and Found. This book combines three brilliantly crafted stories with the most mesmerizing artwork I've ever seen in a book ostensibly targeted to children.

Though it is a children's book, the book is one of those rare jewels that can be appreciated by people of all ages. The stories are not dumbed down, but they have a surface simplicity that will make them immed...more
Lost and Found: Three by Shaun Tan is a beautiful book. Tan's paintings vary in style, but all of them are full of interesting details. (Okay, not all of them are even paintings. There are collages, for instance.) I've noticed different things in the images everytime I've opened the book. The images stand well on their own, without the accompaniment of text.

The first story in this omnibus is "The Red Tree." This one has the most experimental art; sometimes the style changes between pages. "The R...more
The cover is what first drew me to this book. And when I opened it up I was not disappointed. Throughout there are many beautiful, full-page pictures that work together with the words to tell a richly-detailed story.

The first story is "The Red Tree" and is a dark, gritty, somewhat depressing story of a girl having a very bad day. The pictures here had me mesmerized. I think what I really enjoyed about this story is that it shows that bad things don't last, and there's a great need for hope.

Within these pages you will find three stories. Some might make you sad, some might make you feel great. All are beautifully illustrated with sparse words that capture intense emotions. Allow yourself to be swept into very different worlds for a few moments. The front flap tells, in brief what each story is about.
"A girl finds a bright spot
in a dark world.

A boy leads a strange,
lost creature home.

And a group of peaceful
creatures cedes their home to hostile invaders."

I really love Shaun Tan's a...more
Bryce Holt
The visuals of Shaun Tan's "Lost and Found" are stellar, which should come as no surprise since it was done by one of the best illustrators alive. That said, the storytelling...especially the endings to the two that Tan actually wrote ("The Red Tree" and "The Lost Thing")...were surprisingly weak. I thought "The Red Tree" was graphically profound, and though I admit that the story wouldn't have made sense without the words (as his epic work "The Arrival" manages to do), it was so close to being...more
Sarah T.
Shaun Tan has quickly become one of my favorite author/illustrators!

After reading "Tales From Outer Suburbia," and finding that its reading level was just too high to use as a book club selection for the adult literacy program I work for, I was BUMMED! It was so creative and surreal and the illustrations were simply stunning. So, I sought out another book to use and found this one. I think I have found my book club book!

This book, like "Tales" is full of busy, surreal illustrations and while th...more
Eva Mitnick
Although I labeled this as a "graphic novel," it's not one in the traditional frames-and-bubbles sense. Rather, it's a picture book for older kids, teens, and adults, containing three stories. The first, The Red Tree, is about the possibility of finding meaning and joy in the midst of depression and sorrow. The second, The Lost Thing, is a bit of whimsy and sweetness though the world depicted is modernity at its worst - both dirty and impersonal, with plenty of scary authoritarian touches. The t...more
Tan's latest collection includes three short graphic stories, each with an underlying message for readers. However, as with all of his work, the artwork is the real key feature. Tan is an incredible artist, and while the stories in this book are simple to comprehend, the visuals will keep on each page for a long time, and in my case, made me go back to look at them again and again. I especially enjoyed the final tale, "The Rabbits," which could be used very well in a classroom; it's an allegoric...more

This was a really interesting experience, reading this book. It was creative and beautiful and at times, completely random. It seemed that two dark stories sandwiched one brighter one. In the first story, a girl lives in a dark world and finally sees a bright spot. In the next story, a random "thing" is found by a boy and he tries to help it find its place. In the last story, rabbits take over the world. (No joke). There was a darker tint to the first and third stories, wh...more
I really like Shaun Tan's art. It is so cool how he uses surrealism to reveal the interaction between reality and emotion (even the feeling of not-reality).

I especially appreciate his interest in shining light on areas of our lives and/or world that need light shown on them. It's clear that Tan is not a believer in the Light, i.e. Jesus, but God has shown Tan much grace in both his artistic abilities and in his desire to alleviate suffering through means of telling stories.

The first story, about...more
Lost and Found by Shaun Tan is a beautiful, highly symbolic, piece of literature. Through his artwork, Tan conveys a variety of messages relating to child and adult life. Though the stories seem very simple, they each contain a very deep meaning concerning society. The book contains three stories: The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, and The Rabbit. The Red Tree is a tale about a depressed girl, and allows adults to relate to the story by empathizing with the girl’s feelings. The Lost Thing is about a...more
Trey Stuthman
Graphic Novel

Text-to-Self: This was an extremely abstract book. However, I enjoy reading books where you really have to dig for the hidden meaning. During this story, a man finds this lost machine at a beach. He takes care of it at first, but he must eventually find a place where it belongs. I can relate to this book because when I was in seventh grade I found this baby mouse outside our house during the winter. It was barely alive, but alive nonetheless. So I decided to take it into our garage...more
Sara  (
Shaun Tan may be my favorite illustrator of all time. I first fell in love with his work with the word-less The Arrival, which I still treasure looking at. His illustration style is so rich and detailed and witty and full of emotional depth. I am someone who finds it very difficult to visualize things and think in images, so Shaun Tan is pretty much a wizard to me. The images in his collection of three stories in Lost and Found are every bit as stunning and fantastical. They actually made me thi...more
Edward Sullivan
This is a collection of three early works by the immensely talented Australian illustrator and graphic artist. None have been widely available in the United States. All three are magical, surreal, wondrous, and quite sophisticated. The Rabbits, written by John Marsden, is a chilling fable about the evils of Colonialism, depicting an indigenous population being crushed by invaders.
Shaun Tan is, imho the most talented conceptual graphic story illustrator working today. Very high praise? Perhaps, but consider giving this trio of stories a try, or the stunning and meaningful, "Arrival" and judge for yourself if one person capable of intensely wonderful & concise story crafting accompanied by perfectly brilliant artwork is truly a unique talent!
This is a beautiful book, not only where the illustrations are concerned, but for the inspiring text that accompanies them. This might be classified as a children's book, but it's really a book of three short stories for people of any age. It's one of those books to hold onto and read at different stages of your life to get something different out of it each time you pick it up.

The book has some amazing illustrations that are filled not only with images, but with emotions conveyed through color...more
Three great short stories with beautiful artwork. Although classified as a children's book, I think this could be classified as an adult book as well. The short, "simple" stories address issues of loneliness, modern passivity, colonalization and the loss of imagination in our high tech world. They're beautiful and poignant.
This books of 3 stories can span multiple age levels. It is quite complex, but also simple at the same time. It has themes of hopelessness and hope, fear, courage, care for others, and lack of concern for others. The art made me speechless, and there are a lot of details within each page for readers to stop and ponder.
Shaun Tan's work could be described in many ways, but I think of the two I've experienced as picture books for adults. It won't take you long to read the stories in Lost and Found, but you could spend hours dissecting the artwork. The stories are simple, but profound and moving. Simply fabulous.
The first thing you notice about Lost and Found by Shaun Tan are the illustrations. He uses vivid colors and includes many fascinating details. Every time you look at one of his pictures, you find something new. The book is actually three short stories in one. The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, and The Rabbits. I read through the book and really enjoyed every one of the stories. It is the kind of book that says one thing on the surface but actually contains a much deeper, hidden meaning. Though ther...more
Marvelous, original, thought-provoking! These three stories shine, and coupled with the intriguing art prompt reflection and conversation. I really cannot decide whether I like the stories or the art better.
John Hornbrook
I enjoyed Lost and Found. I enjoyed the artistic style and simple yet loaded words that make the read simple and potent. Shawn tan does a great job of bringing his words alive in the most vivid and creative way. The three stories are about the themes losing and finding like the title suggest. In the first story there is a little girl who in the beginning lives a sullen life. He describes the type of down feelings that are so easy to connect with. She finds the leaf and hope is brought back into...more
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Shaun Tan (born 1974) is the illustrator and author of award-winning children's books. After freelancing for some years from a studio at Mt. Lawley, Tan relocated to Melbourne, Victoria in 2007. Tan was the Illustrator in Residence at the University of Melbourne's Department of Language Literacy and Arts Education for two weeks through an annual Fellowship offered by the May Gibbs Children’s Liter...more
More about Shaun Tan...
The Arrival Tales from Outer Suburbia The Red Tree The Lost Thing Rules of Summer

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“terrible fates are inevitable” 4 likes
“There is an implicit recognition here that important things in life are not always immediately visible, and can't always be named, or even fully understood. Others still are entirely imaginary -- like a red tree growing suddenly in a room -- although this does not make them any less real.” 1 likes
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