The Singing Bones - Shaun Tan

A unique and alluring art book showcasing Shaun Tan's extraordinary sculptures based on the timeless and compelling fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm.

In this beautifully presented volume, the essence of seventy-five fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm is wonderfully evoked by Shaun Tan's extraordinary sculptures.

Nameless princes, wicked stepsisters, greedy kings, honourable peasants and ruthless witches, tales of love, betrayal, adventure and magical transformation: all inspiration for this stunning gallery of sculptural works. Introduced by Grimm Tales author Philip Pullman and leading fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes, The Singing Bones breathes new life into some of the world's most beloved fairy tales.


For those who love Fairy Tales, this is a fabulous volume. For those who are fans of sculpture and any art by Shaun Tan, this is a book to remember! For newcomers, this is a lovely primer. The foreword by Neil Gaiman is a delightful and informative introduction to the Fairy Tale genre and the impacts that such stories have on the human mind, and the introduction by renowned scholar Jack Zipes gives insight into the history of Fairy Tales on a larger scale. Gaiman notes:
The stories that the Grimms collected were no more the real tales than a joke in a joke book is the same joke that would be told, with asides and details and interjections, by a raconteur to a willing audience in a town tavern. They are plans, schematics, reminders.
This collection follows Gaiman's explanation in terms of the schematics, the literal and figurative "bones" of the stories. Each two-page spread consists of a tale's title, a gorgeous sculpture, and a brief portion of a tale (the "bones"), just enough to give a taste of the larger narrative. I love the ties between Gaiman's writing and Tan's interpretations of the core of each narrative. Each spread is both simple and complex, and each image is evocative, calling to mind the artistry of each sculpture, as well as the horrific core of each tale (see below).



This is definitely a book worthy of collecting, reading, and savouring. I applaud Shaun Tan yet again for another incredibly powerful collection of Fairy Tales and images that will keep readers entertained and even perplexed, for many an evening.
Highly Recommended

(Out in Australia and New Zealand already, coming to North America in October)

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