The Lost Thing

This little book by Shaun Tan is how I picture Dali would illustrate for his kids. Every picture has so much to look at!


The story is ostensibly about a boy who finds an out of place, well, thing, on the beach. It had a weird look about it. “You know, a sad, lost sort of look.” The setting is a melancholy future dystopia where people are too busy doing other things to notice the poor “lost thing” is lost. The narrator spends the course of the book taking care of it and eventually finding it a place where is seems to belong.


Also, there is a 15 minute film based on the book that won an Oscar for best animated short in 2010. It would be a great addition to any activities you base around the book. Do yourself a favour and do an author study on Shaun Tan while you are at it. Some of his other enigmatic yet touching works include “The Red Tree” and “The Arrival.”

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