by Shaun Tan
Arthur A. Levine Books
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Innovative and fun, deep and engrossing, Rules of Summer is one deceptive picture book! Let the art speak for itself like Van Allsburg's The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Readers are encouraged to enter the art and make decisions about the story based on the art and also their own experiences.
The two page spread with text, "Never leave a red sock on the clothesline" shows two young boys cowering behind a fence, a clothesline empty except for said red sock and a large, menacing, red-eyed monster bunny peering over the fence. The beast is many times their size and the boys appear to be hiding from it.
Each spread features art by Tan and offers the opportunity for readers to tell a story for themselves. Rules of Summer is loosely put together featuring two boys, maybe brothers, who have adventures that summer. My favorite rule is, "Never miss the last day of summer." The art shows the smaller boy climbing to the top of a long ladder with the older boy offering his hand to help the smaller child up.
Wildly imaginative robots and weird birds make this story fun for young readers. I predict Rules of Summer will be hugely embraced by readers and art critics as well as art and creative writing teachers around the globe.
Highly, highly recommended for the quirky reader in everyone and those who have wild imaginings and dream strange dreams.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)