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The Lost Thing
by Shaun Tan
AGES: 9 & up
SIZE: 12.4 x 7.4
RIGHTS: NA English
PRICES: US $16.95, Cdn $19.95
HARDCOVER: 978-1-894965-10-1


The Lost Thing is a humorous story about a boy who discovers a bizarre-looking creature while out collecting bottle-tops at a beach. Having guessed that it is lost, he tries to find out who owns it or where it belongs, but the problem is met with indifference by everyone else, who barely notice it’s presence. Each is unhelpful in their own way; strangers, friends, parents are all unwilling to entertain this uninvited interruption to day-to-day life. In spite of his better judgement, the boy feels sorry for this hapless creature, and attempts to find out where it belongs.

The Lost Thing received an Honourable Mention at the Bologna International Book Fair, Italy, was named an Honour Book at the CBCA Awards, won an Aurealis Award and a Spectrum Award for illustration in the United States. Original illustrations from the book were exhibited at the Itabashi Art Museum in Tokyo. Canberra-based youth theatre company Jigsaw has staged a multi-media adaptation of the story at the National Gallery of Australia in October 2004.

Currently Shaun Tan is working as director, designer and writer as part of a small team creating a short animated film adaptation of The Lost Thing, which is being produced by Passion Pictures Australia. The film is scheduled to be completed in March 2009. 



Curricular connections

Social Studies: Environment; Culture; Change and Continuity  

The Arts: Visual literacy