Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Lothian Children's Books
"Tan's collage artwork for this picture book is full of the wonderfully strange. When a humungous "lost thing" at the beach catches the eye of a boy previously occupied with his bottle-cap collection, no one else seems to notice - not even his parents, although it takes up a good part of their living space when he brings it home. The boy sets off to find a place for the thing within an industrial landscape awash in gray matter-pipes, gears, and a few concrete structures. On the periphery of the central illustrations are postcards, road signs, words and diagrams from an engineering textbook, and faux government fliers such as the one from "The Federal Department of Odds & Ends," where the motto is "sweepus underumcarpetae." Readers are bound to become adept perceivers as they move through the book and delight in discovering these exterior notes. Tan's illustrations offer playful tributes that could serve as introductions to such artists as Miro, Duchamp, Dali, Kandinski, Hopper, John Brack, and Jeffrey Smart. This book asks important questions: What does it mean to see things differently? What is important to notice? The lost thing suggests that what can not be fit neatly into a box has great potential to wake us (if we pay attention) and help us see the world anew. Tan is a singular talent."
Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA
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