THE LOST THING
By Nancy Mortimer Contents
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Introduction Language and Literacy Visual Literacy Design and Layout Discussion Points
The Lost Thing – Shaun Tan Teacher’s Guide 2009 Page 1 of 8 www.hachettechildrens.com.au
The Lost Thing is the first picture book that Shaun Tan has both written and illustrated, and the result is a wonderful, warm, humorous story that will be read and enjoyed by a wide range of ages. There is so much to pore over and ponder in this book that it will be a welcome addition to the resources that teachers have to draw on. The story is an age‐old and familiar “lost dog story” told by the boy and addressed to the reader. It is a matter‐of‐fact anecdote, full of interest and compassion, but the accompanying illustrations make The Lost Thing extremely challenging. The juxtaposition of text and drawings make a book that is both thought‐provoking and filled with food for thought. The Lost Thing can be used in the classroom from middle primary right through to upper secondary and a great deal can be gained by those who read it.
The Lost Thing – Shaun Tan Teacher’s Guide 2009 Page 2 of 8 www.hachettechildrens.com.au
LANGUAGE AND LITERACY
The language the story is written in is simple and ostensibly straight forward, however Shaun Tan is constantly challenging the reader with his unexpected use of words and concepts – look at the meaning of the word weird for instance and the summary of ‘the thing’: “It was quite friendly though, once I started talking to it” when depicted on the page is a huge, indefinable, outlandish creature. The narrator tells the story in a familiar “What I did in the holidays” mode. Question: What is the effect of this simple language and minimal text? Question: What was a real dilemma for the narrator? (Page 16) Satire ...