Eric is a foreign exchange student who comes to live with a typical Australian suburban family. Although everyone is delighted with the arrangement, cultural misunderstandings ensue, beginning with Eric's insistence on sleeping in a pantry cupboard rather than a specially prepared guest room. A sophisticated picture book. Suggested level: junior, primary.
Taken from Shaun Tan's superb collection of short stories ... Eric stands out as a rare thing. ... Perfectly paced with the narrative moving effortlessly from words to pictures, this is a rare and beautifully realised story with strong crossover appeal." --Blackwells
"Shaun Tan's Eric was originally published in a wonderful and bizarre story collection called Tales from Outer Surburbia and this is the best of the 15 stories. The everyday mundane world of urban life is brought into focus when a foreign exchange student comes to visit. While the text intimates a gentle lack of understanding of this foreigner by the narrator, the pictures emphasise the difference in culture and experience between the host and his quirky and delightful visitor. This is a lovely little book." -- Marilyn Brocklehurst Norfolk Children's Book Centre
In contrast, my second choice is a small, exquisite picture book, Eric by Shaun Tan (Templar). This is the tale of a strange foreign exchange student, told from the point of view of the host family. Eric is drawn as a tiny, shadowy figure living in a world of giants. The narrator hints at the "cultural things" that divide them. This is a true picture book in that the illustrations tell as much as the words do, and is that relatively rare thing: a picture book appealing equally to both adults and children. -- Anthony Browne The Guardian
"an absolutely delightful little book ... such a lovely story. The beautiful illustrations encouraged my children to truly engage with the story and talk about what might be happening and what would happen next". --Bestbear.co.uk
Shaun Tan's stunning picture books and illustrated fiction have delighted readers of all ages around the world. His multi-award winning titles include Tales from Outer Suburbia and The Arrival.