My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. This book is wonderful. I knew it would be because it’s Shaun Tan and his work is always challenging, inventive, mysterious and deep.
My initial reaction to Rules of Summer has been one of joy and wonder. The colours, the images, the feeling of something dark on the outer edges that pervades every page.
A boy recounts his summer and what he learned. We see him with his brother and it is clear they are close and spend a lot of time together. The first illustration shows them sharing a secret. The light Tan produces in this illustration is amazing – it feels like summer, an Australian summer, with that clear, glaring sunshine that only happens here.
Then we start learning the rules. I won’t post them all, but my favourites are both towards the end of the book and one of them is “never wait for an apology”.
These are not rules just for summer, these are rules (and metaphors) for life and living it.
This book is an emotional, colourful, vibrant experience. This book could and should be read by all children from 8 to 80. Everyone, I suspect, will see something different in Rules of Summer and THAT is the absolute best thing about it.
Get this book in your hands NOW.