Category Archives: Graphic Novel

Lost & Found by Shaun Tan

lost and foundBibliographic Information:

Tan, S., & Marsden, J. (2011). Lost & found. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books. (978-0545229241)


  • The red tree
  • The lost thing
  • The rabbits / words by John Marsden.

Plot Summary:

Shaun Tan includes three very powerful stories into one book.

Critical Evaluation:

Shaun explains that although his books can be described as picture book, “they are not created with children in mind, but rather a general audience. I see each book as an experiment in visual and written narrative” (Picture books).

On his site, Shaun has provided a beautiful explanation about many of his stories and includes some pictures.

The Red Tree is a story without words. The images tell the story and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions. As he worked on the story, he found that he was focusing on the negative feelings of depression and loneliness. In the end, the girl does have a sense of hope as a tiny red seedling starts growing in the middle of her bedroom floor.

This is a powerful story that is representative of the feelings many teenagers struggle with. It is not unusual for teenagers to have difficulty verbalizing feelings that something is wrong. The book can help them describe the feelings they may have.

The Long Thing was made into a short movie ( ) It is the story of a boy who finds an odd creature. He thinks it must be lost so he tries, without success, to find where it belongs.

The Rabbits, written by John Marsden, is an allegorical fable about colonization.

Reader’s Annotation:

Art can speak to the heart and the mind. Lost & Found tells three very powerful stories that will not be soon forgotten.

Information About the Author:

Shaun Tan grew up in Perth, Western Australia. He was always drawing in school so he took Fine Arts in university and graduated with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature.

Shaun started drawing pictures for stories as a teenager and is now known for his books that deal with social and political subjects. He has also worked as a concept artist for Horton Hears a Who and WALL-E. In 2011 he received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award honouring his contribution to international children’s literature (About me).


  • Sophisticated picture book

Curriculum Ties:

  • Art
  • English – story telling
  • Counseling – depression
  • World History – colonisation

Booktalking Ideas:

Reading Level/Interest Age:

  • Ages 12 and up

Challenge Issues:

  • N/A

Why did you include this resource in the titles you selected?:

I love sophisticated picture books. I feel they can support curriculum and provide a starting point for conversations. Picture books were never intended to be just for children.


  • The Red Tree
    • The Patricia Wrightson prize.
    • Le Prix Octogones 2003 prize
  • The Lost Thing:
    • Honourable Mention at the Bolgna International Book Fair
    • CBCA Honour Book
    • Aurealis Award
    • Spectrum Award for illustration


Home. (n.d.). Retrieved from





The Nobody by Jeff Lemire

nobodyBibliographic Information:

Lemire, J., & Wells, H. G. (2009). The nobody. New York: Vertigo. (978-1-4012-2081-5)

Plot Summary:

John Griffen comes to Large Mouth looking for a place to hide while he tries to reverse the side effects of an experiment that led to the death of his wife. His attempts to disappear from his old life and blend into his new are complicated by a teenage girl who is also feeling lost and the suspicious townspeople who have decided that he must be hiding something more sinister than some scars.

Critical Evaluation:

Lemire has successfully blended the graphic elements with the sparse text to create a moody and tragic tale. Loosely based on the H.G. Well’s classic of the same name, Lermire has taken the elements of the original and has woven in a theme of losing one’s identity; how does a person become invisible?

The bleak theme is represented in the black and white panels. Blue and white are used with the scenes depicting Griffen’s flashbacks with softer lines and shading to give these scenes a dream-like quality. Otherwise, the use of blue makes the images colder and more distant.
Reader’s Annotation:

When a mysterious man moves into the small town of Large Mouth, Vickie’s life changed forever when she decides to learn his secrets.

jeff%20lemireInformation About the Author:

Jeff Lemire is a Canadian cartoonist who has won a number of awards. In 2008 he won the Schuster Award for Best Canadian Cartoonist and The Dough Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent. He also won ALA’s Alex Award in 2008 for Essex’s County and has been nominated for an Eisner Award. In 2010 Essex County was named as one of the five Essential Canadian Novels on the Decade.

Lemire is the creator of the monthly comic book series, Sweet Tooth (see the official Sweet Tooth blog).

Jeff Lemire was born in Woodslee Ontario on March 21, 1976. Although he took art classes in high school, he really is a self-taught graphic artist.


  • Graphic novels
  • Science fiction

Curriculum Ties:

  • English
    • Themes of prejudice or self-awareness
    • Adaptations H.G. Wells or accumulative nature of literature
    • Visual impact in graphic novels

Booktalk Ideas:

Reading Level/Interest Age:

  • Ages 12 and up

Challenge Issues:

  • N/A

Why did you include this book?:


  • The Nobody. (2009). Kirkus Reviews, 77(10), 28.
  • Abbott, A. (2009). The Nobody. School Library Journal, 55(11), 139.
  • Olson, R. (2009). The Nobody. Booklist, 105(17), 71.


Jeff Lemire. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Jeff Lemire. (2013) Retrieved from

Jeff Lemire’s blog (2013). Retrieved from

Moran, R. J. (2012). Jeff Lemire. In Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from