Tales from the Inner City

By Shaun Tan

A stunningly presented paperback edition of the 2020 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal winner. Twenty-five illustrated short stories exploring the relationship between humans and animals, from award-winning visual storyteller Shaun Tan.

Where can we live if not in each other's shadow? World-renowned artist Shaun Tan applies his extraordinary talent to a reflection on the nature of humans and animals, and our urban co-existence. From animals as disparate as crocodiles, tigers, bees and whales, this is a dark and surreal exploration of the perennial love we feel and destruction we inflict – and shows how animals, whether domestic, feral or really wild, can save us, and how we are entwined, for better or for worse. Tales from the Inner City is a truly masterly work, bearing all of Shaun Tan’s trademark wit and poignancy in both its prose and exquisite illustrations.

Categories: Illustrated Classics

For readers aged: 12+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781529504378
  • Published: 06 Jan 2022
  • Price: £16.99
  • Size: 240 x 185 mm
  • Pages: 224

More to explore...

  • Creature
  • Tales-from-the-Inner-City
  • Dog
  • The-Bird-King-An-Artist-s-Sketchbook

More books for age 12+

  • The-Notorious-Scarlett-and-Browne
  • Dreams-from-My-Father-Adapted-for-Young-Adults-A-Story-of-Race-and-Inheritance
  • Be-Resilient-How-to-Build-a-Strong-Teenage-Mind-for-Tough-Times
  • The-Good-Hawk-Shadow-Skye-Book-One

Customer reviews


'“[…] it will transport and haunt anyone who is fascinated by the secret spaces of a city.”' The Guardian

'“When it comes to originality and genius, Tan is in a league of his own. This collection of stories and poems with an animal-in-the-city theme are intriguing, though-provoking and at times baffling, asking as many questions as they answer, and the illustrations are sublime. One for quirky teens (or adults) who love art.”' The Irish Independent

'Featured in The Guardian's interview with Shaun Tan: 'We’re not being mean to animals – but there is evil in obliviousness'.' The Guardian

'Featured in The Guardian's piece 'Shaun Tan becomes first BAME author to win Kate Greenaway medal'.' The Guardian

'The pictures are worth the visit alone.' The Times (Saturday Review)

'Shaun Tan’s art is sublime and this book is for everyone. Many children will enjoy the weird and wonderful images alone and many adults, young or old, will enjoy searching through the mysteries of each story towards their own interpretation.' National Association for the Teaching of English

'This is definitely a must read and a great example of how to explore themes relating to social media in Young Adult fiction without it being tokenistic or feeling like the writer is pandering to what feels current. Heartstream does what good science fiction always has and takes an issue which feels very current and poses the question of what this might look like in the not-too-distant future. [Tom Pollock’s] extrapolation is gripping and suspenseful.' National Association for the Teaching of English

'Featured in The Bookseller's January 2022 previews.' The Bookseller

Write your own review

By submitting a review you grant us the right to display and use it in any way; please read our General Legal Notices for full details. If you are under 16, please obtain your parent/guardian’s permission before submitting or ask your parent/guardian to submit on your behalf.


Find your local bookshop:


  • Awards:

Also available in:


Recently viewed