Tales From Outer Suburbia is easily my favorite book that I have read for class this semester. I loved everything about it, from the goofy yet impactful story, to the utterly fantastic drawings. Needless to say, I just placed an order from Amazon to make this book part of my collection.
This fantasy novel is a collection of short stories, poems and drawings about "outer suburbia." It is a place where giant marine animals can show up on your front lawn, missles are part of everyone's yards, stick figures roam the streets, and you can make pets out of garbage. Pretty much anything goes in this imaginative and inventive collection of short tall tales. It doesn't contain all the fantasy story motifs that Tunnel et al mentions but it is definitely chalk full of fantastic objects and magical elements. The illustrations that accompany the stories practically jump off the page and into your imagination, they really stick with you!
As an adult I loved this book, although if I was a small child though I would probably be scared of some of the drawings and stories. One of the lines that stuck out to me was, "... in the olden days... they got the bends because they didn't know about decompressification and how it turns your blood into lemonade." It's a pretty creepy thought, and it gave even me the heebie jeebies. I agree with the School Library Journal review that ranked this novel as fourth grade and up. This book is not intended for the very young.
Overall, I thought that this was a fantastic book. It was given eight major book awards including: Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2007, New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2007, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2007. A great addition for any collection!
Check out some of these other amazing illustrations...