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Rules of Summer

October 8, 2013

Rules of Summer

By Shaun Tan, Lothian Children’s Books, 2000.

Cover of a book with a painting of two boys in a field with large mechanical toys

‘Never be late for a parade. Never forget the password. Never ruin a perfect plan.’

Um…not sure Shaun Tan…

Your illustrations are beautiful as always, but on the first read, I didn’t understand the story. So, I thought I’d run this past a child and get a young person’s view of it. My 12-year-old niece wasn’t too sure about it either.

Rules of Summer is not a book I’d personally choose in a hurry. I read somewhere that this is a story of two boys and their adventures, but I didn’t get that from the story on the first read at all. So, I read it again.

On my second read of the book I saw the two boys in each picture, but the story? I think the boys have adventures and then they have a fight of some sort, before making up.

Rules of Summer offers the reader a long list of rules; things you must never do.

Could appeal to children, possibly boys more than girls.


Wrap Up

Rules of Summer

  • 6.5/10
  • 8/10
  • 0.5/10
    Educational content
  • 0.1/10
  • 6.3/10


  • Beautiful and intriguing artwork.
  • A story of friendship.


  • Quite dark in places.

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