Eric – Tan, Shaun





Tan, Shaun


Tan, Shaun


Allen & Unwin

Published Date



A foreign exchange student came to live with a family, and as his name was difficult to pronounce he told the family to call him Eric. The family was very welcoming in their preparations for Eric but Eric chose to sleep and study in the kitchen pantry. Mum explains that, ‘It must be a cultural thing.’ The young narrator of the story had many expectations of Eric but although Eric was curious and polite he was interested in quite different objects and places. Eric leaves the family quite suddenly but a discovery in the pantry some hours later shows that Eric’s time with the family had been a positive one. This book can be viewed on many different levels and is quite inexplicable in the way it is viewed. This is a book to invite discussion about difference, empathy and place. Who is Eric, where is he from and where does he go? The text, as well as the pencil and collage illustrations, produces more questions than answers.

Key Concepts

Compassion, Cross cultural relations, Cultural traditions, Empathy, Family, Friendship, Kindness, Resilience, Respect, Social life


Lower primary, Primary, Upper primary, Secondary


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