The Lost Thing is a humorous story about a boy who discovers a bizarre-looking creature whilst out collecting bottle-tops at the beach. Having guessed that it is lost, he tries to find out who owns it or where it belongs, but the problem is met with indifference by everyone else, who barely notice its presence. Each is unhelpful in their own way; strangers, friends, parents all unwilling to entertain this uninvited interruption to day-to-day life.
In spite of his better judgement, the boy feels sorry for this hapless creature, and attempts to find out where it belongs.
Shaun Tan creates intricate collages filled with whimsical images, bright colors, and meaningful prose. He invites his readers to look at the world in a different way.