'This paper explores how, through word and image, Tan's Tales From Outer Suburbia challenges stereotypical representations of the suburban. Typically, suburban spaces have been represented as aesthetically bland, mundane, and ornamental. Tan takes these tropes and ironically re-deploys them anew, and in doing so undermines anti-suburban sentiment, which has dominated Australian literary and popular culture.
Although the notion of anti-suburbanism in Australian fiction has been well documented, its presence in children's literature has received far less attention. As a case study, Tales From Outer Suburbia, signals the ability of children's literature to present more positive representations of suburbia because of its inherent commitment to the socialisation of children, which is prioritised over the tradition of anti-suburbanism.' (Author's abstract)