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This article explores caring relations between child characters and sentient animals in two tales by Australian author-illustrator Shaun Tan. Each of Tan's 15 Tales from Outer Suburbia are set in an "outer" suburban world replete with curious critters. These include a silent and stoic water buffalo, an unmoving dugong (manatee), and other surprising companion species. In this article, the author unpacks the caring relationships between child protagonists and the sentient creatures theydoi:10.18357/jcs452202019740 fatcat:lizq62ndmzatlik4txmjyooe7m