The Arrival

The Arrival

by Shaun Tan


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"Tan's lovingly laid out and masterfully rendered tale about the immigrant experience is a documentary magically told." — Art Spiegelman, author of Maus

"An absolute wonder." — Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis

"A magical river of strangers and their stories!" — Craig Thompson, author of Blankets

"A shockingly imaginative graphic novel that captures the sense of adventure and wonder that surrounds a new arrival on the shores of a shining new city. Wordless, but with perfect narrative flow, Tan gives us a story filled with cityscapes worthy of Winsor McCay." — Jeff Smith, author of Bone

"Shaun Tan's artwork creates a fantastical, hauntingly familiar atmosphere... Strange, moving, and beautiful." — Jon J. Muth, Caldecott Medal-winning author of Zen Shorts

"Bravo." — Brian Selznick, Caldecott Medal-winning author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret

"Magnificent." — David Small, Caldecott Medalist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439895293
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2007
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 42,165
Product dimensions: 8.75(w) x 11.75(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Shaun Tan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Arrival, Tales from Outer Suburbia, Tales from the Inner City, Rules of Summer, and The Singing Bones. He received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2011 and won an Academy Award for the adaptation of his picture book The Lost Thing (from Lost & Found: Three by Shaun Tan). Shaun lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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The Arrival 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 117 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
The Arrival is a graphic novel for young readers by award-winning Australian illustrator and author, Shaun Tan. The father is packing his case, taking his leave of his wife and daughter to travel far away. There’s the hint of something threatening that makes this necessary. A train journey, a ship takes him (and many others) a long way away (it must be a long way because there are sixty different cloud formations seen). Then they arrive, are processed, and suddenly, here he is, on his own, away from everything familiar. He needs a place to stay, food to eat, a job. But when he asks a local, they are helpful and friendly. He somehow acquires a helpful pet. Others, refugees too, who have come before him, share their stories of what they left behind. He is welcomed. He works hard, and eventually, he can send money to his family, so they can join him. Shaun Tan is such a talented artist and author! Without any words (well, any in a known language, at least) he tells this moving and heart-warming story. The pictures are evocative: from the passport photos on the endpapers, to the tiny images of detail that draw back to show their place in a larger image, to the stains and creases that make it look like a well-used travel document, to the fantastically different place of arrival, all are wonderfully done. It’s a story that those people who are grumbling about refugees need to read. And for anyone who has come from their home to settle in a strange land, a place where they know no-one, where the people dress differently, where the food and drink, the animals, the climate, the language, the customs and the people are all different from what they know, for these people, the story Tan so eloquently conveys with his art will strike a chord. Utterly brilliant!
countrylife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't remember ever reading a graphic novel before, but, WOW, this was excellent! The drawings were stunning; the story compelling and life-like, even though set in a fantastical time and place. It is the old story ¿ during hard times, one member of the family leaves to find work. The immigrant misses his family, and faces the hardship of not understanding language or custom in his new surroundings. He encounters the kindness of strangers, who share their own immigrant story and help him to find lodging and work. Seasons pass, strangers become friends, and he is finally able to send for his family. The author did a marvelous job of portraying many ethnicities and cultures converging in the new world, most helpful to newcomers, who themselves learn and help others. Beautiful!
booksandwine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a wordless graphic novel about a man who immigrates to another country in order to obtain and forge a better life for his family.One thing that struck me about The Arrival was how imaginative it is. The art is beautiful and so creative. The world pictured in this book is not our world. There are different types of creatures which resemble pets, different sorts of buildings. I loved it! I wonder if these imaginings fall under steampunk or not?To further elaborate on the pictures, I thought they were deeply emotional. The feelings just crawl off the page. When the main character is missing his family, you don't need to read words to understand, it's all in the picture.I thought the lack of words lends to the universality of this book. Pictures are something any human can understand, unless of course you are blind.
camcleod on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This wordless picture book tells the story of an immigrant's arrival in A Very Strange Land. Strange technology and even stranger creatures become a part of his daily life as he awaits the day when his wife and daughter will finally join him. The stories of other immigrants are laced through the book as well - poignant stories of loss and hope.
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting wordless graphic novel that takes a very gothic twist on immigration.
emitnick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow! A wordless story about the immigrant experience. Surreal and incredibly moving.
helenpeynado on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you want a graphic idea of what it is like to immigrate to another country, leaving behind loved ones and trying to assimilate in a new world, this is a fantastic book. Not to mention the fabulous art. This is a great wordless book to use with any age or skill group.
jasonli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The Arrival" is a surrealist and silent graphic novel about the immigrant experience, told from the perspective of a man who has to leave his family and venture into a foreign land. Tan does not use words of any kind in the story, instead using warm and rich pencil illustrations to create a silent narrative around this unnamed character.The book is beautiful. Yet it really tested my patience around a silent story. The surrealist set and superb detail are great to look at, but being a reader who enjoys a thick plot, I found the abstract representation and simple storyline underwhelming.
Kek146 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a complete picture book, and contains absolutely no text. At first, I found the book overwhelming, because I was unsure how to begin to read a book with no words. However, I actually found a joy in creating what was happening. The illustrations are impressive and beautiful, and do a thorough job of guiding the reader to a place of understanding, yet the book provides such a free space for creativity. The story is about a man who must leave his family to find a job. The man travels across the world in search of work. The book tells the life of an immigrant. The pictures convey the sadness of leaving behind one¿s family in order to find work and provide. The story demonstrates the difficulty of an immigrant and how unwelcoming people are at a new place. The man who is the immigrant in the story spends many lonely days and nights without finding work. After much struggle, hope and a future is made for the man. The success he experiences allows him to reunite with his family. The story demonstrates the power of illustration, but also allows the reader to see the life of an immigrant. Overall, I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it to others.
twlite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Arrivalby: Shaun TanI was given this book for review from the aurthorThis is a picture book with no words. It is "written" with beautiful pictures done in sepia. It tells a story of a man traveling to a different place and becoming an immigrant. It tells a story of a man trying to learn a new culture but it seems the people are nice to him and he seems to have a warm welcome.I should say that this seems to be a picture book for adults because some of the pictures could seem a little scary for younger readers. I also have to say that I enjoyed a book like this. It's is different then anything I am used to, but it is a nice change to read by "feeling" rather then written word.
ashleyahaynes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautifully illustrated book on the world of an immigrant. Requires paying close attention and insight to interpreting the author's intentions.
hfc12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First of all, this picture book has astoundingly beautiful illustrations, and really glows with artistic wonder. It seems to be about immigration, and a little about war, with some possible historical references that are hard to catch. The way it depicts the new place and the wonder/amazement it brings with it is my favorite part about the illustrations; to me, this allows a reader to emphasize with an immigrant coming to a new, modern world, and discovering all the different things about it. One of my favorite parts about this picture book is the being open to interpretation. Without words, and with so little action, there is much room for interpretation in this book, which I think really allows the reader's imagination to blossom, especially for young adults. They can imagine so many different ways to understand what the book is about, and this allows multiple things to be learned from just one part of the story. I really enjoyed looking through this book, and I think most students would be fascinated by it, if not confused a little.
Crowyhead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a gorgeous, wordless graphic novel that uses a combination of familiarity and surreality to tell what is at its heart simply the story of an immigrant in a new land.Not only would I happily have almost any page from this book framed on my wall, but Tan manages to tell a complete story with absolutely no words, no small feat. The individual stories and the emotions of the characters come through loud and clear, and the end result is a book that had me finishing it and flipping back to the front to read it all over again.
blilind on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I give "The Arrival" 3 1/2 stars. This book is different than any of other book I choose to read, in that, it doesn't have any words. It made me use my imagination by creating conflicts and a plot that the character was going through. Some of the reader's strengths were the graphic pictures. Shaun Tan did an excellent job of making the pictures seem live and read. The pictures were able to make words fit in your mind. Some of the weaknesses would be that the reader may not got the exact meaning the author was trying to get across because there are not any words. Another would be that a reader may miss an important detail because they missed the picture. There were a few pictures that I was confused about.
N.Lane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this booki, it expressed the truth behind ther immigration process. It expressed all of the new things immigrants experience in a new place. This book really showed the reality of what an immigrant goes through once arriving to a new place. Whether it be the process of getting papers, medical examinations, or finding your way around in a new country. Also the family issues that occur during immigration. It is a really good book to read even though it has no words the pictures tell a story of a million words.
m_cyclops on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have never "read" a book and cry from beggining to end, this is a Must for anybody that have his or her roots transplanted, or who is close to somebody who did. The art is incredible, and you really need take pauses, not to rest, but to digest, assimilate, and understand the story.
jilnicw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a wordless graphic novel, very cool, great story
ktibbs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story which tells the tale of a man leaving his family to immigrate to the new world is told through a sequence of excellently drawn black and white cartoons. The illustrations depict the feelings anyone who is entering an unknown land may feel, from excitement, to confusion, to amazed, to lost and scared.
HeatherSwinford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wordless graphic novel that illustrates the topic of immigration. A father immigrates and has to leave his wife and daughter. He comes to the new world to find work and makes few friends. He however meets an alien of sorts. Which it could be part of his lonely imagination. The aliens could be the evils in the world. The book gives lots of room for intrepretion since their are no words.
Playr4JC on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the few books that I can go back and pour myself into time after time. One of the things that I don't understand in this world is what it is to be an outsider. I don't understand what it is to be so intrinsically linked to a heritage that isn't that of the populous. With that said, this book helps to shed a little light into, perhaps, some of the thoughts and reflections of my friends that aren't so removed from their cultural heritage. From my friends who live a lifestyle that I'd study in an academic setting.
justinscott66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to this jewel of a graphic novel in a graduate school class about identity and agency. It was introduced and used as a window into the immigrant experience. It is heartfelt and will move you. For anyone who has tried to make one's way in a different country, this book will strum a cord. For those trying to understand that experience, this book will open your eyes. Beyond the obvious immigrant experience themes, Tan's book bursts with history, imaginative worlds and INCREDIBLE artwork. Tan has won his share of accolades for this effort for good reason. Children and adults who take a chance with this book will, without any doubt, win much more.
snat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Heartbreaking and beautiful. How inventive to tell an entire story without words and yet that story is perhaps more rich for what it seems to lack. I particularly love the series of thumbnail pictures demonstrating the father's attempts to communicate with inspection officials after first arriving in his new homeland. The last three in the series are haunting and speak volumes about his frustration and pain. Also, love the incorporation of fantasy into the immigrant experience. Wonderful book.
ffox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely Amazing. The illustrations in this text convey an excellent sense of "otherness". The images seem mostly familiar but clearly foreign. This helps to explore the idea of what it is like to be a stranger in a strange land. The story is one of hope and understanding told in a unique and creative way that is simultaneously strange and universal.
isaacfellows on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nowhere else have I encountered such narrative complexity without words. I can't believe that such a work of art as this exists, and I am overjoyed that it does. For reluctant readers, there couldn't be a better novel.
tyuiop159 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I first saw it, I thought it was incredibly stupid, an unworded novel. A book for those who are too lazy to read a real book. When I finished the book I realized everything I thought was wrong. It's a powerful novel that will move you. An excellent description of what the immagrants went through when they came to America in the 1800's. No one should pass up this novel.