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The Arrival

by

The Arrival Cover

ISBN13: 9780439895293
ISBN10: 0439895294
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Staff Pick

Shaun Tan, one of my favorite children's book illustrators, draws upon hundreds of years worth of immigrant stories to tell this single but universal tale: one of alienation, magic, and bravely bearing the wonderful and frightening strangeness of a new country. A rare and beautiful work.
Recommended by Jill S., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He's embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life — he's leaving home to build a better future for his family.

Shaun Tan evokes universal aspects of an immigrant's experience through a singular work of the imagination. He does so using brilliantly clear and mesmerizing images. Because the main character can't communicate in words, the book forgoes them too. But while the reader experiences the main character's isolation, he also shares his ultimate joy.

Review:

"With this haunting, wordless sequence about a lonely emigrant in a bewildering city, Tan (The Lost Thing) finds in the graphic novel format an ideal outlet for his sublime imagination. Via pencil illustrations that resemble sepia photographs or film cels, Tan depicts a man's poignant departure from his wife and daughter. Stark stone houses, treeless streets and rustic kitchen appliances imply past eras — the man leaves home via an outmoded locomotive and steamship — but strange visuals reveal this is not our everyday world. Shadowy dragon tails trawl the sky of the mans homeland, suggesting pogrom or famine, and when he arrives at an Ellis Island-style port (the endpapers depict passport photos of multicultural travelers), his documents are stamped with cryptic symbols. He gets aboard an unmanned hot-air balloon that delivers him to a vast metropolis with unfamiliar customs and bizarre technologies (imagine, perhaps, a Gehry-designed city). Tan offers no written explanations on this foreign space, so readers fully grasp the mans confusion when he lands a job pasting posters, then hangs them upside-down until his employer corrects him. Readers also understand his empathy for other exiles (each with their tragic stories of immigration) and with a friendly family that invites him to a meal of the local produce, which resembles exotic anemonae. In an oddly charming touch, each person has a distinctive animal companion, reminiscent of Philip Pullman's daemons or Hieronymus Bosch's alchemical creations. The man receives his own creature, a creepy-cute white monster with an egg-shaped torso, huge mouth and waving, eel-like tail; initially repulsed, he slowly warms to its amiable disposition. Just as gradually, his melancholy gives way to optimism and community as, despite setbacks, he benefits from the kindness of strangers. Tan adeptly controls the books pacing and rhythm by alternating a gridlike layout of small panels, which move the action forward, with stirring single- and double-page spreads that invite awestruck pauses. By flawlessly developing nuances of human feeling and establishing the enigmatic setting, he compassionately describes an immigrant's dilemma. Nearly all readers will be able to relate — either through personal or ancestral experience — to the difficulties of starting over, be it in another country, city, or community. And few will remain unaffected by this timeless stunner. Ages 12-up." (Oct.) Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"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

Review:

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

Review:

"Filled with both subtlety and grandeur, the book is a unique work that not only fulfills but also expands the potential of its form." Booklist, starred review

Review:

"An astonishing wordless graphic novel blends historical imagery with science-fiction elements to depict — brilliantly — the journey of an immigrant man from his terror-beset land of origin to a new, more peaceful home....It's an unashamed paean to the immigrant's spirit, tenacity and guts, perfectly crafted for maximum effect." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Review:

"Considering the terror that fuels debates about immigration throughout the western world, Tan's message is pointed and utterly relevant, not just to teens struggling with their own feelings of alienation, but to all humankind. It is an absolutely marvelous book." Voice of Youth Advocates

Review:

"One of Australia's premier artists explores the immigrant experience in a wordless graphic novel. Along with the protagonist, readers enter a new country — with everything appearing bizarre and surreal. It's one of those rare books that speak on different levels to readers ages 9 to 90." Boston Globe, Pick of the Week

Review:

"A wordless tour de force" Time Out New York Kids

Review:

"Don't mistake this astonishing work by Australia's Shaun Tan for a picture book, even though it consists of nothing but pictures....Hundreds of sepia-toned drawings, some tiny, some panoramic, all pulsing with detail, combine to produce an effect reminiscent of silent movies or mime, the absence of words forcing the eye and the brain to work harder. The Arrival is neck-and-neck with Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret for most original children's book of 2007, but unlike that uneven effort, it's definitely not just for the young." The Washington Post

Review:

"Tan's fictional newfound land is overwhelmingly glamorous, alien, and plausible, conveying culture shock in a way that straightforward historical chronicles simply can't manage. This could electrify a curriculum, provoke conversation if shared within a family, or simply bring a reader a startling new way of seeing a familiar story." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

Synopsis:

In this wordless graphic novel, Tan captures the struggles and joy of the immigrant experience through clear, mesmerizing images which tell the story of a man who leaves his homeland and his family to build a better life.

About the Author

Shaun Tan is the author and illustrator of the award-winning, bestselling graphic novel The Arrival, and also Tales from Outer Suburbia, a collection of illustrated short stories. Both books were named to the New York Times list of Best Illustrated Children's Books. He won an Oscar for his short film "The Lost Thing" based on a story in the book Lost & Found: Three by Shaun Tan, and he is also the recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Shaun Tan lives in Melbourne, Australia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

Parmathule, October 24, 2014 (view all comments by Parmathule)
The Arrival is a graphic novel in the fullest sense; the entire story is told exclusively with images. It is the story of a man who immigrates to a foreign land to escape oppression and to make a better life for himself and for his family who will join him later. The voyage the protagonist makes is as much an internal one as an external one. He is totally immersed in the unfamiliar: language, food, clothing, furniture, appliances, vehicles, architecture, even plants and animals. Not a single element of his life remains unchanged. For instance, one comical scene has the new arrival trying to figure out how to use the water spigot in his room. Priceless!

The world he left behind is a dark, dreary, sinister, claustrophobic sort of place, while the new world is a bustling, bright, animated and welcoming one. Even so, adjustment is difficult. Tan has created an alphabet for the new country so that the reader can experience the disorientation of encountering undecipherable signage, just as his protagonist does. It is remarkable how Tan manages to fully engage the reader in the difficulties inherent in the immigrant’s predicament without using a single word, and his dreamy, sepia-colored artwork is stunning.

This book has the size and format of a traditional children’s picture book, but I would not consider it suitable for young children. I think the subtlety of the story told through the images would likely be lost on the very young, and the images of war are quite sinister and menacing.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Davey929, December 27, 2009 (view all comments by Davey929)
I found ‘The Arrival’ in the children's section of Powell's, but it is far more than a picture book. It is a graphic novel that needs no words to tell the story. The pictures are beautifully done, depicting a bizarre, lovely, and terrifying world. The story of alienation and immigration to a strange new place appeals to anyone who has felt they didn't quite fit in to another culture.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
crowyhead, September 8, 2009 (view all comments by crowyhead)
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.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 8 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780439895293
Author:
Tan, Shaun
Publisher:
Arthur A. Levine Books
Subject:
Family - General
Subject:
People & Places - Other
Subject:
Comics & Graphic Novels - General
Subject:
Social Issues - Emigration & Immigration
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - General
Subject:
Cartoons and comics
Subject:
Immigrants
Subject:
Stories without words
Subject:
Graphic Novels
Subject:
Children s-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
October 1, 2007
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
11.75 x 8.75 in
Age Level:
from 12

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Related Subjects


Children's » Comics and Graphic Novels » General
Children's » Featured Titles
Children's » General
Children's » Oversized Books
Children's » Picture Books » General
Children's » Sale Books
Young Adult » Featured Titles
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Emigration and Immigration

The Arrival Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 128 pages Arthur A. Levine Books - English 9780439895293 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Shaun Tan, one of my favorite children's book illustrators, draws upon hundreds of years worth of immigrant stories to tell this single but universal tale: one of alienation, magic, and bravely bearing the wonderful and frightening strangeness of a new country. A rare and beautiful work.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With this haunting, wordless sequence about a lonely emigrant in a bewildering city, Tan (The Lost Thing) finds in the graphic novel format an ideal outlet for his sublime imagination. Via pencil illustrations that resemble sepia photographs or film cels, Tan depicts a man's poignant departure from his wife and daughter. Stark stone houses, treeless streets and rustic kitchen appliances imply past eras — the man leaves home via an outmoded locomotive and steamship — but strange visuals reveal this is not our everyday world. Shadowy dragon tails trawl the sky of the mans homeland, suggesting pogrom or famine, and when he arrives at an Ellis Island-style port (the endpapers depict passport photos of multicultural travelers), his documents are stamped with cryptic symbols. He gets aboard an unmanned hot-air balloon that delivers him to a vast metropolis with unfamiliar customs and bizarre technologies (imagine, perhaps, a Gehry-designed city). Tan offers no written explanations on this foreign space, so readers fully grasp the mans confusion when he lands a job pasting posters, then hangs them upside-down until his employer corrects him. Readers also understand his empathy for other exiles (each with their tragic stories of immigration) and with a friendly family that invites him to a meal of the local produce, which resembles exotic anemonae. In an oddly charming touch, each person has a distinctive animal companion, reminiscent of Philip Pullman's daemons or Hieronymus Bosch's alchemical creations. The man receives his own creature, a creepy-cute white monster with an egg-shaped torso, huge mouth and waving, eel-like tail; initially repulsed, he slowly warms to its amiable disposition. Just as gradually, his melancholy gives way to optimism and community as, despite setbacks, he benefits from the kindness of strangers. Tan adeptly controls the books pacing and rhythm by alternating a gridlike layout of small panels, which move the action forward, with stirring single- and double-page spreads that invite awestruck pauses. By flawlessly developing nuances of human feeling and establishing the enigmatic setting, he compassionately describes an immigrant's dilemma. Nearly all readers will be able to relate — either through personal or ancestral experience — to the difficulties of starting over, be it in another country, city, or community. And few will remain unaffected by this timeless stunner. Ages 12-up." (Oct.) Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "A magical river of strangers and their stories!"
"Review" by , "Filled with both subtlety and grandeur, the book is a unique work that not only fulfills but also expands the potential of its form."
"Review" by , "An astonishing wordless graphic novel blends historical imagery with science-fiction elements to depict — brilliantly — the journey of an immigrant man from his terror-beset land of origin to a new, more peaceful home....It's an unashamed paean to the immigrant's spirit, tenacity and guts, perfectly crafted for maximum effect."
"Review" by , "Considering the terror that fuels debates about immigration throughout the western world, Tan's message is pointed and utterly relevant, not just to teens struggling with their own feelings of alienation, but to all humankind. It is an absolutely marvelous book."
"Review" by , "One of Australia's premier artists explores the immigrant experience in a wordless graphic novel. Along with the protagonist, readers enter a new country — with everything appearing bizarre and surreal. It's one of those rare books that speak on different levels to readers ages 9 to 90."
"Review" by , "A wordless tour de force"
"Review" by , "Don't mistake this astonishing work by Australia's Shaun Tan for a picture book, even though it consists of nothing but pictures....Hundreds of sepia-toned drawings, some tiny, some panoramic, all pulsing with detail, combine to produce an effect reminiscent of silent movies or mime, the absence of words forcing the eye and the brain to work harder. The Arrival is neck-and-neck with Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret for most original children's book of 2007, but unlike that uneven effort, it's definitely not just for the young."
"Review" by , "Tan's fictional newfound land is overwhelmingly glamorous, alien, and plausible, conveying culture shock in a way that straightforward historical chronicles simply can't manage. This could electrify a curriculum, provoke conversation if shared within a family, or simply bring a reader a startling new way of seeing a familiar story."
"Synopsis" by , In this wordless graphic novel, Tan captures the struggles and joy of the immigrant experience through clear, mesmerizing images which tell the story of a man who leaves his homeland and his family to build a better life.
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