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The Arrival

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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:

"Don't mistake this astonishing work by Australia's Shaun Tan for a picture book, even though it consists of nothing but pictures. At 128 pages, it's what could be called a pictorial novel, since the usual label — graphic novel — suggests more of a manga- or comic-style book, bristling with text. 'The Arrival,' which depicts a man driven by the dragon shadow of totalitarianism to leave his family... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

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:

"Magnificent." David Small, Caldecott Medalist

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. Young adult.

About the Author

Award-winning artist and author Shaun Tan has achieved international recognition for his work, including the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award for this book, an Honor Book Award for Memorial (with G. Crew) and The Lost Thing, an APA Design Award, an Honorable Mention at the Bologna Book Fair, three Aurealis Awards, and Spectrum Gold and Silver Awards. In 2001 he was named best artist at the World Fantasy Awards in Montreal. A graduate of the University of Washington in 1995, with honors in fine arts and English literature, he lives in Perth, Australia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

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
(4 of 7 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)
kozie, January 19, 2009 (view all comments by kozie)
this is absolutely wonderful.
even from just the drawing them selves draws attention. the little details that is drawn into the frames, the indepth story of a imaagrant. it can be so much agreed by all and know the feeling. shaun tan has shown that. and he also has shown that emotion that most canot know by images that creates the emotion. recommend 100%
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(5 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
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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 , "Magnificent."
"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. Young adult.
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