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The Arrival Hardcover – Oct 1 2007
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 7 Up—Tan captures the displacement and awe with which immigrants respond to their new surroundings in this wordless graphic novel. It depicts the journey of one man, threatened by dark shapes that cast shadows on his family's life, to a new country. The only writing is in an invented alphabet, which creates the sensation immigrants must feel when they encounter a strange new language and way of life. A wide variety of ethnicities is represented in Tan's hyper-realistic style, and the sense of warmth and caring for others, regardless of race, age, or background, is present on nearly every page. Young readers will be fascinated by the strange new world the artist creates, complete with floating elevators and unusual creatures, but may not realize the depth of meaning or understand what the man's journey symbolizes. More sophisticated readers, however, will grasp the sense of strangeness and find themselves participating in the man's experiences. They will linger over the details in the beautiful sepia pictures and will likely pick up the book to pore over it again and again.—Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
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*Starred Review* Recipient of numerous awards and nominations in Australia, The Arrival proves a beautiful, compelling piece of art, in both content and form. Tan (The Lost Thing, 2004) has previously produced a small body of off-kilter, frequently haunting stories of children trapped in surreal industrial landscapes. Here, he has distilled his themes and aesthetic into a silent, fantastical masterpiece. A lone immigrant leaves his family and journeys to a new world, both bizarre and awesome, finding struggle and dehumanizing industry but also friendship and a new life. Tan infuses this simple, universal narrative with vibrant, resonating life through confident mastery of sequential art forms and conventions. Strong visual metaphors convey personal longing, political suppression, and totalitarian control; imaginative use of panel size and shape powerfully depicts sensations and ideas as diverse as interminable waiting, awe-inspiring majesty, and forlorn memories; delicate alterations in light and color saturate the pages with a sense of time and place. Soft brushstrokes and grand Art Decostyle architecture evoke a time long ago, but the story's immediacy and fantasy elements will appeal even to readers younger than the target audience, though they may miss many of the complexities. Filled with subtlety and grandeur, the book is a unique work that not only fulfills but also expands the potential of its form. Karp, JesseSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
'The Arrival' pictures the experience of moving to a foreign land without any text. This had a big emotional impact on me. As the reader you see and feel the strangeness and lostness of the immigrant. But I think it opens up the experience of 'trying to understand & belong' in other situations. The drawings are open to interpretation.
Without text to give away the story, you have to search out the story for yourself, in beautiful pencil drawings, which I found an engaging and delightful experience.
This is a book I own, reread, and give others.
I came to this book having loved two of Shaun Tan's previous books: 'The Lost Thing'-a fun story, and 'The Red Tree' - melancholy pictures you can empathise with.
|Length: 0:24 Mins|
This beautiful book is designed like a worn out photo album from the past, not sure which past if the photo on the cover is anything of a hint. The book opens to a wall of immigrant photos, just like those you'll see in Ellis Island Museum. Several drawings of immigrant processing, passport pictures, and the "arrival hall" are based on photographs taken at Ellis Island.
The story starts with a man putting a photo of his family carefully into his luggage. It's early morning. His wife and daughter are walking him to the train station. The scene cuts to show the town he's leaving from, one that's inhabited by gigantic black tentacles. At the train station, you can see the sadness in the eyes of her daughter, who only manages to break into a sad smile when her dad pulls a paper crane from under his hat to cheer her up. They hug and bid farewell. The train leaves. The mother and girl then walk back home under the shadows of the tentacles.
You can tell the tremendous amount of research and thought put in the panels. Shaun Tan has put little nuances and details everywhere, enabling readers to fully immerse themselves in the new world feeling the sense of wonder and foreignness as a new immigrant might. When the man is in the arrival hall of the immigration building, he undergoes the health checkups, questioning by officers on the purpose of his visit before he's approved entry.
He finds his job, made new friends and we learn their stories and more of this strange world. The last act ends happily with the man inviting his wife and daughter over.Read more ›
There is no dialogue, the story is told in illustrations.
Only took about an hour to get through, but the art will definitely warrant a few more "read" throughs.
Most recent customer reviews
Very neat... i won't spoil the fun for you but as you read this story something will likely dawn on you.... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nathalie Gagnon
A beautiful book with gorgeous illustrations. Wonderful for anyone who has migrated from one place to another and had to learn a new language. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jamie
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