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The Arrival [Hardcover]

Shaun Tan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 21.99
Price: CDN$ 15.87 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 1 2007
In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship. He's embarking on the most difficult journey he's leaving home to build a better future for his family. In this wordless graphic novel, Shaun Tan captures the immigrant experience through clear, mesmerizing images. The reader enters a strange new world, participating in the main character's isolation and ultimately his joy.

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The Arrival + Lost and Found + Tales from Outer Suburbia
Price For All Three: CDN$ 47.21

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Product Description

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*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 Deco–style 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, Jesse

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Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Emotional Impact. Dec 19 2006
Format:Hardcover
Who wants a bland book? We all love being emotionally moved by books.

'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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling at its best Oct. 5 2009
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Length: 0:24 Mins
Even wonder what it's like to be an immigrant moving to a new place to look for work, to see and experience a whole new world? The Arrival will tell you the story of someone who made this journey.

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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Dec 7 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's amazing how a pictoral allegory can tell a story with such detail and pathos as this does. The more time you spend with this beautiful piece of work, the deeper your understanding of the story will be. Just beautiful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! May 15 2013
By Lisa P
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book may not have words in it, but once you see the pictures, words are not needed. Excellent book for any teacher to use in a variety of lessons. Have your students look at a few pages and create their own stories. Or put them in groups and have them dramatize their own story. Overall, Fantastic!!
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