The Arrival be Shaun Tan

My first graphic read and I have Angie at By Book or by Crook to thank for putting this one in my sight.

I have been a little leery of graphic novels.  I have wanted to try one but when I would flip through them at the book stores they had a comic book look to them, many times being a large series that I didn’t want to start with.  When I seen this one on Angie’s blog it looked…. like a story.  And that is what it was…

This novel, told completely in pictures, is the story of an immigrant family.  It opens with the father leaving and prepping a place for his family to live in a new country. Through the pictures, Shaun Tan has shown how maps, and food, and even pets can look to someone who is unfamiliar with these things.

Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words.  From page one, through the graphics, and even the neutral colors of the pages, I felt a lump in my throat as the story unfolded.  Shaun Tan created an incredible work here that gave me eyes to see how someone from another country can possibly perceive a new life.  It is so hard to describe the book and all I feel I can tell you here is that emotion welled up inside of me, much like it would if you were in an art gallery and seen a particular piece of art that spoke to you.

This book, spoke to me, and in a way, has changed me and how I look at my world. While marketed for Young Adults, I think the some of the subtle could be missed by anyone not fully absorbing and appreciating what they are seeing.  Shaun Tan has created a master piece here and I am so glad I had the opportunity to experience it.

I picked up this book from my local Library

28 thoughts on “The Arrival be Shaun Tan

  1. This look stunning. Considering I work with artists everyday I know I would enjoy the art but you make the story sound wonderful also. I will have to look this book up on my next library run. Also, thanks for introducing me to a new blogger:)

    1. Bobbie – oh I hope you do go check out Angies blog. Angie and I are int eh same nook club – I have know her forever and her blog rocks! 😀

  2. This book was recommended to me when I first started reading graphic novels a few months ago. I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet but your review reminds me why I need to.

  3. I love the art work of Shaun Tan. I have only “read” one of his books (the name escapes me now, but I chose it because it was the only one my library had!), and it didn’t seem as good as this one seems, but I loved looking at the pictures anyway!

  4. I have never been big on graphic novels either, but this one sounds wonderful and the images you have shown us from it are breathtaking. Thanks for brining this to my attention.

  5. I purchased this book for my middle school library and as soon as it arrived I grabbed it and took it home to read. I spent over a week devouring each page and picture…loved it so much!! Some of the kids get it and some don’t. I have to do a little bit of explaining at first, but I think they’re very intrigued by the beautiful artwork!

    1. Staci, I am so impressed with Shaun Tan’s ability to not only put this together the way he did but also to so strongly let us see it through the eyes of an immigrant. It is this next level that so impresses me.

  6. What an awesome book. The style is so different from most graphic novels as is the topic. There are many children’s books that tell the story by pictures only, but it takes a certain maturity for the child to really appreciate them. Often it is the parent who looks through them. There are some teens who will appreciate this book, but as you said, there needs to be a certain life experience and maturity to really appreciate this story to the fullest.
    I love the muted tones of the pictures. For me, they have more impact than the bright, comic book style illustrations.

  7. I looked at this book just a few days ago! My class had to take notes on it and then write a story based on the pictures in our own words. A lot of people complained about it but I thought (and still think) that it was a wonderful idea! Being an aspiring artists, I absolutely loved the graphics and the little creatures. Amazing book; if other have not looked at it yet, you really should!

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