*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, Jesse
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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...a remarkable and skilful work of art. -- Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times This book should be 'read' by adults and children alike. It's astonishing. -- Marilyn Brocklehurst, Norfolk Children's Book Centre With this haunting, wordless sequence about a lonely emigrant in a bewildering city, Tan ... finds in the graphic novel format an ideal outlet for his sublime imagination... few will remain unaffected by this timeless stunner. -- Publishers Weekly 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 ...an unashamed paean to the immigrant's spirit, tenacity and guts, perfectly crafted for maximum effect. -- Kirkus Reviews Tan's lovingly laid out and masterfully rendered tale about the immigrant experience is a documentary magically told by way of Surrealism. -- Art Spiegelman, author of Maus: A Survivor's Tale The Arrival is an absolute wonder. It's not often you see art of this quality, or a book that's so brave. -- Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis and Embroideries Shaun Tan delivers 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... The Arrival is one of the best graphic novels of the year! -- Jeff Smith, author of Bone Entirely wordless, but brimming with sounds and conversations in foreign tongues, Shaun Tan's book emanates the warmth of faded photographs... -- Craig Thompson, author of Blankets The Arrival is beautiful... The drawings are just so lovely, endlessly detailed and wonderfully strange. And the design of the book, with it's wrinkled pages and stains and broken leather is marvellous. -- Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret Anyone who thinks that the graphic novel is no more than a flash-in-the-pan phenomenon, ought to take a look at "The Arrival." This magnificent work not only establishes itself in a major new literary genre but raises the stakes for anyone seriously considering working in it. -- David Small, Caldecott Medalist for So You Want To Be President? Shaun Tan's artwork creates a fantastical, hauntingly familiar atmosphere. A strange, moving, and beautiful story. -- Jon J Muth, author of Zen Shorts and illustrator of Sandman Shaun Tan's The Arrival may be the most brilliant book of the year' -- School Library journal This book should be 'read' by adults and children alike. It's astonishing. -- Bookseller It will fascinate and occupy adults and children alike -- The Observer A powerful, at times harrowing read, Tan's creation is a major achievement. -- Books for Keeps The reader's experience, as he or she tries to make sense of the unfamiliar scenes and strange images, parallels that of the emigrant, striving to understand without the aid of language. This extraordinarily accomplished pieces of storytelling can be read and understood on many different levels. -- The Guardian The surreal, sepia illustrations in th is remarkable book invite repeated study. Strangely beautiful and frightening, you can spend hours searching for hidden meanings and extra stories. -- Carousel A true marvel on any bookshelf, a unique piece of at and a beautifully told story. -- School Librarian 'a brilliant wordless story of a migrant arriving in a strange, indecipherable city.' -- Anthony Browne, The Telegraph Sited as No 35 in The Times 100 Best Books of all time. "An imaginative triumph. Every home should have one." -- The Times 20091114 'Tan delineates the strange, sad experience of immigration in stunning, sepia-toned, exquisitely detailed, wordless panels. An imaginative triumph. Every home should have one.' -- The Times 100 Best Books of the Decade -at 35 20091201 Stunning illustrations... poignant and atmospheric. -- Observer 20111023
Shaun Tan previously wrote and illustrated The Lost Thing and The Red Tree. Internationally acclaimed, he's won Honorable Mention in the Bologna Ragazzi prize and the World Fantasy Best Artist Award. Shaun lives in Australia.
"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
"A magical river of strangers and their stories!" -- Craig Thompson, author of Blankets
"Magnificent." -- David Small, Caldecott Medalist
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.