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The Arrival
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The Arrival: 08/21/10

cover art

When I need inspiration for something to read, I walk the shelves of my local library. I'm especially fond of walking the shelves of the tween and middle grade books. One of the gems I've found this way is The Arrival by Shaun Tan.

The Arrival tells the story through pictures alone of a man leaving his home and family for a foreign country to seek work. He arrives passport in hand to a place vaguely familiar but not entirely a real world place. It's a metropolis inspired by big cities around the world but doesn't represent a single one.

Tan's realistic sepia tone illustrations peppered with fantasy elements gives the impression of watching an old silent film, a UFA fantasy perhaps. In bookish terms, his drawings remind me of the illustrated half of The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Comments (6)

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Comment #1: Sunday, August, 22, 2010 at 07:51:26


I discovered Shaun Tan last year and I think he is incredibly talented. I really enjoyed this one.

Comment #2: Monday, August 23, 2010 at 21:13:57


I want to read more of his books. I just need to make the time.

Comment #3: Sunday, August, 22, 2010 at 09:44:02

Buffy @ Situations Where You May Need It

Thanks, Sarah - I've been aware of this one for a while and this prompted me to finally put it on hold!

Comment #4: Monday, August 23, 2010 at 21:15:49


Great! It's a lovely book, a work of art.

Comment #5: Sunday, August, 22, 2010 at 10:14:38


This was in the tween/MG section of the library? How strange. I've always seen this categorized as an adult book, though of course it's universal in age. My whole family read it and did a vlog review of it last fall. It's my favorite of Shaun Tan's books so far.

Comment #6: Monday, August 23, 2010 at 21:17:01


Yes it was in the children's wing of the library which has everything from picture books up through tweens. I think the librarians put the best of graphic novels either in the children's wing or in the young adult room because there isn't a dedicated section for the adult graphic novels.

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