Alicia Scully's Reviews > The Arrival

The Arrival by Shaun Tan
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Nov 08, 11

bookshelves: fiction, gr-8-10, gr-5-8, graphic-novel-manga, young-adult-lit, tween-lit
Read in November, 2011

A graphic novel with no words, telling the tale of a family moving to a better country. The father leaves first to start his new life and send money back to his family. This new place is strange and the art is abstract, showing that the food, animals, and language are all foreign. The man struggles to function in this place and much time passes—there is a full two page spread on the changing of the seasons. Finally, the rest of the family is able to travel also and they are reunited. The story ends with the child from the family giving directions to another person unfamiliar with this place, thus completing a circle. Small side stories are presented about characters met along the way and the reader learns how others came to be in this place as well. With no words in the book, the pictures take on a universal appeal, reaching not only those who do not know the particular language, but those who do not know language at all. Pictures range in size and are heavily detailed.
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