Friday, December 30, 2011

Graphic novel review: The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Arrival
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2006
Awards: Many, including the Locus Award for best art book (2008)
From: Local library

Story: Told without words, The Arrival is the story of a father who leaves his family to find work in a new country. The language and customs of his new home are strange and hard to comprehend, but with the help of his adopted animal, the man learns to communicate and discovers how his neighbors came to this place.

Thoughts: This book is beautiful. It's huge, with each page a full 8 1/2 x 11. The art is in brown pencil, like the drawing on the cover, and the designs are fancifully amazing. I especially liked the strange alphabet. The images are so moving, I cried throughout most of the book. The man has a lot of difficulties finding his way around and understanding how things are done, but he is determined to succeed and keeps at it no matter how many mistakes he makes. He never gets disheartened and eventually meets others who help him and share their enjoyment of life.

Final thoughts:  This is such an inspiring book for the start of a new year. Although things can be difficult, if we help others and persevere, we all become stronger.

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