The Arrival (Arthur A. Levine Books, written by Shaun Tan) – This last weekend, when my family had gotten back from one of our regular excursions to the local library, my eldest daughter had in her hands a book that had caught her eye and imagination while she was there and she felt the need to share it with the rest of us. At first glance, this seems like another children’s books with some sort of fantasy or “out of this world” theme. But as I opened and started the The Arrival, I found this book being one of the most engrossing and well done pieces I have seen a great while. The Arrival is a little different from the normal comic / graphic novel we read here at the Pullbox, but Mr. Tan’s work so blew me out of the water I knew I wanted to get the word out. In his own words – “The Arrival is a migrant story told as a series of wordless images that might seem to come from a long forgotten time. A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope.” This book is truly mesmerizing. You may be able to sit down and sprint through it and be done with the skeleton of the story in ten minutes, but you could takes hours and hours pouring over the gorgeous sketches and every detail that is laid out in the migrant’s new world. The question was once asked if a detailed story could be told with no words… Mr. Tan proves not only can you, you can do it in a masterful way! This is a perfect book for families, from ages 3 to 103, to check out together. The Arrival has won the New Your Times Best Illustrated Book of 2007, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2007, a 2007 Parents’ Gold Choice Award and several others!
More art below!