Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

In this wonderfully depicted silent graphic novel, Tan conveys the confusing and often bizarre experience of immigrating from the known to the unknown. Using imagery and colouring taken from photos of Ellis Island, picture postcards of New York from the early 1900s and inspirational tales of immigrants themselves, the author weaves the tale of a man leaving his wife, child and country in search of a safer place to bring his family.

The inventive and fantastic buildings, the strange and astonishing food, a whole new alphabet – all of these things give weight to the struggles and triumphs of the man as he navigates through a new way of life.  The absences of words is reflected in the man’s own need to communicate through pictures as he searches for a place to live and a job he understands. 

A wonderful book that will please any age.

Part of my 100+ Book Challenge