• Graphic

The arrival

by Tan, Shaun.

There is currently 1 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Teen Graphic Novel / Tan, Shaun

Available Copies: Malletts Teen

Additional Details

Added t.p. in unknown script.

In this wordless graphic novel, a man leaves his homeland and sets off for a new country, where he must build a new life for himself and his family.

Community Reviews

SO confusing!

This book was very confusing and hard to understand. But I do like words a lot, so that might be why. The art is gorgeous though. i recommend you try it, though. See if you can understand it.

A gorgeous art-only immigration story.

SPOILER: [A man leaves his wife and young daughter to sail off to a faraway land where he doesn't speak the language. He makes some friends, saves some money, and brings his family over for a joyful reunion.]

The Arrival is completely text-free and absolutely beautiful, entirely drawn in sepia-toned, I don't know, pencil sketches maybe. It's a bizarre blend of styles: the people all look 19th century Ellis Island; everybody has a familiar or pet inspired by Maurice Sendak (my wife says "Pokemon"), like the miniature whale-dog and the fish-bird; and the musical instruments and modes of transportation are right out of Dr. Seuss and Dr. Who respectively (I'm sure I saw a poggle horn, a zimbaphone, and possibly a three-nozzled bloozer). The writing on signs and immigration documents looks suspiciously like a supersecret transliteration code I devised when I was 7.

I like Tan's inventive text-free ways of communicating concepts like danger and the passage of time. The homeland that the unnamed man leaves behind is dark, with shadows of dragontails on all the city streets--in his new home he's startled once by a small apparently-harmless cat-thing with a similar tail. He shows time passing on his initial voyage with a sixty-panel (I counted) montage of clouds, and later with a 24-panel array of a transforming leaf-eye-dandelion. Neat.


This book - graphic novel, picture story, whatever you want to call it! - is amazing. Stunning. Moving. I especially liked the visual contrast between what seemed like a by-gone culture (the Ellis Island style arrival hall, the clothing) with the futuristic technology (such as the flying ships). I also liked how you learned the histories of the people he meets along the way.

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