The Arrival

The Arrival

Book - 2006
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Comments (36)

A wordless graphic novel that the tells the familiar tale of an immigrant. By having no words, it makes the reader feel just like the immigrant who is encountering a new world to try to make a better life for his family. I breezed through the book in half an hour, only to re-open it, and look at it again. (submitted by DS)

Jan 14, 2018

A very interesting book showing the difficulties faced by new migrants in any country.
Great text. Definitely a must read.

Jan 08, 2018

This is a beautiful, surreal look at coming to a new land - highly recommended!

GeeksInTheLibrary Oct 17, 2017

A wordless story full of fanciful locations and astonishing animals, that manages to tell a very real world immigrant's tale. An excellent tool for teaching visual literacy, and a deeply heartwarming and human narrative of adapting to a new life.

Jun 05, 2017

This really is an amazing book. Without words, Shaun Tan tells tales about what it is to be a refugee. Why you would leave the country you love, and what it is like to be somewhere new, where everything is strange. Astonishing really. Recommended for anyone from ten or twelve up. Take some time and check this out.

Mar 24, 2017

This famous wordless art book illustrates the story of a young man immigrating from a dangerous war-torn country to a strange and confusing foreign land. The sepia-toned illustrations are excellent and effectively evoke strong feelings of isolation tinged with hope for a better future.

Kristen MERKE
Feb 03, 2017

In a 'read' that will take you less than 30 minutes, Shaun Tan manages to make the immigration experience relatable even to those who have never moved across a border. Without a single word, Tan will break your heart and put it back together with his spectacular drawings. He is able to express time, distance and space using only sequential art. This short book is truly a work of art as much as it is a means of spreading social awareness, perhaps more relevant today than ever before.

Oct 01, 2016

An elegant, poignant story told through a series of beautiful and haunting illustrations.

Sep 01, 2016

Absolutely beautiful! I have been showing this masterpiece to everyone I know

Aug 23, 2016

The immigrant experience told completely through sumptuous illustrations and without a word spoken or narrated. Truly masterful!

JCLAngelicaR May 23, 2016

A timeless story of experiencing culture shock. Brought back memories and goose bumps. Surrealistically accurate and internationally applicable. Very creative!

Apr 23, 2016

The excellent depictions and artwork inspired me, also in that not a word was used. A warm happy ending that elevated my spirits.

Apr 16, 2016

This was read and discussed by North Park Branch Library's Comic-Con Book Club. In a nutshell: everyone loved it. Beautiful art and a universally-relatable immigrant story make this book a winner that you'll want to regularly revisit.

LPL_KimberlyL Mar 12, 2016

The artwork and the world the author created in this graphic novel is completely stunning! There are several images that are so profound and beautiful, I want to hang them up in my home so that I can stare at them every day. Beyond the visuals, the story is heartfelt and deeply touching, and shows the reality of immigration and how painful it is to leave your family in order to try and provide a better life for them. Amazing. Absolutely amazing!

Jan 26, 2016

I would have never thought a book without words could be "read", enjoyed and evoke so many emotions/feelings.
The beauty of this book: it can be read in any language you want. It's polysemic in every sense. It will tell a new and/or different story to every reader depending of the life experiences of the reader. And all of them will be valid.
The author managed to achieve it just with the power of the images.
Simply put: well done!

JCLKatieS Jan 03, 2016

This book gives readers a perspective on what it would be like to be a foreigner in a new country. The pictures speak volumes as they display how confusing, lonely, and yet, wonderful it is to be in a new place.

Dec 15, 2015

Such a beautiful book! Gorgeous illustrations. I took a great pleasure just from holding it in my hands.
I recommend it definitely to everyone. A
And don't be mislead by the collection name "Juvenile Graphic Novel". It's for any age. was really delighted to look through as well as mine 5 years old.
Check it out!

Dec 05, 2015


No matter when or where, hope is always with us. Paper airplane appeared many times, flying to the unknown future. Unknown is not horrible. There must be a realm for us to arrive in.
It’s a silent movie about immigrants, beginning and end and love and hope. Dark yellow pages have a sense of time, giving readers a sight depression. Each detail seems to imply further meaning. No too many pages, but too much things are told.

PimaLib_JonM Nov 25, 2015

This is a gorgeous book that tells a story of immigrants and refugees without the use of words. It has a look of old photographs mixed with a surreal quality that lends an air of wonder and confusion to the story of one man who leaves his family to go somewhere to start a life in a new land. It goes from a Kafkaesque world toward a hopeful one over the course of its telling. Highly recommended to anyone and everyone.

Nov 10, 2015

This beautiful book describes perfectly moving to a new country without knowing the language, or anyone there. Perfect for kids and adults alike.

Jun 16, 2015

Science fiction and fantasy theme. Lovely charcoal drawings, but a little too simple for adults.

kbo90 Mar 14, 2015

How do you explain the horror and results of war to a child? The frenzy of battle, displacement, poverty and traumatic adjustments of settling in new society? This pictures-only book does it with aplomb. It's incredible to me that such a subject could be rendered in a manner that is totally approachable and appropriate for young children. Yet Tan has accomplished just that - spectacularly so. As a parent, I thank him for it.

Kysmom6 Oct 04, 2014

This wordless graphic novel was necessary for a class I am taking this semester. I found the pictures to be amazing and beautiful. My children also enjoyed flipping through the pages and watching the tale unfold. Great for any age!

May 02, 2013

It is a beautifully illustrated book, and says so much without a hint of a single word. It's unique and it seems every age group can and probably will enjoy it :)

Mar 24, 2013

I guess I'm the only one that just didn't really get into this one. While the art was absolutely stunning, the fantasy setting just didn't do it for me. In the books defence, I think I'm just not a huge fan of fantasy.

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