Poignant & Touching Graphic Novel

The Arrival - Shaun Tan


This is a gorgeous graphic novel that embodies the immigrant experience. Because there are no words, the reader can decode the meaning for themselves. When the main character travels to a new land, he is faced with an alien environment. The surreal pictures make it so the environment doesn't look like any particular place. As the character makes his way through the world, he is faced with strange symbols, strange creatures and strange food. Literally everything is strange to him and to the reader. Because there are no words, I took more time to look at each picture to figure out exactly what the character was going through.


This is a touching story that can be shared with readers from age 10 to adult. Schools could pair it with history lessons. Families who move to a new place could share the book with their kids. This book helps any reader understand a bit of what immigrants go through. Highly recommended.


I read this book for my Multicultural literature class.