The Arrival

by Shaun Tan

Reading Age: 0+

Interest level: 7+

by Shaun Tan

In this unusual book, we follow a young man as he packs his bags and leaves his family to go and start a new life in another country. We experience his journey, his struggles to communicate, find accommodation, a job and food, as well as following the stories of other immigrants. The story ends with his family joining him and a hopeful future ahead.

This classic, wordless graphic novel perfectly expresses what it means to leave your country and your family and start a new life in a new country. Beautifully illustrated with black and white photo realist illustrations, and infused with surreal elements, it has a dreamlike atmosphere in which nothing is what it seems, and domestic appliances and landscapes transform themselves into strange beasts.


Children and adults of all ages will be enchanted by this moving story, which is also a wonderful starting point for exploring themes of immigration, alienation and language in the classroom.


Publisher: Hachette

About the author

  • Shaun Tan

    Shaun Tan was born in 1974 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In school he became known as the 'good drawer' which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He graduated from the University of WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works full time as a freelance artist and author in Melbourne. Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery. Books such as The Rabbits, The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated throughout Europe, Asia and South America, and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer, and worked as a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar's WALL-E. He is currently directing a short film with Passion Pictures Australia; his most recently published book is Tales from Outer Suburbia.


    Visit Shaun's website

    Shaun Tan Photo: Hachette
    Shaun Tan Photo: Hachette

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