Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

This book is both a wordless book and a graphic novel. I thought this was interesting because it really put an emphasis on GRAPHIC novel. I looked through the book several times and I still don't feel that I fully understand what was going on but I also think that some of it is open to interpretation. The book was about a man who left his family and went to another country (or at least a place that he did not speak the same language). From there I started to get confused because there were "creatures" that were not real and they seemed to be pets of people living in this new place. When I saw them I found myself wanting words to explain to me what they were. Once he is in this new place there are all kinds of new things around him; animals, vehicles, buildings, that you wouldn't normally see in the real world. I took these to be his disorientation to the new place. When someone travels to a new country they are not familiar with the customs and could feel like some things are completely "out of this world" that they have never seen before. After realizing this I really liked the book because it kind of gave a glimpse of what it would be like to immigrate to a new country and not know how or what was going to happen and trying to adapt to the new environment.

I didn't understand a lot of this book and I definitely got a little frustrated when I looked through it the first couple of times and couldn't figure out what exactly was going on. However, after I realized that I could interpret things in different ways I really enjoyed going through it and trying to decide what certain characters or objects meant to me in regards to the story. The pictures in the story are gorgeous, the seem very life-like to me and I really enjoyed them. They are in black and white so it gives a different feel to the book than if it had been in color. If this book was in a classroom I could see it in an upper grade just as far as understanding. However, if it were used in a younger setting I could see the children really enjoying looking through the pictures and creating their own stories to go along with them; without any words it is completely open to interpretation and I think they would really love that.

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