It’s not unusual for friends to ask me for children’s book recommendations as apparently it’s not a secret that I’m passionate about ‘children’s’ literature and indeed books in general. Last week a friend was asking for recommendations for a 9 year old, and one of the (many) books I suggested was The Arrival.
I credit my friend Dani and her peers that I met at the Picturebook Conference at University of Glasgow last year for introducing me to Shaun Tan’s work. I’ve always loved Picturebooks, and they too often get classified as being for Preschool children only. Picturebooks can tell incredible stories – sometimes with words, or in the case of this one…no words at all.
The Arrival tells the story of immigrants from around the world – why they leave their countries, the struggle of leaving loved ones behind, the challenges of the journey, being somewhere new and trying to acclimatise to a new place that you will have to make your home. The illustrations are creative, powerful, poignant and it was clear to me without the note at the end that Shaun had done plenty of research into the real life stories of immigrants that informed his art.
I managed to get this paperback copy at Waterstones but you can also get it by ordering a copy from your nearest independent bookseller or online through Hive. The hardback copy makes a beautiful gift to someone (or a treat for yourself).