Today my class will give our beautiful Arrival Collection box to Shaun Tan in person. I only hope we can express to him how wonderful the experience of reading his book has been for us.
The children have created all sorts of fantastic documents, artifacts, maps, drawings, and more for the box — all based on this amazing book. Here are a few of them, but do go here to see them all. They are wonderful!
One of the many birds in the book.
The man’s pet.
The ship’s manifest
A Map of the Old Country
Last Wednesday we went to Ellis Island. At the kids’ request I brought along a copy of The Arrival and they brought their little booklets. Rushed as we were (the buses were late and we had to get back for our Halloween party, of course!), they were fascinated and many busily took notes throughout the exhibits. They loved seeing the actual Registry Hall, the large photographs that were used as research by Tan, the dormitory, the intriguing exhibits about the tests that new immigrants had to go through — just the whole space was remarkable to them. Even the seagulls flying around them on the ferry ride made them think of Shaun Tan’s birds flying over the steamship as his protagonist came into his new land.
The next day one child wrote that his favorite room was the “golden” one where there were walls of ships’ manifests, identification forms, and other materials directly related to The Arrival. Others loved the rooms describing those horrible tests that the new immigrants had to take (and were beautifully presented in Tan’s book). The connections between the immigrant experience, what they saw at the Museum, and Tan’s book were remarkable. For a bit more and a few photos head over to my class blog to read this post.