Mini-reviews: Visual treats

The Arrival Shaun Tan

The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Published 2007.

Recommendation from: Regular Rumination

This gorgeous book is a wordless tale of immigration in a fantastical world. The dangers of immigrants’ homelands and the cultural strangeness of the new world are portrayed using otherworldly architecture, food, plants and creatures. In some things, one can parallel to the equivalent in our own world history, but Shaun Tan does not seem to be making everything into straightforward representative symbols. There’s quite a lot of room for whimsical expansion. It’s actually quite a moving book, especially in light of today’s fraught conversations about immigration.

Delta Deep Down Burdine

Delta Deep Down: Photographs by Jane Rule Burdine. Edited by Wendy McDaris. Introduction by Steve Yarbrough. Published 2008.

Recommendation from: Maggie Reads

I’ve been intrigued by the Delta region of Mississippi since reading Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding when I was in high school. I still haven’t visited, though I plan to. The photos in this collection were taken between the years of 1973 and 2006. The photo shown above was taken in 1989. The photo subjects are a good mix of people, buildings and landscapes. The selection and ordering of the photos was carefully done so that something in the right page photo subtly echoes something in the left page photo. It might be a similarity in color, or the composition, or a pattern. This was a lovely book to page through.

To see more of Jane Rule Burdine’s work, here is a link to a tumblr site:

Cat Getting Out of Bag

Cat Getting Out of a Bag and Other Observations: A Cat Book by Jeffrey Brown

Published 2007.

Recommendation: My notes say this recommendation came from Paperback Reader though I can’t seem to find the actual blog post. Simon from Stuck in the Book also likes it.

This cute little book is a collection of comic panels about common cat behavior: zooming around the house, knocking things over, getting under sheets during bed-making, folding themselves into a tidy loaf position, etc. I especially liked one page that was labeled “She Knows” and shows the owner packing a suitcase while the cat looks on. Very occasionally, I wasn’t quite sure what an illustration depicted, but for the most part, as someone who grew up with cats and owns a cat, I saw much that I recognized and could smile over.


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7 responses to “Mini-reviews: Visual treats

  1. Oh, I MUST get the Delta Deep Down book. Thanks for posting about it!

  2. I really enjoyed seeing these reviews. I don’t see many visually oriented books covered on the book blogs I read and it’s nice to learn about some that are not on my radar.

    • Glad to put them on your radar! I see a lot of graphic novels reviewed on the blogs I follow, but I’m not sure I see other types of visually oriented books – photography, art, etc. as much.

  3. I loved the Arrival. I get excited anytime I see that someone has read it. Just amazing. I found it one time on someone’s blog and wish I knew where so I could credit them with it.

  4. I still haven’t read The Arrival, which is just unacceptable at this point. I’m going to make it a point to read it before the year is out.

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