Flip Books

Reading Shaun Tan’s The Arrival reminded me of flip books my brother and I used to make out of notepads when we were younger. We’d draw each “frame” on a separate sticky note, and then fan through the pictures, revealing an animated story that usually only lasted seconds. I  found my mind doing this same kind of thing while reading The Arrival. Because the illustrations had such a larger than life quality to them, it was easy to imagine them animated and moving through space and time. The fragmentation of the page almost forces you to fill in the rest of the movement–really making the book come to life. What are your thoughts?

2 Replies to “Flip Books”

  1. Meredith,

    I really like your idea on the flip book. In fact, I also made something similar when I was young in my kindergarten class. I agree that, when you read the story on the snowman, the previous image just pops up and reminds in your head even when you reach the next image. It is basely how children try to understand the world: the movement of their parents are continuous images like the flip book. Also, on the filling rest of images by yourself, I do think that, everyone has a different illustrations on the story due to their different life experiences.


  2. Hi Meredith,

    I agree that there is a flip book-like element to these drawings. I would also go a step further and say that the drawings remind me of the planning of a movie, each snapshot a little different than the one before. Perhaps this is why it was so easily translated into a performance. Not only is the story about movement, the images really do flow from one scene to the next, and like you said, your imagination quickly fills in the gaps.

    I think that the multitude of images on a single page adds to the movement. For example, if there were only a couple of large pictures per page, the story would not seem as continuous. The larger pictures actually offer a short pause in all the movement, which is sometimes necessary and refreshing.

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