Monday, September 3, 2007

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick.

After the death of his father, young Hugo continues to tend to the clocks in a large Paris train station so seamlessly that no one notices the absence of his father. Using a notebook left by his father he also works on restoring a mysterious automaton. The most amazing feature of this story is the telling alternating between pages of detailed black and white illustrations and text. Reading the text one makes the pictures in one's head and reading pictures, one adds the words. All in all a satisfying and innovative experience.

I'm not doing this book justice because it has been a while since I read it. I hope others will read and continue to comment. This is one of the most intriquing books of the year.


brandon_brarian said...

I've flipped through this and put it near the top of my "must read" pile - I know Jim Young was blown away by it as was his daughter!

croneh said...

This is one the most clever books I have seen. I was fascinated the whole time I read by the way Selznick combines the text with the graphic format, but not really like any other graphic format we've seen.

The inventive use of illustration adds so much to the story. In several cases, the readers doesn't just get one illustration for an idea but maybe six or seven, each focusing closer and closer on a small detail. Sometimes you might have even missed the detail in the text, but the pictures really point you in right direction.

As compelling as the illustrations are, the story is strong as well. It's mysterious, adventurous, filled with cool science concepts and it's emotional.

My only concern is the size of the book will turn kids off (it's 100's of pages - but mostly illustration). Its something we will really have to sell and show off the appeal. Does anyone have student responce?

Brucie said...

Here is a must read and must have for every elementary and middle school library. I'm with Jim Young. This book is too cool for words. I don't think the size will be a problem once kids see what the inside is like. I'll be surprised and disappointed if this one doesn't take off like Harry Potter. Go to the website to see reviews, hear interviews, and look at some fascinating material related and not related to the book. I want to give the website a prize. Could this be a Newbery contender? Or maybe Caldecott? Don't miss it!

KP said...

Kids who check this out act like they are "tough stuff" checking out a fat book that is full of drawings. I have enjoyed watching them.