27 June 2008

23. The Invention of Hugo Cabret

It’s official! Caldecott Award books are not just for young children anymore. This year’s winner, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick is over 500 pages while most Caldecott winners average only 40 pages. And this is not the only unusual aspect of this year’s winner. The work is a unique mix of words and illustrations that feel much like a black and white movie. On Amazon the author writes, “I’ve used the lessons I learned from Remy Charlip [his favorite childhood author and illustrator] and other masters of the picture book to create something that is not a exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” You almost have to see it to believe it.

Here is a sample of the illustrations. This is one illustration that the author did not include in the final edition of the book, but shows the intricate details to be found in the book. The story is about a twelve year old boy, Hugo Cabret, who lives alone in the walls of a Parisian train station. He tends to the clocks in the station while working to repair a mechanical man his father found in an old museum warehouse. Through this quest, the young boy gets involved with an old man and a young girl. You will have to read and see the book to learn the rest. Because so much of the story is told through pictures, this is a quick read and open to pure imaginations! I loved it!

The author's website dedicated to this book is wonderful with all sorts of magical properties.

TITLE: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
AUTHOR: Brian Selznik
PAGES: 544
TYPE: Fiction
RECOMMEND: Caldecott Winner, delightfully different


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