Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Selznick, Brian. The invention of Hugo Cabret

Szelznick, Brian. The invention of Hugo Cabret. Scholastic, 2007 [0-439-81378-5//978-0-439-81378-5

I was reluctant to purchase this Caldecott winner because I was confused about its format but I am glad I did purchase and read it. The book contains a good story, but more so, it is an incredible visual experience. The book’s introduction states, ”I want you to picture yourself sitting in the darkness, like the beginning of a movie.” What follows is a black and white movie in book form. Once the reader gets used to the format, it is a wonderfully unique experience. I fully understand why it won the Caldecott award. Hugo Cabret lives in the Paris train station in 1931 with his father who maintains all the clocks. After his father dies, Hugo tries to keep it a secret, maintaining all the clocks and also continuing to fix the automaton his father had. No only is Hugo mixed up in a mystery concerning this automaton, but also finds and “re-discovers” a director of early silent movies. You must have this book in your library… not only for the story, but for the literary experience which I am sure will be followed and expanded on by other authors.


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