Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Hugo Cabret splits his time between keeping the clocks of the Paris train station running to cover for his disappeared uncle and repairing the automaton that is his last connection to his father.  But when his life becomes entangled with the man who runs the station's toy booth and his goddaughter, Hugo may find his mechanical man holds the secret to more than his father's work.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is a Caldecott Medalist and the basis of the motion picture Hugo.

With this book, Selznick combines traditional wordless picture books and traditional pictureless chapter books to tell a story that is cinematic in scope and feel.  His sketchy pencil illustrations combined with vintage film stills flesh out the narrative in a way simple description cannot.  Each picture is framed the way an expert director would, a technique Martin Scorsese clearly took note of when directing the film.  After having read the book, each scene feels like revisiting a familiar landscape, so similar are the visuals.  Film fans will find more reasons than that to enjoy this tale, although nothing more can be said without giving too much away.  This is a beautiful book, worthy of a place on most any shelf.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is published by Scholastic Press and retails for $24.99 (hardcover).  I bought my copy with my very own money.  You can get yours at Left Bank Books today!

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