Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Hugo is an orphan who lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where survival depends on secrets and anonoymity. But when his world interlocks with a bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy shop, things start to change. A treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man which all hints to a hidden messege from Hugo's dead father.

My take: 5 looks

I love the use of pictures and text to tell this story. There are almost 300 pages of pictures. Some are standalone. Some have the feel of a flipbook. Some are closeups and almost abstract. All support the story and add to the action and suspense, moving the reader forward.

I love the history and research of the story. The author did extensive research on the French cinema, watched many early movies, incorporating them into his tale, and remained true to the pioneers who forged and developed technologies that make movies what they are today.

I love that I can go online and see the automaton that inspired Selznick to write the book. I love that Georges Melies is a real person, with a real history and legacy. I can watch the same movies that Selznick talks about in the book.

I love that there is a website for the book, telling about the book, the author, the Caldecott Medal, which it won in 2008, the making of the movie, and links galore to propel the interested reader further and further down the same path that Hugo travele. And finally, I can't wait to see the movie, for which I have very high hopes.

This is a new favorite.

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