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Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

From an opening shot of the full moon setting over an awakening Paris in 1931, this tale casts a new light on the picture book form. Hugo is a young orphan secretly living in the walls of a train station where he labors to complete a mysterious invention left by his father. In a work of more than 500 pages, the suspenseful text and wordless double-page spreads narrate the tale in turns. Neither words nor pictures alone tell this story, which is filled with cinematic intrigue. Black & white pencil illustrations evoke the flickering images of the silent films to which the book pays homage. This write-up is taken from the Caldecott website.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret won the Caldecott Medal in 2008. The Caldecott Medal is awarded by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The book is geared towards the 9-12 age group.

I'm very glad I listened to so many of you that had read and recommended this book. I can't wait for my grandson to be old enough to read this. I think he'll be interested in the gears and automation. Oh, heck - the whole story will win him over! As it did me.

22 comments:

jenclair said...

I've had this on my list for over a year, since I first heard about it on NPR. Now would be a great time to get a copy! Thanks for reminding me!

Kay said...

I'm so glad that you enjoyed this book. I think it is quite unique and everyone should at least take a look at it.

Joy said...

Wasn't it a unique and great experience!?! Now you should go backwards some more and read/look at The Arrival by Tan. It is ALL pictures and excellent. :)

Andi said...

Yay! I'm always happy to see another reader enjoy this book.

Les said...

It is a great book, isn't it? Glad you weren't disappointed.

Tricia said...

I agree. I think this book is magical. Glad you enjoyed it. I can't wait until my kids get old enough for it!

Iliana said...

I specifically looked for this book today and didn't find it at the bookstore. Darn. It sounds so good - I must read it.

Stephanie said...

I've heard so many good things about this book - I really must take a look at it! Great review!

SafeLibraries.org said...

My copy of the book has a fancy, round sticker on the cover that says, "National Book Award Finalist."

Lisa said...

I'm also glad that I was convinced to give this one a try. It's like nothing else I've ever read. I highly recommend it.

Stephanie said...

I'm so glad you liked it! It's on my list to read this year for Joy's YA challenge!

Simran said...

Why dont we review more of children's books. It'll be a good change from the regular stuff.
I'd highly recommend the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis as a great read. The author's imagination and creativity never cease to amaze me. Although most might think that they are for children.,I think most adults would also enjoy reading them. In fact, Disney is coming up with the latest Narnia movie-Prince Caspian, this May 16th. It promises to be awesome by the looks of the trailor. I think its very well-timed also, especially for the kids who'd be on summer break. So dont miss it!

J Scott Savage said...

That makes me so happy. Every time I've walked through the childrens section of a bookstore for the last six months or more I've nearly picked this up. I think I was worried it would end up being nothing but a glorified picture book. It's now on my list.

Framed said...

I've looked at this book several times bu never bought it. I guess I will have to rethink that.

oakling said...

That sounds ridiculously awesome! I can't wait to get it! I have a stack of books that I need to send to Powell's (they buy them online now!) and maybe they will pay for this....

Paula said...

This one has been on my list and I finally found it in Powell Books but couldn't bring myself to shell out the $23 for it. Now I wish I would have....From your comments, it sounds like I'm not the only one!!

Katherine said...

I received an ARC of this book a wile back (read: about two years ago), but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet! (there's a backlog, you see). Thanks for the review

Booklogged said...

I've loved reading all your comments and though I didn't respond here, I tried to stop by your blogs and leave comments there.

Dewey said...

I started bouncing up and down in my seat as soon as I saw the book cover image! This is one of my favorite books of last year, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Jill said...

I have flipped through this in the bookstore and hesitated to pick it up chiefly on the grounds that it *does* do it through both text and graphics. I tend to prefer a stricter adherence to one or the other. But everyone who has actually read it tells me that it's actually quite good so I may have to adjust my thinking.

Darla D said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this - it was one of my favorite reads of last year. Although I must say that tonight I found a new CD audio version on my book cart at work, waiting to be shelved. It really seems kind of a shame to convert this book to audio format. So much will be lost! Interesting to think about, isn't it!

KayakChickee said...

This is a wonderful book. I read it with my nine year old son. He's not a big reader, so I was really surprised that he loved this book. In fact, he has read it more than once. It's got to be one heck of a book to do that, don't you think? He would give is a bazillion thumbs up!