November 29, 2009

Book Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007) by Brian Selznick

I love this children's book that my nieces were reading, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It's 500 pages, hundreds of which are luscious black & white pencil drawings, meant to imitate the feel of early silent film. Many of the drawings are very abstract - there's some which are just curtains, or just a movie projector light, or just blackness. It has a sophisticated premise with dark themes, intricate metaphors, European angst, ennui & frustration. But it always flows with intrigue & wonder appropriate for its age-group: my eight-year-old nieces were already re-reading it for the second time, having read ahead of their class. And their uncle snatched it away & spent most of Thanksgiving weekend reading it antisocially in the corner.

Here's an interview with the author where you can see some of the illustrations, & an explanation of the premise:
(I un-embedded that video, because it played automatically, but it's here: -spoiler alert.)
Also, the book's website, with more links, is here:

No comments: