Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Orphan Hugo Cabret lives in a wall. His secret home is etched out in the crevices of a busy Paris train station. Part-time clock keeper, part-time thief, he leads a life of quiet routine until he gets involved with an eccentric, bookish young girl and an angry old man who runs a toy booth in the station. The Invention of Hugo Cabret unfolds its cryptic, magical story in a format that blends elements of picture book, novel, graphic novel, and film. Caldecott Honor-winning author-illustrator Brian Selznick has fashioned an intricate puzzle story that binds the reader like a mesmerist's spell.

I felt very emotional reading it for some reason. Probably picturing if Hugo were my boy, how hard that would be. A boy with so much imagination and potential who is all alone in the world.

This book expertly (perfectly, wonderfully) blends drawings and text to create such a beautiful and touching story. This book was recommended by my sister for us to read with our four year old. He is getting to the age where he likes to be read to, yet his attention wavers easily. It sounded like it was worth a try.

My husband has been reading it to our four year old every night and our three year old daughter joins them (she loves it too). They talk about what's going on in the pictures and then listen intently to my husband as he reads the other parts. I love that they are using different creative parts of their brains and interacting with the book.

The story is so wonderful that I read ahead of everyone because I wanted (needed) to know what happened to Hugo Cabret. I think older kids could relate to this story. Not every child has a loving family or an easy life. It's a great book to read as a family.

Also, a few nights ago we saw that they are making a movie called Hugo, based on this book. The excitement on the kids' faces was a sight to behold. How great is it to be a part of their first book to movie experience? I can't wait to see it with them as a family and talk about how it was the same and how it differed from the novel.

Publication Date: March 1, 2007
Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Graphic Novels
Source: Public Library


Giselle said...

This sounds really cute. I had seen it at Costco a few months ago but it didn't catch my eye much. I should get it so I can read it to my son in a few years :)

Xpresso Reads

Anna said...

EEEEEEEP :) Tell me you have Wonderstruck!! If you don't, go buy it now!!!! :) I'm excited to read this one, but I have Wonderstruck hahaha.

Anna @ Literary Exploration

Jessi E. (The Elliott Review) said...

I recommended this? I'm sure I would have but don't remember. I love the idea of younger kids getting to experience this book. I have Wonderstruck, and you should borrow it! Or keep it... either is fine!!! :)

Jackie's Little World said...

@Jessi- Yes you did! It was on one of our B&N outings. You were telling me about it and then that guy was acting like you worked there and asking you questions, haha! I would love to borrow...but the kids aren't done with the first one yet :-) I'll let you know.