Monday, March 12, 2012

Discovering Hugo

My first book of 2012 was The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.  My wonderful friend Amy passed it on to me.  I instantly fell in love with Hugo, the history behind the book, and most of all with Selznick's unique storytelling format -- a novel in word and picture.  It's like mixing a traditional novel, a picture book and a silent film.  His technique made me completely rethink my stance on wordless books.  (I used to hate them; now I love them.) That's how awesome this book is -- it changed my perception of a whole genre of children's literature.

I am now exactly half way through reading Hugo to Matthew, my Kindergartener.  He instantly fell in love with Hugo and his mysterious notebook littered with mechanical drawings, literally begging me to read the next chapter because he couldn't stand not knowing what happened next.

As much as I loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret , Selznick's follow-up novel, Wonderstruck , is almost more magnificent.  The story and the role of the silent film aspect of his illustrations all fit together in a beautiful tapestry.  I think it'll be next on our agenda, followed by From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsberg.  Children in both stories take temporary residence in a museum, so they tie together well.  I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity and age to introduce Matthew to the Detroit Institute of Arts.  I think I've found my moment.

Click here to read more about our continued journey through The Invention of Hugo Cabret.


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