Christa Weiler, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Christa Weiler)
This was a surprise and one of the most fun books that I have read ever. The illustrations and story were amazing and beautiful! This is a truly talented author and illustrator.
the bookish mama, July 16, 2012 (view all comments by the bookish mama)
I finally got my hands on this book after years of being curious about it this past fall because the movie was coming out and I fell head over heels in love with it. I inhaled it over the course of a night and just poured over ever single page because the illustrations are just so intricately and beautifully drawn! There are so many gorgeous little details and you can't help but just run your hands over the pages because everything looks so real! It is absolutely stunning.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a story told in mostly pictures with a few short paragraphs here and there. There are lots of inferring going on while reading this story and it was such a different, but incredibly enjoyable reading experience. The story itself is heartwarming and full of adventure.
My favorite illustrations were of the bookstore (of course). For those of you who don't know me very well, I am a tad bit obsessed with beautiful bookshelves. (Check out my "Bookshelf Monday" feature here and my beautiful bookshelves board on Pinterest.) I can't imagine how much time Selznick took to illustrate all the pages of this book because every page is chock-filled with details, right down to each spine of the books. I wanted to LIVE in this book.
In my opinion, being able to accurately draw the human body (especially the face) is one of the hardest things to do, but Selznick does it so effortlessly and it's a true ode to his talent as an artist. Even the details in the eyes are so expressive that you feel like you are looking into the character's soul.
Selznick is an amazing artist and writer. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is so deserving of the Caldecott Award. If you haven't had a chance to read this book, go get it NOW because you are seriously missing out!
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S_Ava, February 7, 2012 (view all comments by S_Ava)
I bought this book for my eight year old nephew for Christmas. We started to read it that week, but didn't finish. I bought myself a copy the minute I got home. We both loved it! He finished it before I did! Beautiful drawings, prose and just an overall great story.
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Oryokibowl, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Oryokibowl)
I'm probably the last person to read the book now that the movie has been out for a while, but I was glad to be late rather than never. Simply a jewel.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Here is a true masterpiece — an artful blending of narrative, illustration and cinematic technique, for a story as tantalizing as it is touching.Twelve-year-old orphan Hugo lives in the walls of a Paris train station at the turn of the 20th century, where he tends to the clocks and filches what he needs to survive. Hugo's recently deceased father, a clockmaker, worked in a museum where he discovered an automaton: a human-like figure seated at a desk, pen in hand, as if ready to deliver a message. After his father showed Hugo the robot, the boy became just as obsessed with getting the automaton to function as his father had been, and the man gave his son one of the notebooks he used to record the automaton's inner workings. The plot grows as intricate as the robot's gears and mechanisms: Hugo's father dies in a fire at the museum; Hugo winds up living in the train station, which brings him together with a mysterious toymaker who runs a booth there, and the boy reclaims the automaton, to which the toymaker also has a connection. To Selznick's credit, the coincidences all feel carefully orchestrated; epiphany after epiphany occurs before the book comes to its sumptuous, glorious end. Selznick hints at the toymaker's hidden identity (inspired by an actual historical figure in the film industry, Georges Mlis) through impressive use of meticulous charcoal drawings that grow or shrink against black backdrops, in pages-long sequences. They display the same item in increasingly tight focus or pan across scenes the way a camera might. The plot ultimately has much to do with the history of the movies, and Selznick's genius lies in his expert use of such a visual style to spotlight the role of this highly visual media. A standout achievement. Ages 9-12." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by School Library Journal (Starred Review),
"With characteristic intelligence, exquisite images, and a breathtaking design, Selznick shatters conventions related to the art of bookmaking....This is a masterful narrative that readers can literally manipulate."
by John Schwartz, The New York Times Book Review,
"It is wonderful. Take that overused word literally: Hugo Cabret evokes wonder....The result is a captivating work of fiction that young readers with a taste for complex plots and a touch of magic...can love."
"This hybrid creation...is surprising and often lovely....[B]ookmaking this ambitious demands and deserves attention..."
by Children's Literature,
"Brian Selznick's book is a lush hybrid of a creation, a blend of novel and graphic novel that invites you to linger over each page, but also inspires a hunger to know more that keeps you turning the pages."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"There is a lot to like in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and for young film buffs reading it, it is worth studying for the deft use of perspective and the scenes of great tension, as effectively fleshed out in pictures as words."
by The Washington Post Book World,
"The problem is that Selznick...is really not much of a writer....[M]ost of the time, the prose has a one-foot-in-front-of the-other quality that's about as interesting as watching a clock hand move..."
"Beautiful, full-page black-and-white illustrations are interspersed throughout the book....Part mystery, part feel-good drama, and part picture book for older readers, this novel will fly off the shelf simply because of its visual appeal."
Combining elements of picture book, graphic novel, and film, Caldecott Honor artist Selznick breaks open the novel form to create an entirely new reading experience in this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery. Illustrations.
Intrigue, danger, chess, and a real-life hoax combine in this historical novel from the author of The Shakespeare Stealer
Philadelphia, PA, 1835. Rufus, a twelve-year-old chess prodigy, is recruited by a shady showman named Maelzel to secretly operate a mechanical chess player called the Turk. The Turk wows ticket-paying audience members and players, who do not realize that Rufus, the true chess master, is hidden inside the contraption. But Rufuss job working the automaton must be kept secret, and he fears he may never be able to escape his unscrupulous master. And what has happened to the previous operators of the Turk, who seem to disappear as soon as Maelzel no longer needs them? Creeping suspense, plenty of mystery, and cameos from Edgar Allan Poe and P. T. Barnum mark Gary Blackwoods triumphant return to middle grade fiction.
Orphan, clock keeper, thief: Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. Combining elements of picture book, graphic novel, and film, Caldecott Honor artist Selznick breaks open the novel form to create an entirely new reading experience in this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery. Illustrations.
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