I have spent some time over the holidays exploring the books of Brian Selznik recently. He’s written The Invention of Hugo Cabret and more recently Wonderstruck. You might know Hugo Cabret because the film Hugo is based on this book. It’s a wonderful film and a great book.
In both books Selznick has created an amazing mix of picture book, graphic novel and film, resulting in books to treasure. The illustrations in Hugo Cabret are wonderful and you can see much of the story unfolding through these black and white illustrations. Along the way there are chapters of text which tell the reader more of the story. Blended together they tell us about Hugo and we can piece together the mystery that surrounds Hugo, the old man, a young girl and the automaton that Hugo is trying to restore.
Set in Paris, this is a book to read and explore, then read some more. If you can see the movie then do so. It’s wonderful.
Watch this video to hear how the author got his ideas for writing The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Head on over to the Hugo Cabret website for lots more information about the book too. It’s at http://www.theinventionofhugocabret.com/index.htm and there’s lots of things to explore there.
Selznick’s latest book is Wonderstruck. It’s structured in a very similar way to Hugo Cabret, in that there are chapters of text then chapters of black and white illustrations telling more about the story. There are two stories running along side each other here, one set in New York in 1927, the other in 1977. The story set in 1927 is told completely through illustration, whilst the 1977 story is told in text. Eventually the two stories come together.
As with Hugo Cabret, there is a website devoted to the book. You can find out heaps more about the story by visiting: http://www.wonderstruckthebook.com/
Have a look at this video to see more about Selnick’s ideas that led him to write this book.