Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick

Hugo Cabret lives alone in a secret apartment in the Paris train station, keeping the clocks running while his uncle, the drunk/the station's clock maintainer, is missing. Hugo has inherited his family's fascination with machines and spends his free time trying to reconstruct an automaton, hoping to discover a secret message. His plans are complicated after he is caught shoplifting by a toy salesman at the station. Hugo soon finds himself in a web of more secrets, surprisingly connected to his own secrets.

This is a fat, dense novel, but the page layouts are well done, with lots of white space helping the story breathe. The illustrations are two page spreads, quite different from a paneled graphic novel/comic look. Several sequences suggest motion effectively and help pull the reader through the book. This is a book that needs to be seen to be appreciated, but I imagine that most kid readers seeing this book would be interested enough to make a go of it.