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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

I loved the movie--yes, I was one of those. I picked up Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret as a baby gift for a friend (I believe in small humans reading at advanced levels) and decided to read it for myself before wrapping it.

Hugo Cabret is a young man living in the attic of the Paris train station. He winds the clocks everyday; this job used to be his drunk uncle’s until the day he disappeared. Hugo continues the work without anyone knowing in order to have a place to live and food to eat. Hugo spends his spare time rebuilding an automaton that his father worked so very hard on reconstructing before he died; it’s the only thing Hugo has left of his father. When the owner of the toy store in the station catches Hugo stealing, Hugo is led on a journey of self-discovery that could only happen in the most serendipitous of ways.

I lovelovelove this book. It’s my favorite children’s book that exists anywhere, because the story is so rich and so fulfilling, and about half of the story is told through illustrations. I love when a story can be told through pictures; I find graphic novels so powerful for this very reason. The illustrations in Cabret are gorgeous pencil sketches that are expressive and lovely. I adore the narrative, and I love that it is enough to keep adults interested while being full of intrigue and depth for kids. Anything that can entertain all generations at once is simply marvelous as far as I am concerned. (Yes, I also loved the movie, thanksforasking.)

Get this for the short person in your life.

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