Friday, January 18th, 2008
Hugo lives in the train station in Paris, and is the time-keeper. The only thing is, nobody knows. After his own clockmaker father died in a tragic fire, Hugo’s gruff Uncle pulled him out of school, and made Hugo his own time-keeper apprentice. Hugo’s uncle starts disappearing for longer and longer stretches of time, until one day, he doesn’t come home at all.
What can Hugo do, but continue setting the clocks, and living in Uncle’s tiny apartment in the station? He collects Uncle’s paycheques so that the Station Inspector is none-the-wiser to the situation.
Everything changes for Hugo when one day, while stealing a wind-up mouse from the toy booth, he is caught. The man who runs the toy booth threatens to call the Station Inspector and takes from Hugo the one thing that he has left from his father – his notebook with the illustrations of the automaton that his father found in the museum attic. The man who runs the toy booth, and Hugo, are connected in a way that neither could fathom. With twists and turns too intricate to describe, Selznik takes readers on a journey about history, cinema, and the meaning of family.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret looks like a daunting book. It is as thick as J.K Rowling’s works. The pages of Hugo, however, are filled with Selznick’s amazing illustrations that call to mind the work of Chris Van Allsburg. Part of the story is actually told through the illustrations, quickening the pace of reading considerably. A beautiful and enchanting story that is destined to become a classic.
We were so pleased to see this title win the Caldecott award this year. This book is an example of how authors and illustrators are pushing the envelope regarding categorizing books! If you see your child reading this book, do yourself a favor and give it a read.
(Review copied from “Welcome to my Tweendom“)