Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Movies and pictures are marvelous inventions. I think that both are aspects of education that are severely overlooked. I previously posted a review of the graphic novel Robot Dreams by Sara Varnon in which I mention how reading pictures is an important skill that is often times forgotten after learning how to read written words.

In The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick perfectly combines the use of images and words to tell stories in a way graphic novels typically do not. He uses 158 different pictures interspersed between pages of literature. The reader of the novel is required to read the words written by Selznick, but also to read the pictures.

The pictures often times present an unclear image and with each turn of the page the perspective provided in the image is enlarged. For example, the story opens with the moon, then the night sky, then the night sky over Paris, then the sun rising over a small part of Paris, then a train station, then the entrance of the train station, then the crowded inside of the train station, and lastly a close up of Hugo Cabret, the stories protagonist. This is a effect that makes reading the book seem like watching a movie.

In fact, film is an important aspect of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which makes the film like quality of his illustrations that much more poignant. Selznick draws upon real life movies and people in this novel to tell his work of fiction. He even uses the famous filmmaker Georges Melies as a major character and incorporates his films as part of the plot.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret was awarded the 2008 Caldecot Medal which is an award for illustrations in children's literature. While this was awarded a medal for children's literature, this book is perfect for use in high school classrooms to teach many important aspects of literature and film, as well as reinforce skills in reading images.
Reviewed by Mike

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Just see Linda at the Cedar Lake Library. Then start reading and writing! You can earn volunteer time for helping!

Volunteering @ the Library

Volunteering @ the Library
Putting on puppet shows!

Making spiders for storytime fun.

Painting for program games

Making worms for storytimes

Celebrating National Poetry Month

Celebrating National Poetry Month
Teens composed over 50 poems & displayed them using words cut from magazines.