The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Monday, January 28, 2008

Children’s librarians and lovers of children’s books eagerly await the annual announcement of the Caldecott winner.The Caldecott Medal is given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.The 2008 winner is The Invention of Hugo Cabret.As I’m constantly telling people, you are never too old to enjoy a good picture book and this year’s winner holds true.What is different is that The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not your typical picture book.The American Library Association’s web site describes it best…

From an opening shot of the full moon setting over an awakening Paris in 1931, this tale casts a new light on the picture book form. Hugo is a young orphan secretly living in the walls of a train station where he labors to complete a mysterious invention left by his father. In a work of more than 500 pages, the suspenseful text and wordless double-page spreads narrate the tale in turns. Neither words nor pictures alone tell this story, which is filled with cinematic intrigue. Black & white pencil illustrations evoke the flickering images of the silent films to which the book pays homage.

Regardless of your age, spend some time with Hugo; let yourself be drawn into the story and drawings- savor the magic.Better yet, share it with someone.I’ll be watching for more from Brian Selznick and others in this new picture book form.

Holly, Youth Services

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