May Book Post: The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Cover © Scholastic, Inc.

Cover © Scholastic, Inc.

Our last book of the year is The Invention of Hugo Cabret (the book has its own website!), written and illustrated by Brian Selznick. A few years ago it won the Caldecott Medal, the award given for the the best illustrations in American children’s literature. Usually only picture books win that award. This is a novel! That’s crazy!

Mr. Selznick illustrated the cover of a previous GR book, The Janitor’s Boy. We’ve also read Hugo in previous years. TwiceAnd we went to see the movie when it came out.

There are not really any other books like this one. Mr. Selznick pushed the boundary of what we think a novel can be. I’m very interested to know what you think about it.

It is important to note that the pictures in this book must be “read.” The do not go along with the text, they replace the text. So don’t zip by them. Pay attention!

This is our last book, so we are combining with Glas Read this month. We like to have a potluck and then a big joint meeting. Details to come!

Keep reading!

Meeting: Thursday, May 30, potluck at 6 pm, meeting at 6:30

Also: Here’s a bunch of stuff related to the book. Lots of links to movies mentioned in the book, a few other links, and the whole movie of A Trip to the Moon! Click on to check it out!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JDaOOw0MEE&rel=0]

Here are links to clips and/or movies mentioned in the book:

  • Safety Last, starring Harold Lloyd
  • The Arrival of the Train at La Ciotat, by the Lumiere brothers; one of the first movies ever made!
  • The Vanishing Lady, by Georges Méliès. It is not the best quality.
  • The Clock Store, a Disney “Silly Symphony” from 1931.
  • Paris Asleep, by René Clair. It is silent, and the caption cards are in French, but it’s interesting to look at.
  • The Million, also by René Clair. This is just a clip. This movie is the first French musical with singing parts. Sorry, no English subtitles.

In addition to Georges Méliès, who is actually a character in the story, Charlie Chaplin,Buster Keaton, and Jean Renoir were also mentioned in the book.

In his credits at the end, Mr. Selznick said you could find out more about Georges Méliès here.

He also said you could see a real automaton here. One of the videos there features Mr. Selznick himself.

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