Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A new one for the kid in all of us

Next up in my queue is Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. If this name sounds familiar, it’s because he won a Caldecott for his previous novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret (“Of course!” you say). If this sounds familiar, it’s because they are making a movie out of it that’s due to be out in November and directed by Martin Scorsese. Both books combine pages of illustrations with a written story in a way that is unlike anything else. Although the book looks formidable, because of all the illustrations (and probably partly because it’s a book for kids), it reads really fast. And you can get a surprising amount of story from just illustrations. I think we forget sometimes how much we can get from pictures. In Wonderstruck, two stories are told simultaneously—one in pictures and one in text. Eventually they converge and we realize how the two were connected. It’s a light, quick read with heart, mystery, and a kid spending the night in a museum a la From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It’s worth checking out, even if it’s to just be amazed at how fast you read a 637 page book.

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