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Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabret

July 1, 2009

Publisher: Scholastic

Hardcover: 534 pages

This is a lovely book; the packaging and design of it is splendid. It’s cinematic and quite magical. It’s told primarily through gorgeously rendered charcoal drawings which give the story an almost textured feel.

The book is about friendship, about family and it’s also about the magic of cinema. The first films that were almost conjured from thin air, that sense of wonder, of seeing something you’ve never seen before. This book does a good job of trying to capture that feeling. The drawings are cinematic in quality; events are shown in close-ups, pans and scans. The story enfolds like a silent film, it’s almost like a storyboard for a film.

It is a short book and honestly I really only enjoyed it due to the drawings. The writing wasn’t that great but, with this book it’s irrelevant. I would recommend this book and it probably is a great story for children.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2009 5:26 am

    I saw this one in the library but I don’t think I will pick it up then….I have to check again cos I am sure I saw it on the adult side too but much bigger. perhaps just a book with the same cover

    • July 2, 2009 12:24 pm

      I think there are two versions of the book, normal and special edition. Perhaps you saw that one.

  2. July 2, 2009 9:44 pm

    I read this recently and enjoyed it quite a bit. I don’t read children’s books, but I read about this one, and it seemed so interesting and different I had to give it a try. I agree about the drawings being completely amazing, but I kind of loved the short, simple story for what it was.

    • July 2, 2009 9:45 pm

      Oh, and I love the title of your blog and the header for it. So creative!

      • July 2, 2009 10:05 pm

        Thanks. I was going for the vintage poster design.

    • July 2, 2009 10:04 pm

      I agree. I didn’t hate the story but I wasn’t enamoured by it either. It was just…there. It’s really the drawings that make the book.

  3. July 3, 2009 10:02 am

    I loved it! I think you’re right though – without the drawings it isn’t even worth mentioning. It is the perfect book for children though – even my three-year-old loves looking at the pictures. If you know any 8-year-olds then buy them this book for Christmas!

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