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A Letter from Brian Selznick
When I was a kid, two of my favorite books were by an amazing man named Remy Charlip. Fortunately and Thirteen fascinated me in part because, in both books, the very act of turning the pages plays a pivotal role in telling the story. Each turn reveals something new in a way that builds on the image on the previous page. Now that I’m an illustrator myself, I’ve often thought about this dramatic storytelling device and all of its creative possibilities.
My new book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is a 550 page novel in words and pictures. But unlike most novels, the images in my new book don't just illustrate the story; they help tell it. I've used the lessons I learned from Remy Charlip and other masters of the picture book to create something that is not a exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things.
I began thinking about this book ten years ago after seeing some of the magical films of Georges Méliès, the father of science-fiction movies. But it wasn’t until I read a book called Edison's Eve: The Quest for Mechanical Life by Gaby Woods that my story began to come into focus. I discovered that Méliès had a collection of mechanical, wind-up figures (called automata) that were donated to a museum, but which were later destroyed and thrown away. Instantly, I imagined a boy discovering these broken, rusty machines in the garbage, stealing one and attempting to fix it. At that moment, Hugo Cabret was born.
A few years ago, I had the honor of meeting Remy Charlip, and I'm proud to say that we've become friends. Last December he was asking me what I was working on, and as I was describing this book to him, I realized that Remy looks exactly like Georges Méliès. I excitedly asked him to pose as the character in my book, and fortunately, he said yes. So every time you see Méliès in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the person you are really looking at is my dear friend Remy Charlip, who continues to inspire everyone who has the great pleasure of knowing him or seeing his work.
Paris in the 1930's, a thief, a broken machine, a strange girl, a mean old man, and the secrets that tie them all together... Welcome to The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Brian Selznick on a "Deleted Scene" from The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Boy of a Thousand Faces
This is a beautiful story and even more beautiful book mostly told through gorgeous full page pencil drawings.Published 2 days ago by Tiny Dancer
This book is a "must read" for the 8-9 year old.... either boy OR girl. It's full of mystery and intrigue! Read morePublished 15 days ago by Joan Dunn
A classic story! I gave to a child named Hugo as a gift and he loves the book!Published 22 days ago by giovanna
This is an amazing book! The drawings are outstanding! I would not have thought this was a children's book until someone told me.Published 1 month ago by book
My daughter's 3rd grade teacher read this to the class and my daughter loved it. I then borrowed it from the library and I was stunned by the beautiful pictures. Read morePublished 1 month ago by A. Niendorf
This is the book from which the movie "Hugo" was made and it is more imaginative and more compelling than the movie. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This book is amazing. I JUST finished this book so don't blame me if I say to many good things about it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. D. Ward