Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review: Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick is a wonderful little book that's a worthy sequel to The Invention of Hugo Cabret. But I don't expect a movie to ever come out of this one, because the major characters it switches between (one in words, one in pictures) are both deaf (and at one point, the lights go out too!). The medium of the picture/word alternation that Selznick accomplishes is even more suited to this story than to his last one. It helps to read it in a silent room (after the kids go to sleep) and you end up immersed in the characters' world. The contrast between the words (which follow a boy in the 1970's) and the pictures (which follow a girl in the 1920's) is also brings out different elements of each story: we can get inside the boy's head but we can only see the girl's face and expressions. On top of this all, the plot revolves around museums and world's fairs, which would be in my Julie Andrews style Favorite Things song if I had one. (Maybe I do ... I'm not telling!) This book is quieter and sadder than Hugo, and it is perfectly suited to this particular medium. Recommended -- in a different way from Hugo.

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