Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Review: Wonderstruck

From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

I picked up Wonderstruckby Brian Selznick because I loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret so much. And I loved Wonderstruck even more. The story is imaginative and the illustrations are gorgeous. Above is an image from early in the book where Rose escapes her home. 

Rose is a little girl living in New Jersey in the 20's. She has only her father, as her mother left years prior. Rose is confined to her home. She's deaf, and her parents are afraid that she could get hurt out on her own. But she is strong-willed. She makes her way to the Natural History Museum in NY.

Ben is a little boy living fifty years later, in the late 70's. He recently lost his mother and never knew his father. He's deaf in one ear until an accident leaves him completely unable to hear. When he finds a clue to where his father may be, he makes his way to NY and finds himself in the Natural History Museum. Below is an image from the book of one of the exhibits.

The children have much in common and should they have lived at the same time, they'd probably be best friends. Brian Selznick switches between Ben's story and Rose's until their stories overlap. It's a beautiful story which left me teary-eyed. I can't wait to see what else this amazing author/illustrator will come up with. 


literati_rain66 said...

Gah! Now I have to read it. I saw it on the Indie Next List and it made me curious. But now that I know you liked it, I'll have to give it a try.

Name: Aine said...

@Shan Despite the fact that it's huge, 3/4 of those pages hare full pics. And 1/2 of those with words are actually fully covered. I think I read it in 2 hours, maybe 3, and only because I spent time appreciating the pics.

Post a Comment