We’ve been hearing a bit about this book lately, and it sounds quite interesting: a kid’s book that blends fiction, art and movie stills in a form of “graphical storytelling.” PopMatters has a review:
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, is a children’s novel weighing in at an intimidating 533 pages, but the reader brave enough to dive headlong into its pages will find a multi-layered text that consists of not only a delightfully written tale, but rich illustrations that take over the telling of the story at regular intervals. Selznick’s creation navigates the grey area between picture book and graphic novel in what certainly constitutes a visual and narrative achievement and a truly original work.
[snip] Selznick has a number of balls in the air with this project: juggling the textual narrative, sustaining a 500 page mystery, while integrating the illustrated narrative, and a number of allusions and inspirations from classic film and 1930s Paris. While the novel largely defies categorization, it closely resembles a silent film, and fittingly so. In addition to the novel’s rich illustrations, Selznick employs photos and movie stills to enhance his storytelling, and build a cinematic mood. In the tradition of graphic narrative (or sequential art, whatever your term of choice), the illustrations play as integral a role in the overall story as the text. The use of illustrations is hardly gratuitous, for the pictures quite literally take over and carry out the narrative when the text disappears. And, really, who would care if the illustrations were gratuitous? They’re gorgeous.