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text 2017-07-17 12:52
14th July 2017
Wonderstruck - Brian Selznick

I address you all tonight for who you truly are: wizards, mermaids, travelers, adventurers, and magicians. You are the true dreamers. 


Brian Selznick


Happy birthday, Brian Selznick! The award-winning writer and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret showed signs of artistic brilliance at a very young age. After the family dog ripped the arm off his troll doll, Selznick made a prosthetic replacement limb out of clay.

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review 2017-04-18 21:49
War of the Words
Frindle - Andrew Clements,Brian Selznick

I had never heard of Frindle despite it being an award-winning book (2016 Phoenix Award) with many admirers (teachers, librarians, and children alike). Written by Andrew Clements with illustrations by Brian Selznick, this is the story of Nick Allen who is the premier 'idea man' of the 5th grade...until he meets Mrs. Granger. It's then that Nick's place among his peers is questioned as she challenges him to think more creatively than ever before. The humor, inventiveness, determination, and perspicacity of our main characters makes this an instant favorite for all ages. This is a super fast read (I read it in an afternoon commute in its entirety and I'm not a particularly fast reader.) and I think it would be a great one for reluctant readers especially if you're reading with them at home. Bonus: It's educational without ever really making that a big thing which is the perfect recipe for this age group especially if they're reluctant readers. *hint hint* This book is full of heart and more than a few surprises (this might give the little ones in your life some especially mischievous ideas) which means it gets a 10/10 from me. XD


Source: Book-A-Day Almanac

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review 2017-04-11 23:47
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick

What a gorgeous treat!

Do you recognize this still from the early film, “A Trip to the Moon”?

I just viewed it myself for the first time in the last couple of years. It’s bonkers - surreal and imaginative, right? I loved this book because it was a lot of that weaved around a great little fiction of George Melies life and work.

A middle grade sequential art story, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is chock full of secrets and automatons, illusions, magic and BOOKS and dreams, and Hugo - a young, orphaned boy. All good stories need an orphan, right?

Hugo is talented with clockwork and is surviving on his sneaky ability to stay hidden, his hard work and a good dose of broken hearted sentiment. Before his father tragically died he was working on an abandoned automaton found in the attic of a museum, just for Hugo. Hugo just knows that if he can finish the restoration, a message from his father would be found in its completion.

Set in Paris in the 20’s – the mixed media black and white art has a transportive quality - the lack of color does not dull the story and in fact, I think rather enhances it. There’s a somewhat subtle thematic element around dreams and the entire premise floats on your ability to appreciate the wonder. And think about it, do you dream in color or do you dream in black and white?

Hugo’s efforts in rebuilding the automaton, his thievery and run-ins with the old man from the toy booth (guess who!), and his interest and friendship with a mysterious bookshop loving girl who helps him uncover secret after secret, all come together making this a superbly compelling tale. For the curious type of kid, this book also serves as a great little introduction to early film. ;)

View all my reviews

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review 2016-11-06 23:49
Frindle - Andrew Clements,Brian Selznick

Grade: 5th


I love Andrew Clements and Frindle! This is a story about how a boy makes up a new word for pen. I will do a novel study with this book in my class. This is a great book to get students creativeness flowing. We will intertwine this lesson with how to use a dictionary. Throughout the story, we will do different activities. For one, they will make up a new word for an object just as the boy in the story did. They will create a dictionary entry for their word. They will include things such as the old word, the new word, a picture of the word, how to pronounce the word, the part of speech, other forms of the word, the definition, synonyms, and an example of the word in a sentence. They will also create an advertisement to sell their newly named product. They will also write a newspaper article about how their new word has been a huge hit worldwide. They will include why they chose the word, what the word means, and what the success of the word being put in the dictionary means for them.  

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review 2016-07-02 11:28
The Marvels - Brian Selznick,Brian Selznick

Wow, this was a disappointment. :|

The first part about the Marvel family was AMAZING! I loved it and at that time my rating was still 5 stars. But then that part ended and we got to the part of Joseph. Which was all in text. Which is not a problem if only it wasn't so dull, boring, bland, and oh hey, if Joseph wasn't so annoying and bothersome. He just didn't get that his uncle might have some secrets, oh NOES, the kid needed to know, and he needed to know it immediately. Running away seems to be his skill if he does something wrong or if people doesn't give him the answers he needs immediately. Bah.
Oh and I hated that he just had to TOUCH anything and everything even if those things weren't his. Oh hey, this vase/trophy thing, let me touch that, and not care that it might be something very important.... :|

Then we also have the whole thing about it being 1990? Sorry, but 75% of the time I thought it was 1900 or earlier. Then at times we would have talk about books that came out in 1970 - 1990, or talk about cassette players and I knew that time was right. But other than that? Sorry, it felt a bit too much like Oliver Twist, and there were just too many things that didn't make sense for that age. Like who the hell rides a horse carriage to a theatre in 1990. Especially in the middle of a city? Like what?
Or the fact that these parents just ship off their kid to a boarding school which seemed to have been stuck in the 1800-1900s.
I could forgive the fact that Albert's house was not in 1990, for some reason it seemed like that was supposed to be the way it is. However, it was still bloody confusing.

Also I didn't really like that when those cassette tapes were played it was just the same story as we had in the beginning. Talk about useless. Sure, it was new to our MC, but for me? I just skipped right over them as I couldn't be bothered to read the story again.

And then later again stuff gets rehashed. Yes, for the sake that Joseph finally shuts the hell up and gets his answers, but still why rehash stuff? Why not just do a quick one sentence thing about it and be done with it.

The whole who are the Marvels and are they real or not? Well, I can say that I was seriously disappointed when we found out the truth. I won't spoil anything of course, but dear Lord, I had my suspicions, but I just kept hoping for another outcome. :|
I also totally hated how Joseph reacted to it. His uncle is finally opening up to him and he reacts like that? Is he really 13 or is he 5 year old. Also again, he runs away. This will be fun if he becomes an adult. Life sucks > runs away. Wife is not nice > runs away. Haha, I can already see it happen. Sadly though. :|

I did like LGBT theme in this book. It didn't feel out of place, or weird, it felt right and I was eager to read more about it.
There is also talk about depression and AIDS.

Wait, hold on, Albert was just 36 in this book????? What? No. I don't even believe one word of that. The way he acted, the way he was described, everything else. I know what he has, and I have heard what that does to a body, but I just can't believe that age.

The ending was all pictures again, but by then I couldn't even give a damn any more. Sorry if that sounds rude, but I couldn't even care whose story it was any more. If it was Leo's, or Josephs. Or a mix of both. I just couldn't care any more.

I also have to say that I hated the parents for many reasons.

The Joseph part was a huge struggle. It was just 200~ pages but I just struggled because it was dull, boring, bland.

I am severely disappointed in this book. I expected great things because I absolutely adored the other two books like this from this author. Sadly, it was not meant to be.

1 star just for the art and the Marvel story. And I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com

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