This big beauty arrived at our house a few days with no card to tell us who'd sent it. Various folks have told me I'd like the book and, oh yes, I do! A wonderful, quirky story (not nearly as long as it looks) enlivened by beautiful pencil drawings that are used to advance the story in cinematographic fashion.
(Go HERE for a slide show that illustrates the technique.)
Hugo Cabret is a mechanical wizard, living hidden behind the clocks in a bustling Paris train station. Every day is a struggle to survive and then he discovers an intriguing automaton -- a figure poised to write a message and his life gets even more complicated...
Hugo is befriended by a young girl, the ward of an eccentric old shopkeeper. Together, Hugo and the girl begin to piece together the many mysteries that are at the center of this charming story.
Charming, and wise too.
“Sometimes I come up here at night...just to look at the city. I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
It's a children's book -- don't let that stop you. And of course, it's a movie too -- equally quirky and intriguing.