Every so often, I come across a book which makes me stop what I’m doing, find a quiet corner and take a good look at it. In the most recent case, Wonderstruck; the new book by Brian Selznick caught me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting another book so soon having so recently been bowled over by the re-issue the The Invention of Hugo Cabret and the film hype surrounding it. Hugo Cabret was originally published in 2007, but this was the first I had heard of it.
Wonderstruck is a beautifully crafted book. On par with Hugo Cabret (winner of the esteemed Caldecott medal) it’s haunting in its beauty both in prose and illustration. Both complement one another perfectly. People are often surprised to open Selznick’s books and discover that the majority of pages are filled with stunning illustration sketches. It’s like a picture book for older people and in my experience, those are often the best kind.
“Ben’s story takes place in 1977 and is told in words. Rose’s story in 1927 is told entirely in pictures. Ever since his mother died, Ben feels lost. At home with her father, Rose feels alone. When Ben finds a mysterious clue hidden in his mother’s room, and when a tempting opportunity presents itself to Rose, both children risk everything to find what’s missing. Rich, complex, affecting and beautiful, WONDERSTRUCK is a staggering achievement from a uniquely gifted artist.”
I really cannot recommend this one enough. It makes a beautiful gift for someone and is something wonderful for you yourself to open up and get lost in.
Quite simply…it’s storytelling at its best.