Hugo: Movie of a Film-within-a-Novel

I don’t know how I missed the announcement that Brian Selznick’s Caldecott-winning masterpiece The Invention of Hugo Cabret was going to be adapted for film. But it’s coming!

In case you don’t know, the Caldecott Medal is awarded “to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.” So you really must find a copy of the book and read/view it before you see this movie. I also encourage you to read Mr. Selnick’s acceptance speech, in which he explains how he “came to make a 550-page picture book,” and how he created “a novel that read like a movie,” and which also includes a cinematic illustrated sequence at the beginning, modeled after the introductory sequence of illustrations from the book.

Mr. Selznick is only credited as a writer for this movie (just for the book, not for the screenplay), which I find perplexing, because the book is very much about films. He also has skill with miniature set design, as I witnessed in person during a 2009 performance of “Live Oak, With Moss” at the HERE arts center (link contains a some mature themes). I can’t help but wonder whether the film would be different under Mr. Selnick’s artistic direction if the rights hadn’t been sold to a big studio with a big budget. Is he pleased that his film-within-a-novel has been given life on the big screen, or does he wish he’d been in a position to give more input? Perhaps a mix of both.

In any case, this does look like an appealing movie, and it has a cast I can get behind: Chloe Moretz (who somehow really stuck in my mind after an episode of 30 Rock), Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Jude Law. The actor who plays the titular character does look like Hugo from the book. And don’t forget, it’s directed by Martin Scorsese.

The movie will be released in the U.S. on November 23, giving you plenty of time to get your hands on the book in advance.

Junior Library Guild Newsletter

This just in: JLG Monthly is now available to non-members as well as members. I love following Junior Library Guild on facebook to see what they’re recommending, and I can’t wait to start getting more information every month. If you’re a librarian and you’ve never heard of the Junior Library Guild, you should definitely check them out!

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Yo, new book, new book!

Let's Use Our ImaginationsWhat do you like to do on a rainy day, or when you’re sick in bed, or on a long road trip? Sometimes you can have the most fun by just making something up! Use your imagination to pretend you’re exploring a castle, swimming at the beach, or adventuring into outer space. It’s super easy–and your friends from Yo Gabba Gabba! are right here to show you how it’s done. What do you think Foofa imagines? You’ll have to take a look inside this book to find out!

Fun Flaps!

safari-palsA few weeks ago, I had lunch with my editor and she was excited to show me my latest book. Safari Pals: A Lift-the-Flap Story will be available in stores shortly, and I have to brag that it is a wonderful book! In this story based on a favorite episode, Kai-lan and her friends are out to solve a mystery–who made those footprints? While they search, they encounter surprises and obstacles along the way. Kids will love the interactive format–each spread includes a flap that can be opened to move the story along.

Buy the book and enjoy this story with fun flaps! Xie xie (thank you)!

Bugs, Diego, Bugs!

its-a-bugs-worldThe month of June brings a new book to stores: It’s a Bug’s World, full of cool interactive gizmos like flaps and pop-ups for Go, Diego, Go! This is based on a favorite episode, so be sure to check it out.
Who hasn’t imagined being shrunken down to a tiny size, so that you can go on adventures with little critters like spiders and beetles? Okay, well, I did as a kid, and I bet I’m not the only one.