Monday, January 16, 2012


Good Monday, dear readers,
The Queen here with another one of Brian Selznick's masterpieces titled Wonderstruck.
One story is told in text, while another story is told strictly in pictures. Amazingly, both stories are easy to follow. The way they intertwine and finally meet is... well, something you will need to find out for yourselves.

Head down to your local library or favorite bookstore to get a copy of your own. This book, with it's beautiful pencil illustrations is worthy to adorn any home library. You will want to take it down again and again.

Book Title: Wonderstruck
Author and Illustrator: Brian Selznick                                                                                                              

Book Information:
Publisher and date: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (September 13, 2011)
Reading level: 9 and up | Grade Level: 4 and up
Book Info: Hardcover: 608 pages
Genre: Mid-reader chapter book.
ISBN: 978-0545027892

Book Theme:
Deafness, Family, Searching for idenity

Book Summary
From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

Activity Adventures:

Create your own mini museum. Use a shoe box or shadow box and begin collecting objects you find interesting. You'll need to label what each items is, and write a short description of where you found that object and what it does. Decorate the outside of your mini-museum to fit your personality and likes. 

Visit your local museum. Write about your favorite display.

Artist: Take a pad and colored pencils to a museum and sketch one of your favorite pieces. 

Last challenge: Purchase or make your own small book and sketch a series of drawings that will tell a story. No words, just drawings. You don't have to be as detailed or good as Selznick. Stick drawings will work just as well. The key is to tell a story, using just the pictures, no words. Try drawing some event that happened to you, such as cooking breakfast, or riding your bike to the park. Make it as detailed or vague as you want. Then let someone look at it and see if they can "read" your picture story.

It'll be fun. Try it. 

Authors Arena
Brian Selznick feels that his illustrations are more authentic when he immerses himself in his subject matter. For the picture book Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride, Selznick spent six months in Washington, DC conducting research at libraries and museums. For his Caldecott-Honor-winning illustrations in The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, he traveled to London to sketch, photograph, and climb inside the famous dinosaur replicas. For his best-selling 533-page illustrated novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Selznick watched old French films, interviewed experts, and traveled to Paris three times. That book won the 2008 Caldecott Medal for it's groundbreaking "cinematic" illustrations.


Amy LV said...

What a generous resource you host here! I, too, adore Brian Selznick. Last year I had the opportunity to hear him speak at NCTE, and it was truly inspirational. a.

Jackie Castle said...

I bet he is. I'm a fan of his work. Thanks for stopping by, Amy.

Ali B said...

I've been courting this book for a long time now. Think I'll finally get it in there and give it a try.

Jim Randolph said...

Just got this away from my wife. Can't wait. Thanks.

Laurie Jess said...

Thanks Jackie for you nice comments on my blog. I 'm glad I stop by to hear Brian Selznick. I found that amazing that he works his originals in such a tiny format.

Sandy Brehl said...

Brian Selznick never disappoints, and Wonderstruck is no exception. I got it the minute it was available, and after reading it straight through it has been "on loan" to kids and adults ever since. I love that his "Hugo Cabret" won a Caldecott, and I'm sure this is under consideration this year. On the other hand, it could qualify for the Newbery, too.
Awards or not, it will be a timeless classic, IMO. So nice to see you offer creative activities inspired by this brilliant work.