It was an exciting week for me because Brian Selznick's The Marvels arrived in the mail. Wow, this book is quite a presence even before you open it - it is massive (bigger than a brick), the cover is a lush, rich purple and the pages are gilded on the edges. So, it is impressive before you even crack it open. Once inside it feels quite similar to The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck; one notable difference is that the first half is almost exclusively illustrated, while the second half is almost exclusively text (whereas in the previous two books there was some text interspersed with the illustrations). I love Brian Selznick's illustrations because they truly do set the scene in impeccable detail. The Marvels spans decades and centuries and the drawings capture each era perfectly.
For me, the switch from illustration to words was just a little bit jarring. I wasn't quite ready to leave the world of pictures behind (or make the leap two hundred years forward to the 1990s), but once I adjusted, I was just as captivated by the words as I had been by the illustrations. That said, I was so happy that Selznick chose to return to the art of visual storytelling at the very end of the book.
For those who love Brian Selznick's style, The Marvels will not disappoint. For those who are unfamiliar with his work, this will be, well, a marvel. As an elementary school librarian, I think this book is a little more complex than Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck; I found myself making quite a few mental connections and leaps as I was reading, wondering if my students would be able to keep up. I know that they will be awed by the book and I'm looking forward to seeing what they think!
Other books I read and enjoyed this week:
|This is SUCH a cool book! Great for all ages.|