I finished reading Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret over the weekend. I had been telling my fourth grade students about this book as I was reading it because I was so fascinated by a book that would tell a story so intricately with text and pictures. The night after I had stayed up far too late reading it, I took it to school the next day and did a book talk on it. I begged my librarian to buy a copy for a school library--and she did.
I am not a very visual person. I really love to read the text. I could do without pictures in almost every chapter book I have ever read. My imagination has always surpassed the detail of the pictures. What I love about Selznick's book is that I was drawn to the pictures. The pictures helped add to the drama of the book. The pictures sucked me into the book and made me not want to put it down until I was done. It's a 500 plus page book! But it's only a little over 20,000 words, so it's not a long read.
You can listen to an interview with Brian Selznick on NPR here.
You can see a video interview with Brian Selznick with Expanded Books here.
Bravo for Selznick! I hope he wins a lot of awards for this book. I have never seen the pictures and the text be so closely married in ANY book, must less a "chapter book".