My boys are at an age when my suggestions for read alouds aren't always greeted with enthusiasm. There are times I'm able to win them over by reading a few chapters, but more often than not, they'll turn down my titles and suggest something of their own. At eight and ten, I can hardly blame them for developing their own tastes -- it's a good thing! But it does make me a little sad when they show little to no interest in titles I've enjoyed in the past or new books I would like to read. Enter THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET. I bought a copy of HUGO while teaching in Louisiana (thank you, Scholastic Book Orders!) but had never gotten around to reading it. When I learned there would soon be a movie based on the book (now nominated for a gazillion Oscars), I decided to give the story a try with my boys. I'm so glad I did.
We raced through HUGO in a couple of days. Both boys finished before I did then indulged me in reading the ending again. The combination of pictures and words and the mysterious nature of the storyline really held their attention.
Last week I took them to see the movie. It did not disappoint. The natural lighting used to mimic the style of early film, the Paris-as-cogworks opening image -- it was wonderful. All three of us loved the experience and the way the story unfolded on the screen. It was interesting to see what changes were made in the book's translation into a visual story:
- stronger development of the villainous station master
- the addition of several dream sequences
- The absence of the character, Etienne
For those of you who have both read the book and seen the movie, I'd love to hear your impressions.