Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hugo Cabret & Georges Méliès

The book The Invention of Hugo Cabret looks like an intimidating piece of brick but once we flipped through the opening pages of a sequence of illustration, we were seriously hooked. Serena & I finished the whole book in two sittings and became completely absorbed into the world of the fictional Hugo Cabret and the real life Georges Méliès.

We watched the movie "Hugo" after we were done the book. We read and learned about the interesting world of automata; we watched the original "A Trip to the Moon" by Georges Méliès; we read up on the 1895 train wreck at the Gare Montparnasse in Paris. The book took us on a fantastic journey of discovery. If you haven't yet read the book, you may not want to read our little book discussion below - spoiler alert!

Serena, can you tell us something about Hugo Cabret?
He's a boy who lives in a train station with his Uncle Claude.  He runs the clocks in the station and he needs to steal food because he's so poor.  He meets a girl named Isabelle while spying on a toy booth.  He's good at fixing things.  He has an automaton and he needs to fix it so it can write a secret message.  He needs to steal parts from the toy booth so he can fix the automaton.

What about Georges Melies? Who is he?
He owns the toy booth and we discovered that he's a real person and he made early famous movies like "A Trip to the Moon"!

Do you like the book or the movie better?
The book!  I like the book because it's half pictures and half words and I don't know a lot of books like that.  I like Hugo in the book the best but I like the Station Inspector in the movie because he is so hilarious!

Is Brian Selznick a better author or a better illustrator in your opinion?
I like both the story and the illustration.  I really like his pictures because they look really real but I also really like his story.

So what is "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" afterall?
Hugo invented his own automaton that can write books!

Which is the most memorable part of the story for you?
The part when Hugo got caught by Papa Georges and when he had to fix a blue wind-up mouse.

What happened to Hugo Cabret in the end?
He became a magician named Professor Alcofrisbas.

The characters in the book have many secrets.  Can you tell us what they are?
Hugo has many secrets about his father and about the fire and the museum and the automaton.  Isabelle, her secret is that she stole the key from Mama Jeanne.  Mama Jeanne keeps a secret that she was in movies that Papa Georges made.  Papa Georges' secret is that he was a magician and a movie maker who's stuck in a toy booth.


  1. Very interesting.Sounds magical.
    Love Nanny & Papa

  2. Excellent understanding of the book Serena! It was great to see you yesterday! You have an discerning taste in books:)