Thursday, November 10, 2011


When I looked at the clock last night after I turned off my lamp it read 12:50.  I got in bed with the intention of just reading a little more of Brian Selznick's Wonderstruck but could not put it down.  Needless to say the little voices chatting at 6 a.m. came awfully early this morning (curse daylight savings!).  But it was worth it.

Wonderstruck tells two separate stories- one exclusively through illustrations (Rose) and the other through text (Ben).  Rose and Ben are both in New York City for much of their story so some of the images seen by Ben are shown in Rose's story - only 50 years earlier.  Rose lives in 1927 and has scrapbooks full of pictures of a famous actress - Lillian Mayhew, while Ben lives in 1977 and is in search of his father.

Brian Selznick's illustrations are simply amazing.  Since Rose's story is told only through illustrations - the reader must read the illustrations carefully to follow her story.   The black and white pencil drawings are incredibly detailed and emotionally vivid.  I was really drawn into her story.  Ben's story is also intriguing. The text is well written and Ben's story is also emotionally charged.  Selznick weaves the details of the two stories together into a wonderful conclusion.

This is a fantastic book and would make a great Christmas gift.  It is for a little older audience - perhaps 8 or 9 and older.  Age range is always hard to pin down because it really varies from child to child.  The story as a whole is impressive but the illustrations, for me, are what bring the emotion of this story to the forefront.

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