Friday, August 19, 2011

The Return of Brian Selznick

IF you’re the kind of grownup who enjoys smart, well-drawn children’s novels, you might be as excited as I am to hear the Brian Selznick has a new novel, Wonderstruck, coming in September.

I met Selznick a few years back on the publication of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, his nearly wordless  book about an orphan hiding out in a Parisian train station. (I have another, more recent connection with his work: He illustrated Barbara Kerley’s The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse and Hawkins, a favorite of my dinosaur-loving son.)

Selznick – who is descended from film producer David O. Selznick – and I spoke about the literary tradition of orphans, silent movies’ genius of telling stories through images, and the groundbreaking work of Maurice Sendak. I’m not the only one interested in the Cadecott Medal-winning book: Martin Scorsese’s 3-D adaptation, with Jude Law and Ben Kingsley, comes out comes out in November.

Here is my LATimes interview with Selznick.

Wonderstruck, according to a story in the latest School Library Journal, will involve “two interconnected  tales,” one all text, the other in black-and-white images. The first will tell of “12-year old Ben Wilson as he leaves rural Minnesota for New York City, a few months after his mother’s death, in search or a father he’s never known. And the wordless companion story follows a New Jersey girls who’s deaf and who embarks on a risky quest of her own, in 1927.” 

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