Signed first printing of the stunning "novel in words and pictures," about the restoration of an antique automaton, and winner of the Caldecott Award.
"[N]ot exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things." – Selznick
The Caldecott Award, granted to illustrators for "the most distinguished American picture book for children," made an exception for Selznick's striking HUGO CABRET, a novel conceived as an amalgam of picture book, graphic novel, and flip book. Picture-book scholar Megan Dowd Lambert notes: "The sheer number of pages, many without text and devoted solely to illustration, meant that the book required a special production element to ensure that it would lie flat when opened, in order to prevent artwork from getting lost in the gutter. A loose-back Smyth-sewn binding (the sort often used in cookbooks) elegantly solved this problem." The automaton in the book (and the 2011 film adaptation) is based largely on the celebrated Draughtsman-Writer, a complex automaton in the shape of a boy, built by Swiss clockmaker Henri Maillardet around the turn of the 19th century with the largest "memory" of any comparable machine to that date. Pioneering French filmmaker Georges Méliès was also a central inspiration for the book. A beautiful copy.
Read more: Lambert, Reading Picture Books with Children, 54.
New York: Scholastic Press, (2007). 8.25'' x 5.25'' Original glossy black boards with white ornamental border and white-lettered spine. In original unclipped ($22.99) color pictorial dust jacket. Red endpapers. Printed nearly completely on black paper, in which many of the black and white illustrations span the spreads. 533,  pages. Signed by Selznick and dated 2007 in silver ink on title page.
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