The Invention Of Hugo Cabret Brian Selznick Book Review

I love when reading is a sensory experience. The Invention Of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is one of the most tactile, gorgeous books I have ever had the pleasure of cracking open. Every single thing about this book works for me – from the art to the plot to the pacing. You guys, between The Invention Of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, I am enamored with Brian Selznick’s skills as both an artist and storyteller.

The Invention Of Hugo Cabret

The Invention Of Hugo Cabret

Hugo, the title character, lives inside a Paris train station. He makes the clock work, but nobody knows this and instead thinks it is his Uncle. Only, his uncle is kind of dead, so Hugo is an orphan. He also makes various items and is trying to figure out how to make this automaton his father left behind work. Meanwhile, Hugo crosses paths with this mean old toy stand owner and his granddaughter. The toy stand owner is carrying a few secrets of his own. I won’t say anything more because The Invention Of Hugo Cabret is a book best enjoyed if you go into it blind.

Brian Selznick’s art is stunning. I look at the level of detail involved in each picture and am blown away by the amount of work it must have taken to create something that feels so, for lack of a better word, magical. The drawings are all pencil and you can definitely see the mastery involved in bringing Hugo’s story to life.

This book, The Invention Of Hugo Cabret is why I don’t worry about the future of books, at least I won’t worry until readers are able to mimic the tactile experience that is Hugo Cabret, right down to the feel of the pages on your fingertips. Straight up, this book is a magical, immersive experience that I think you should all dive into at least once, if not multiple times. Y’all, The Invention Of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is one for the keeper shelf.

Disclosure: Borrowed copy from boyfriend’s family member.

Other reviews of The Invention Of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick:

GReads! – “Reading this book took me by surprise, in the most welcoming way possible.

Book Harbinger – “A quick yet meaningful winter read

Chachic’s Book Nook – “The kind of book that you can read even when you’re in the middle of a reading slump because it’s so easy to fall into

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’ve seen this book in my elibrary and have been curious about it. Seeing as how you enjoyed it so much I think I’ll give it a try. Unfortunately, though, I won’t get to experience the physical elements of the book that you enjoyed so much but hopefully it will be almost as good on my Nook.

  2. I want to pick this book up every time I pass it at the bookstore. It’s so gorgeous. I saw the movie a few months ago and adored it! I should really get the book.

  3. We read/studied this on in my children’s and YA lit grad class. LOVED it. Wonderstruck is pretty awesome too!

  4. So glad you loved it! Maybe I should have read the book before watching the movie but I think I’ll be able to enjoy it just the same!

  5. I am so excited over your review! This is on my must purchase list! I’ve heard this and Wonderstruck are must haves. Great review! I’m so glad you loved it.

  6. I’ve heard this one is really good! A librarian I was working with read Selznick’s other book and loved how it’s a mix of words and pictures that come together in the end … I’m definitely going to have to check some of his stuff out!

  7. I’ve been meaning to read this one. I’ve actually seen it around, and seen a few of the illustrations and completely agree that they’re gorgeous and inventive!

  8. I thought the movie was a visual treat and I am sure I’d love the book too.

  9. I’ve heard such great things about this book and the movie did very well at the Academy Awards. You’ve convinced me, I’m getting this on my next library trip!

  10. I really, really need to get on reading Brian Selznick’s books because I have heard nothing but great things. I love how you describe this as a magical experience and I can’t wait to dive in 🙂

  11. This one was lovely, wasn’t it? I had a lot of fun going through all the illustrations – it was like watching a film in book format (if that makes sense). I need to bump Wonderstruck up the TBR pile. And I should probably watch the movie adaptation of this book.

    • That absolutely does make sense — it does seem a lot like a film. Oh gosh, yes you need to read Wonderstruck, it’s SO good and I love how the entire book plays out and connects.

  12. I am really looking forward to reading this book for myself. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it.

  13. I saw the movie – which seems as gorgeous as the book, from what you said. I definitely need to read this now! If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it!

  14. Yes, yes, yes. I also love how you turned this into a discourse on the future of the book. That’s such a great point.

    TIoHC is a beautiful book. I’d really like to read it again, and really, really need to read Wonderstruck for the first time. I love pretty art in books!


  1. […] talking out of my ass either, his books are AWESOME. While I am currently in the middle of reading The Invention Of Hugo Cabret, I thought I’d take the time to FINALLY review Wonderstruck. I mean, I read Wonderstruck back […]

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: