Sunday, September 13, 2015

Whatever you do on Tuesday, it must include getting a copy of THE MARVELS by Brian Selznick

I cannot believe I did not take the time this summer to read The Marvels.  While at ALA, I actually got to the Scholastic booth early so I'd be guaranteed a copy of it and a chance to meet the extraordinarily talented, Brian Selznick.  Not only did I get a signed copy, a couple of candids with him, but when I came back to booth later, I was able to convince him to jump with me!

I made it to the booth!

 If only I wasn't blinking :-(

 Check out the photo bomb by Dan Santat!

I thought I knew it 2x already after reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck that Brian is pure genius.
It was just confirmed a third time with The Marvels
If that isn't reason to LEAP, I don't know what is!

"You either see it or you don't" and I totally see this as a pure work of genius.  Brian Selznick's visual art alongside his written words is just incomparable to any other work of art.  The 600+ page book begins with almost 400 pages of artwork telling a mesmerizing story from 1766.  Take the time to look at the illustrations and understand the plot.  Let it all soak in.  Figure out the Marvel family history.  Make a genealogy chart in your head.  Go back and taste it again before you move on.  It is that delicious.

There are two blank pages in between the artwork and the text.  This is not just a delineation of the visual art and the text.  Those pages actually tie the whole book together.  The text begins in 1990 with runaway Joseph, landing in the unusual home of his uncle, Albert, whom he has never met.  It is not a good pairing at the beginning and Joseph feels uneasy in a home that appears to have lively ghosts and other unexplainable objects and photos.

As Joseph explored his uncle's home alone, my heart was pounding.  Reading it on a dark, rainy night, I caught myself making my room a bit brighter.  Joseph was searching to uncover the mysteries of the past in this unfamiliar home and I was alongside him.

I do not want to give away any spoilers. This is a must-read. Do you like Shakespeare? He's splattered throughout.  Enjoy the poetry of Yeats?  It's there.  Other literary references?  Check.  Love a good mystery with a twist?  This one is for you.

Albert's friend, Florent, teaches Joseph that "broken things can be fixed." A wise man telling a young boy to be delicate around his uncle so he, too, may be fixed.  Well said.  However, when things are not broken we should leave them right alone, just as we should the work of art in The Marvels.  Nothing to fix here.

I got out of bed at 5 this morning and enjoyed watching the day wake up as I finished my book in silence.  I savored the time and absorbed every word and brush stroke.  It was worth every minute.  I only wished the time lasted till 11:16.

1 comment:

  1. I'm hooked. the book sounds amazing. How can anyone draw as Brian can and compose a compelling narration? How can such two different forms of magic flow from the same set of fingers? Thanks you Stacey for sending this treasure my way.