Few will dispute that the awarding of the Caldecott to Brian Selznick's THE INVENTIONS OF HUGO CABRET was yet another signal that the landscape of children's literature was evolving, changing, becoming something more. Now Selznick offers WONDERSTRUCK (Scholastic, November 2011) a book that will once again make those of us in the field of teaching literature for children scrambling for new words to describe this latest accomplishment. The title says it all for me: wonder struck. I picked up the book knowing it would not be one I could put down until I came to the end. I read it almost hesitant to turn the pages too quickly as I wanted the experience to last as long as I could draw it out. Selznick has once again pushed the envelope of what we mean by the term "book." Certainly there are chapters; just as certainly, there are double page spreads of illustrations. But this is not a reinvention of Hugo Cabret, this is a reenvisionment of what can happen when text and illustration and two different stories intersect. Aptly dedicated to Maurice Sendak, Selznick once again proves that the book is not static and that literature for children can play by different rules. <236>
You will notice that I did not talk about the plot of WONDERSTRUCK. I really think this is a book that anything in advance might potentially spoil the reading experience. Just order the book now. Wait until you get your hands on it. Drink it in. Be wonder struck.