One of the categories in the “Reading for Growth” of Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2017 challenge is to read “three books by the same author”. I had previously read The Invention of Hugo Cabret and The Marvels and enjoyed both books immensly, so Brian immediately popped in my head as I knew he had written one more in a similar style. Upon researching what else he wrote, I saw that he wrote (and illustrated) two other books the public library had in circulation, so I checked them out. Below are the three books I read by him.
I think the things that strike me the most of interest is after reading his books are: 1) I love his pencil drawings. It’s amazing that such a simple tool can create such a cool drawing. 2) I’m a fan of his part picture, part words style of writing. Yes, picking up a 400+ page book seems a daunting read. But when you look closer and it feels that half those pages are pictures just when you thumb through the book? Doesn’t seem so daunting now. 3) This is probably something that would explain other picture books, but wow! A picture really does say a thousand words! As someone who works with kids, I’m finding myself drawn to books that are told with no words, only pictures. I think it takes talent to tell a story with just a picture, and Brian seems to take that to the next level with his style of telling a wordless story, a word story, and combining the two together in the end.
Without further ado, the books …
The Boy of a Thousand Faces – This one seemed like it could be on the scary end and not one I would normally go to (If you know me, you know I don’t do scary or horror – even in book form I avoid it). I think the only reason I read it was for this challenge. However, I liked the concept of the challenge the boy created for himself. Similar to a photo-a-day challenge, or a selfie-a-day challenge that I’ve seen.
The Houdini Box – If you aren’t familiar with Harry Houdini, he is a famous magician. This story is about a boy who is fascinated with magic and gets the chance to learn a secret from the master, but unfortunately receives a box instead. The boy leaves the box closed and forgets about magic. But by a small chance, years later, his former passion is revised and when he finally opens that box, a childhood answer was revealed.
Wonderstruck – This book features two characters who are deaf, trying to find where they belong, both ultimately finding the answer in New York City.