"From an opening shot of the full moon setting over an awakening Paris in 1931, this tale casts a new light on the picture book form. Hugo is a young orphan secretly living in the walls of a train station where he labors to complete a mysterious invention left by his father. In a work of more than 500 pages, the suspenseful text and wordless double-page spreads narrate the tale in turns. Neither words nor pictures alone tell this story, which is filled with cinematic intrigue. Black & white pencil illustrations evoke the flickering images of the silent films to which the book pays homage." - ALSC, Caldecott Medal Page 1/14/08
A personal favorite, I even bought the audio book and accompanying author DVD for the library, I feel the book is simply spectacular. Much of the discussion I overheard concerned it's hefty size and the break from traditional picture book (32 pages) stature. Some felt this would have been a better selection for the Newbery award, but when you take into consideration the illustrations in Hugo are an integral part of the story, removal of them would make it difficult for the text to stand alone. Regardless, I am anxious to see what various children's literature blogs have to say about this year's selection. It could be interesting.
Read the Press Release: ALA Announces Literary Award Winnersand view the Caldecott Medal Page.