The Invention of Hugo Cabret

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

New York: Scholastic Press, 2007

533 pp.

Ages: 8 +

Interests: mystery, Paris,history, clocks, magicians, automata (robots), silent movie history, stories about orphans, inventors

Also by this author: Wonderstruck, The Houdini Box, The Robot King, Boy of a Thousand Faces

Next: silent movies by Georges Méliès; official website of the book; movie adaptation Hugo (2011)

More

Advertisements

The Iron Giant (1999)

The Iron Giant

Rated: PG – for fantasy action and mild language

Length: 86 minutes

Age: 6+              Commonsense media sez: 6 +

Scary Factor: plenty!… fishing boat goes down in storm (fisherman survives); the robot gets zapped at power station in a loud scene; scared boy runs away from robot; stressful scene in which robot is hit by a train; government agent menaces boy and threatens to take him away from his mom; boys fall from building but robot saves them; big ending has lots of action as army attacks robot and he returns fire; a nuclear missile is launched, heading directly for the town

Intense Scenes: robot learns about death when he sees a stag shot dead by hunters; during battle it briefly appears as if Hogarth is dead but he is soon pronounced unconscious; the moment when townspeople realize they are all going to die when the missile lands is quiet but intense; plus final climax in which robot saves the town is very, very sad and moving (but hang on for the ending!)

Language: “oh my god!”, a few “hell”s, and “you just blew millions of government dollars out of your butt!!” – these warranted the PG?

Bad Behavior: villain smokes a pipe, a boy drinks a little too much espresso and goes a little haywire in a funny scene

Interests: science fiction, robots, action, history (Cold War era)

Next: book The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, other movies written/directed by Brad Bird: The Incredibles, Ratatouille

More

The Iron Man

aka: The Iron Giant

by Ted Hughes

London: Faber and Faber, 1968

62 pp, 5 chapters

Ages: 7 and up  (could be read to younger children, though space creature is pretty scary)

Interests: sci fi, robots, space, dragons

More

WALL-E (2008)

Rated: G
Length: 98 min
Age: 4 + … watchable at 4, better understood by 5 or 6          Commonsense Media sez: 5 +

Scary factor: our main characters are chased about, but nothing very threatening; Eve has a gun in her arm that she shoots at inanimate objects; in one scene she accidentally sets some huge oil tankers ablaze – no danger to characters, but it’s big and fiery, so may be alarming; a bad robot falls a great distance and breaks apart

Intense: some sad moments near the end when Wall-E seems broken-down/dead, but Eve is looking after him and it’s easy to allay concerns (“He’ll get better!”) because he does!

Language: one ‘heck’

Interests: space, robots, spaceships, environment
More

All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.