Brian Selznick

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Brian Selznick
Born (1966-07-14) July 14, 1966 (age 48)
East Brunswick Township, New Jersey, USA
Occupation Illustrator, writer
Nationality American
Period 1991–present
Genres Children's picture books, historical novels
Subjects Biography, history
Notable work(s)
Notable award(s) Caldecott Medal
2008

Brian Selznick (born July 14, 1966) is an American illustrator and writer best known for illustrating children's books. He won the 2008 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration recognizing The Invention of Hugo Cabret,[1] which was his first long work as a writer.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Selznick, the oldest of three children, was born and grew up in East Brunswick Township, New Jersey.[3] His grandfather was a cousin of Hollywood producer David O. Selznick.[citation needed] He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and then worked for three years at Eeyore's Books for Children in Manhattan while working on The Houdini Box, about a boy's chance encounter with Harry Houdini and its aftermath. It became his debut work, a 56-page picture book published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1991.[2][4]

Selznick won the 2008 Caldecott Medal from the American Library Association for the year's best-illustrated picture book, recognizing The Invention of Hugo Cabret.[3] Its Caldecott Medal was the first for a long book, 533 pages with 284 pictures. Selznick calls it "not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things."[5] At the time it was "by far the longest and most involved book I’ve ever worked on."[2] It has inspired students to action, including a fourth grade class staging a silent film festival,[6] and a group of fifth graders who turned the book into a 30-minute modern dance.[7]

The Invention of Hugo Cabret follows a young orphan in Paris in the 1930s as he tries to piece together a broken automaton. The book was inspired by a passage in the book Edison’s Eve by Gaby Wood that tells of the collection of automata that belonged to Georges Méliès. After his death they were thrown away by the museum that he donated them to. Selznick, a fan of Méliès and automata envisioned a young boy stealing an automaton from the garbage.[8] The Invention of Hugo Cabret was adapted as a film, Hugo by director Martin Scorsese and released in November 2011.[9]

Selznick cites Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, and Remy Charlip, author of Fortunately, as strong influences on his books The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck.[8]

Prior to winning the 2008 Caldecott Medal, Selznick had been a runner-up in 2002 for The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins: an illuminating history of Mr. Waterhouse Hawkins, artist and lecturer.[1] Other awards include the Texas Bluebonnet Award, the Rhode Island Children's Book Award, and the Christopher Award.

Works[edit]

As writer[edit]

As writer and illustrator[edit]

As illustrator[edit]

Books about Brian Selznick[edit]

  • Llanas, Sheila Griffin. Brian Selznick (Minneapolis: ABDO Pub., 2012; ISBN 9781617832482) — Checkerboard biography library, Children's illustrators, 24 pages

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938–Present". Awards and Grants. Association for Library Service to Children. American Library Association. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  2. ^ a b c "Biography". Brian Selznick (theinventionofhugocabret.com). Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  3. ^ a b Rich, Motoko (January 26, 2008). "Reads Like a Book, Looks Like a Film". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  4. ^ "The Houdini box". WorldCat. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  5. ^ http://www.amazon.com/dp/0439813786
  6. ^ Stewart, Andrew (22 June 2009). "Pupils Call for Silents". Variety 415 (6): 3. Retrieved 2011-10-10. [dead link]
  7. ^ Toroian Keaggy, Diane (October 9, 2009). "Selznick earns a gold sticker and kids' acclaim". St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO). Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  8. ^ a b Selznick, Brian (2008). "Caldecott Medal Acceptance Speech: Make the Book You Want to Make". Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children 6 (2): 10–12. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  9. ^ "Jude Law and Sir Christopher Lee join Scorsese film". BBC News. June 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  10. ^ "Summary: Brian Selznick takes readers on an intimate tour of the movie-making process ... --Amazon.com".
    "The Hugo movie companion : a behind the scenes look at how a beloved book...". LCC record. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  11. ^ "Summary: Twelve prominent children's authors take turns writing the chapters in this novel about a twelve-year-old girl, puberty, and meddling mythological gods and goddesses."
    "12: a novel". Library of Congress Catalog Record (LCC). Retrieved 2013-02-20.

External links[edit]