The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Maritza Andrade

Literary Elements

Hugo seems like a shy and curious boy. Whenever Hugo is shown, from the first pages we see him on to around page 43, we can see how the illustrator makes him seems like a curious boy. Hugo is drawn looking around as if he has never seen the inside of the building. In page 43, we can see him looking through a hole.

Physical Features

The book is really thick, which one would think that long story is about to occur. This book is also filled with a lot of pictures describing the scenes. Having both of this contribute to the book by making the reader not to only focused on the words but to also see the pictures.

Visual Elements

What I've noticed about the beginning of the book was that there is a zoom out. The zoom out starts with the moon showing in a small square. When you turn the page, you can see the moon getting smaller and showing few stars. On the next page, you could also see the square using more of the page as the picture zooms out more to show more of the city.

Artistic Style

This book has a "film feeling." By this I mean that the author wanted our brains to create a film in our heads, making it for that reason the characters and places looking realistic. At some point, a film is mentioned. Hugo mentions how this is the last movie he saw and that it had a man hanging from a clock. In this movie, there's also a man being chased at some point. In the story, Hugo is also chased. The man in this filmed, ends up climbing and hanging from a large clock.

Artistic Media

The kind of drawings that this book has are realistic. The illustrator uses graphite pencils, which makes the shadows easier to fill. The importance of shadowing, and more in a book that is trying to make it seem that is a film, is that the pictures can look more realistic.

Elements of Illustration

All the pages, even the ones with the words, have a bold margin around. This frames on the pages add some kind of film effect. For example, on silent films, there used to be a frame around the words, just like on the pages of the book. In the silent movies, the moving pictures did not have a frame, but were black and white. In the book, the pictures do have a frame around it, again adding a "film effect", and are black and white, just like a film.

Interplay of Text and Illustrations

The one thing I noticed while looking at the pictures is that they continue with the story. For example, at the beginning of the book, we're following this boy, whose name we don't know. The page before the words start, we noticed that the same boy we're been following is looking through a hole. On the first page with words, the story continues by saying how the boy, which we figured out the name is Hugo, is looking at everything through that hole.


Safety Last! (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2015.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2015.