I HATE picture books. Not enough words.
Especially since this book is bound to win every award known to man, I spent quite a lot of time sharing it with students and, shamefully, making fun of it. This is because, at 500 plus pages, it should not start with 40 pages of pictures, and it does. I tried it on about ten hard core fantasy fans who were not at all interested in it.
Then I read this story of an orphaned boy who lives in a French train station and takes care of the clocks, stealing his food and parts for the automaton that his father left behind. It is charming. I love old movies, so having Georges Melies, an early movie maker, as a character was appealing to me, and the whole mystery surrounding the automaton and Georges was captivating.
It was a slight story, and definitely historical fiction. I really don't know who the audience for this would be, other than college professors who sit on awards committees. As I said, the fantasy readers were not thrilled. Reluctant readers are going to look at the length and run screaming. Not many historical fiction fans. Published by Scholastic, this will fall apart in two circulations.
There will be multiple copies at the public library. May not buy this one.