—The New York Times Book Review

A groundbreaking story of love, loss, and a friendship that transcends time from Brian Selznick, the award-winning creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck.



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Praise for Kaleidoscope

"Brilliant... readers of any age who love literature will find questions that demand engagement, images that refuse to fade from the mind."

The New York Times Book Review



★ “Selznick has built dazzling worlds into which readers can momentarily drop. Yet with all the adventures that unfold, the emotions underlying the tales are what elevate them.”

Booklist, starred review



★ “Selznick examines the unique realities surrounding love and death...Each [chapter] is introduced by an exquisite, graphite illustration that is preceded by a symmetrical, kaleidoscopic version of the scene...While Selznick trusts readers to draw their own conclusions about what is true, he offers rich companionship on the voyage.”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review



“A brilliant example of the power of words and pictures, of storytelling itself.”

New York Journal of Books



“It’s such a treat to see a new book from Brian Selznick. What I love most about this series of short vignettes is the emotional intimacy and an overall sense of comfort.”

—Mark Adam, San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe



“Another masterpiece from Brian Selznick. This seemingly unconnected collection of short vignettes is, instead, a melancholy mediation on loss, a path through grief, a paean to love. A beautiful book that will speak to your soul and help it heal.”

—Billie Bloebaum, Third Street Bookstore



“Fragments of love, grief, imagination and dream come together in a quick read that made me want to reread and analyze it.”

—Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company



“I've read it three times so far and I unlock something new with each reading.”

—Chris Saccheri, Linden Tree Books

About the Author

Brian Selznick is the Caldecott Medal-winning creator of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Invention of Hugo Cabret, adapted into Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning movie Hugo; and Wonderstruck, adapted into the eponymous movie by celebrated filmmaker Todd Haynes, with a screenplay by Selznick; as well as the New York Times bestsellers The Marvels and Baby Monkey, Private Eye co-written by David Serlin. Most recently, he illustrated the 20th anniversary paperback edition covers of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. His books have garnered countless accolades worldwide and have been translated into more than 35 languages.

Selznick began his career as a bookseller at Eeyore’s Books for Children in New York City and has worked as a puppeteer and a set designer. He recently collaborated with Christopher Wheeldon on a new narrative for a reimagined Nutcracker at the Joffrey Ballet.

Audiobook Narrated by Acclaimed Actress

Gwendoline Christie

Original Music By Robert Een

Note from the Editor


Behold, Brian Selznick’s Kaleidoscope.


I am not going to tell you what it is about.  I am not going to tell you everything you are in for.  I am not going to try to guide you.


I want you to have this experience for yourself.


I have now read Kaleidoscope at least twenty times. And I have now talked to at least twenty readers of various ages who’ve read it, some of them multiple times. All I know for sure is this: Every reader will see something different and feel something personal as they immerse themselves in this book.


There is love.  There is loss.  There is grief.  There is hope.  As with a kaleidoscope, they are presented in fragments, colors, refractions . . . but there is a truth underneath that will be defined, in part, by your own experiences of love, loss, grief, and hope.


Brian began writing this book while under lockdown in Brooklyn, separated for months from his husband, who was under lockdown in California.  Many of us read it as we were in our own lockdowns, dealing with a mortal powerlessness that hit very close to home.  When I ask my colleagues what they think of the book, they use words like astonishing and remarkable.  When I ask them how they feel about the book, the word that comes up the most is grateful


You have never read a book like this before. You need to meet it on its own terms. Read for love. Read for loss. Read for grief.  Read for hope.


When you’re done, you’re going to want to talk about it. Give it to a colleague or a kid or teen in your life. Compare what they saw within it to what you saw within it. 


This is a book for ten-, eleven-, and twelve-year-olds. This is a book for teenagers. This is a book for adults.  We will all see different things within it. All of those things will be true.


I’m not going to talk to you any longer. Dive in.


David Levithan

Publisher & Editorial Director, Scholastic Press