A recent purchase while in Orlando, Florida. Gaiman, Neil. Coraline. 2002. New York: Harper Trophy, 2003.Summary
: Coraline steps through a door in her house that leads nowhere and enters a mirror world ruled by her "other mother," who has imprisoned other children in the past and Coraline's parents. With the help of a cat, Coraline frees them all, escapes, and insures that the beldam will never harm anyone ever again.Comments
: A finely-crafted, gorgeously atmospheric English children's story that reads like a darker C. S. Lewis. Even though modern era appliances like microwaves make their appearance, take away the Christian symbolism and add in a hearty dose of fantastic horror, and you've got Coraline
. It all comes together beautifully, and there are no extraneous details with which to confuse a child. The black button eyes were an especially brilliant touch. Coraline's "trial" comes in three--there is the two old ladies, the eccentric upstairs, and the empty flat next door, and then there are three three children she must rescue. After that, come the big challenges--rescuing her parents, escaping, and defeating the beldam for good. Naturally, this is the kind of story parents will want for their child, showing Coraline growing up by learning to value and fight for what she has. Deserves to be on every child's literature list, even if (okay, okay, Jane Yolen, I agree) the Dave McKean illustrations don't add all that much.Notes
: children's paperback Rating
- Fulfills its ambitions admirably. I would've adored it as a little kid (in spite of weeks worth of nightmares), and it resonates even now for me as an adult.