Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Children’s/Middle-Grade, Fantasy
Originally Published: 2002
Format: Paperback (Special Edition) (208 pages)
Synopsis: There is something strange about Coraline’s new home. It’s not the mist, or the cat that always seems to be watching her, nor the signs of danger that Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, her new neighbours, read in the tea leaves. It’s the other house – the one behind the old door in the drawing room. Another mother and father with black-button eyes and papery skin are waiting for Coraline to join them there. And they want her to stay with them. For ever. She knows that if she ventures through that door, she may never come back.
My Rating: ★★★★
This is a very enjoyable, mysterious and creepy read. Coraline tells the story of a young girl who leaves behind the boredom of her every day life to enter an alternative world with a terrifying ‘other mum’, creepy surroundings and mysterious happenings. I really enjoyed this quirky little story. The simple language and factual writing style make this a quick read, but this story is not without its terrifying and dark side. I felt sympathetic towards Coraline who is a brave, courageous and quirky character. The characters with sewn on black button eyes terrified me and the constant eerie surroundings creeped me out too. I thought this was a great little read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I think this would have made me very fearful of locked doors and what was lurking on the other side as a youngster but as an adult, I thought this was a clever, dark and enjoyable read.
On a separate note to the story itself, this edition came full of gorgeous illustrations which were both fascinating and terrifying. Here are some of my favourites:
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
“Because,’ she said, ‘when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.”
“The names are the first things to go, after the breath has gone, and the beating of the heart. We keep our memories longer than our names.”
A creepy, thought provoking book that is a must read for people of all ages. This really is much more than a children’s book. There’s also a film adaptation by Tim Burton which is delightfully creepy. Check out the trailer here:
Have you read or seen Coraline? What did you think?