17 January, 2016

Book Review: Coraline

From GoodreadsThere 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.

Thoughts: Yet another stellar author! I love having authors I can count on to give me a good read. This is Gaiman at his creepiest best. While theoretically written for children, Coraline would be more than capable of inducing nightmares in some children. If your kids like creepy stories and aren't given to wild imaginations that run away in the dark - go for it. To tell the truth I would most probably be ok with both my 10 and 13 year old reading this.
Coraline enters another world through what should be a false door - all it opens onto is a brick wall. But some how, on this day, it opens onto another world, one that has been carefully crafted by the Coraline's "other mother." This creature has recreated Coraline's world, but why? And why buttons for eyes? When  Coraline refuses to stay, the other mother steals Coraline's real parents and she must enter the strange world again to save them.
What I really love about Coraline? She saves herself. She is scared, she is uncertain, but she is brave. She is a girl capable of being her own hero.
“Because,' she said, 'when you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave.”
And I don't think we have enough brave girls in literature. I also love that the evil doer in the book is female. It is the other mother that controls the other world and all that is in it. Strong female characters in kids books - love it!
Gaiman's stories are simple but not condescending. The children in them are intelligent and resourceful.  They are able to see through the smoke screen that so many adults seem to put up. In short, Gaiman believes in his child characters and infuses them with a confidence all kids should have. Once again Gaiman is a winner in my book.