What an interesting read! I have always heard Neil Gaiman’s name being thrown around and read many a glowing a review about his writing, but I never read any of his works. Of course, now I have!
Coraline is a children’s chapter book that is good for, I would say, children that don’t mind creepy things (preferably if they like creepy things) and who do not need a lot of pictures when they read. I’m not putting an age on this suggestion because all children are different. Some are more advanced then others, and some aren’t mentally ready for the subversive creep factor that is in this book. I was reading Nora Roberts in middle school.
The premise seems to be based on the old saying, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.” Coraline is a young girl whose age I would put around 10. Her parents are like many parents now-and-days: busy, distracted, and not nearly as attentive as their children want them to be. However, Gaiman does not make them out to be terrible, by any means. They’re an accurate portrayal of modern parents.
To Coraline though her parents never listen to her and don’t pay attention to her. Coraline sometimes seems like a severe child. She comes across as very serious (sometimes), curious (always), and an explorer. She’s a spunky little thing and learns some valuable lessons through her journey. She is also extremely well at adapting to bizarre situations (which makes her, in my humble opinion, a rather nice example of survival of fittest. Never mind she’s fictional.).
The other mother … well. Lets just say that character gives new meaning to the evil step-mother stock character. Though, I am not entirely sure the Other Mother would be considered a stock character. When the reader firsts meet her she is perfect – kind, generous, loving … but she’s too much of all of these things. And there are of course the button eyes.
[This is the other mother from the 2009 movie.]
[This is the other mother according to the illustrations by Dave Mckean.]
Cue heeby-geebies. I am interested to learn why Gaiman chose buttons. Any ideas as to why?? (Comment and let me know!)
ANYWAYS. I hope y’all read the book (it’s very short. An easy … 2 hour read.), because I believe, depending on everybody’s personal experiences the other mother will look different to each reader.
Before I go I want to let y’all know something. These reviews are not always going to be summaries. They are going to be more like highlights and low points that I found interesting or had a strong opinion on. And I do this because 1) there are plenty of summaries out there to be found on all the books I am posting about on here, and 2) I hate when people ask me what a book is about. READ IT. Then lets talk about it. 🙂
Here are some other images from the movie and novel that I found creep-taculous (yes, I just made an adjective.).