ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Neil Gaiman is a bestselling English author. Aside from screenwriting for movies, Gaiman also writes short fiction, comic books, graphic novels and non-fiction.

His preferred genres are fantasy, comedy, horror, and science fiction.

Gaiman’s notable works include The Sandman, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Good Omens, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Graveyard Book. Some of his original works, namely Stardust and Coraline, were even adapted for movies and series. Three of his books are also available as audiobooks.

Gaiman’s works are characterized by their high degree of allusiveness. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades such the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Bram Stoker awards.

He divides his time between the UK and the USA, where he worked as a professor in the arts at Bard College.

Chris Riddell is a South Africa-born English illustrator and cartoonist. He also occasionally writes children’s books. Over his remarkable career, Riddell has illustrated several books such as Pirate Diary, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver, Hugo Pepper, and Coraline.

SYNOPSIS

Coraline is a children’s dark-fantasy novella.

Coraline Jones moves into an old house with her parents. This house was converted into flats before Jones’ family moved into one of those flats.

With her parents being busy with work most of the time, a bored Coraline spends most of her time playing around and exploring the house and its vicinity on her own.

Two other flats are occupied as well. Miss Spink and Miss Forcible live in one of them with their dogs. They are both retired theater artists and take a liking to Coraline. Meanwhile, a strange old man living in the flat upstairs tells Coraline that he is training mice for a circus.

Coraline’s flat has a seemingly redundant door that leads nowhere, opening to a brick wall. One day, a lonely Coraline comes across a passageway through the door. She goes over to the other side, where she meets her other parents. Both of them have buttons for eyes. She refuses to stay with them and goes back to her flat, only to discover that her now missing parents are trapped somewhere.

An excerpt from Neil Gaiman's Coraline

With the help of a talking cat, Coraline attempts to rescue her parents from the lurking evil. Will she be successful in setting her parents free along with all those trapped in the other dimension?

WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT CORALINE

Coraline is fun to read not just for children, but adults as well. Children may find it a bit too scary, but the thrill more than makes up for this. Coraline is an engaging novella with well developed characters. Thanks to Gaiman’s exemplary imagination, this can be termed as a modern fairy tale in which the “princess” is no damsel in distress, working out her own salvation.

Gaiman does not preach any morals, and yet he doesn’t fail to encourage children to be brave, kind, resourceful, and explorative.

Riddell also deserves a lot of praise for the illustrations in this edition.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABOUT CORALINE

Most children will almost certainly find this book somewhat creepy.

QUOTES

In the mist, it was a ghost-world. In danger? thought Coraline to herself. It sounded exciting. It didn’t sound like a bad thing. Not really.

Coraline went back upstairs, her fist closed tightly around her new stone.

‘No’, said the cat. ‘Now, you people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.’

CONCLUSION

Ameya Score:
4.5/5

Ameya would recommend Coraline in a heartbeat. That said, this may not be the ideal book for very young kids or for children who are easily traumatized by horror stories.

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