Friday, November 14, 2008
illustrations by Dave McKean
Yes, that's a hand. Don't you just love it?
Okay. So there's this little girl named Coraline who lives with her mom and dad in a flat in an old house. Coraline's mom and dad both work at home, but they pretty much leave Coraline to entertain herself. So Coraline sets off to explore the house. She finds a mysterious door, which opens up to....
Yowza! That's the other-mother. Other-mother lives in Coraline's other-flat, with her other-father. And all she wants is to for Coraline to love her. And really, what's not to love about a face like that? She's like what Joan Rivers could become if she's not careful.
Anyhoosie, back to Coraline. When other-mother becomes a bit possessive, Coraline must find a way to get back to her real life. Despite the temptation of cool clothes and tasty food, Coraline decides she doesn't really want to be in this alternate universe with button eyes and above for a mother.
At 162 pages, there isn't a whole lot to this book. And yet, there's also a whole lot to this book. Besides the adventure, and the spookiness, and the temptation to scream "don't go through the door!" and the rats (oh, have I not mentioned them?) and the beetles (and all I have to say about that is, ewwwww), there's also a moral (something along the lines of the grass isn't always greener, or perhaps parents don't have to be good cooks to love their children).
Neil Gaiman has said that this is the book he is proudest of. Yes, he really said that...if you don't believe me, read this. And then read this, because it's funny. My favorite is when he says he wouldn't want to meet the other-mother in real-life, because "it was bad enough on paper."
So go. Buy. Read. After all, it's only 162 pages. What have you got to lose? Besides a little sleep...