KLIATT - George Galuschak
Coraline Jones lives in an old house with her parents. She's boredit's raining, her mother is grouchy and school doesn't start till next weekso when she opens the bricked-up door that goes nowhere and sees a dark passage, she follows it. Her other mother waits for her on the other side, with her long red fingernails and black button eyes. There are others living in this world: an old man made of rats and a pair of conjoined performers who do tricks with knives. When Coraline returns to her own world her parents are gone; the other mother has taken them because she wants Coraline all to herselfto love or to eat, maybe both. Coraline must return to the other mother's world to find her parents' souls; her allies are a black cat and three dead children who live in a mirror. If she succeeds, all will be well; if she fails, she will join the children in the mirror. Coraline is a terrific graphic novel; this adaptation of the Neil Gaiman story is very well done. The full-color art is creepy and atmospheric, a nice blend of dark fantasy and horror, and does not feel forced or awkward. The plot is fast-paced and exciting, and full of nasty surprises. Coraline contains scary imagery and is highly recommended for graphic novel collections where horror and dark fantasy are popular; Gaiman's many adult fans (you know who you are) will also enjoy this. Reviewer: George Galuschak
Children's Literature - Melissa Hower
This graphic novel is an adaptation of the modern classic. When Coraline and her family move into an old house, she goes exploring. She finds a locked door in the drawing room. When she finally opens the door, it appears to hide a brick wall. Then, one day she opens the door again and finds a passageway to another world. This other world is similar to her world but somehow oddly different and creepy. In this other world, she has a mother and father that look like her real parents except they have black button eyes, yellow teeth, and long fingers with sharp, scary nails. At first this new place seems fun and her "other parents" seem nice, but things start to unravel and Coraline realizes these new people have taken her real parents. Coraline must devise a plan to escape so that she can rescue her parents and leave this bizarre world. Kids will find it easy to identify with Coraline, and the illustrations capture every emotion she experiences. The details in each picture add to this eerie and strange tale. Kids that enjoy scary stories will really enjoy this book. Reviewer: Melissa Hower
Master fantasist Gaiman's creepy and wonderful 2002 all-ages novel Coraline won Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards. Acclaimed illustrator Russell-who previously collaborated with Gaiman on the beautiful "Ramadan" issue of Sandman, the Eisner Award-winning "Death" from Sandman: Endless Nights, and a superb comics version of Gaiman's prose story "Murder Mysteries"-here presents an excellent graphic novel adaptation of Coraline's story. When she and her parents move into an old house, the imaginative, adventurous, precocious, and neglected young Coraline discovers a door that leads only to a brick wall. But when she opens the door one night, the wall has disappeared. When she goes through, Coraline finds a home just like her own, only better, where her other mother and father (who look like the real ones, except for the big black buttons they have for eyes) want her to stay forever. When Coraline decides against this, her other mother kidnaps her real parents, and Coraline must brave unknown dangers to save them. Russell appropriately mutes the bright colors he's known for and faithfully preserves much of Gaiman's text and his tone of understated horror (and humor). Because a Coraline film is scheduled for early 2009, expect much interest. Highly recommended.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8- This adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel (HarperCollins, 2002) reads as though it were intended for the graphic novel format in the first place. Insatiably curious Coraline is an explorer dedicated to discovering everything she can about the area around her family's new home. When she comes upon a door in their flat that seems to go nowhere, enters an alternate world that at first is full of interesting things and delicious foods-everything that she has longed for. However, the dangerous creature there-called the "other mother"- intends to keep her forever. After Coraline's parents are kidnapped into the other world, she sets off on a mission to rescue them. Russell's illustrations suit the tone of the story perfectly, from the horrific black button eyes of the people in the other world to Coraline's very telling facial expressions. The style is realistic, which makes the moments when the other world loses its solidity even more eerie. The pacing never lags, and Coraline's transformation into a girl who understands that having everything you want is the least interesting thing of all is natural. For readers who enjoyed the novel, Coraline is sure to complement their reading experience. Those who come to the book first as a graphic novel will be just as captivated.-Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
A deliciously dark graphic adaptation of Gaiman's modern classic is delivered with pitch-perfect accuracy and presented in a striking palette. Staying true to the original text, Russell's adaptation follows young Coraline Jones as she discovers a strange door in her otherwise boring flat. Once over the door's mysterious threshold, she meets her ghastly "Other Mother," a horrid-looking beldam with sinister, button eyes, long, yellowed teeth, spindly, tapered fingers with sharp, brown nails and a wry, baleful smile. Coraline's Other Mother intends to keep her in this horrible new world forever, and captures her real parents, prompting young Coraline to seek them out in this strange dimension. Russell, a veteran illustrator and collaborator with Gaiman, makes the novel positively jump off the page, sending shivers down its readers' spines. Colorist Lovern Kindzierski deserves special kudos for utilizing a masterful array of hues, working in smart synchronicity with the nuances of the tale. A stellar reworking of the original text, this is sure to delight established fans and to mesmerize newcomers. (Graphic fiction. 10 & up)
Booklist (starred review)
“A virtuoso adaptation…a master of fantastical landscapes, Russell sharpens the realism of his imagery, preserving the humanity of the characters and heightening the horror, even as Gaiman’s concise storytelling ratchets up the eeriness.”
“This graphic novel is as dark, creepy, and brilliant as anything out there.”
"A virtuoso adaptation…a master of fantastical landscapes, Russell sharpens the realism of his imagery, preserving the humanity of the characters and heightening the horror, even as Gaiman’s concise storytelling ratchets up the eeriness."