The Wolves In The Wallsby Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean
Lucy is sure there are wolves living in the walls of her house, although others in her family disagree, and when the wolves come out, the adventure begins.
The Washington PostMany children may find this book truly nightmarish, despite its essential zaniness (wolves feasting on toast and jam) and its reassuring joke of an ending. Elizabeth Ward
Publishers WeeklyWhen the wolves begin to come out of the walls, a girl comes up with a strategy to frighten them off. "Gaiman's text rings with energetic confidence and an inviting tone," wrote PW. "McKean expertly matches the tale's funny-scary mood." All ages. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's LiteratureThe trend toward quirky, edgy picture books takes a turn toward the ultra-quirky and ultra-edgy in this collaboration between Gaiman and McKean. Lucy is convinced that the hustling, bustling, crinkling, crackling, sneaking, creeping, crumpling noises she hears in the walls of her house must be wolves�and they are. Her mother denies Lucy's assessment, telling her darkly that it can't be wolves, because "If the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over." But the wolves do come out of the walls, and Lucy's family must abandon their house to the wolves' revelry, only to end up living inside the walls themselves, and then finally reclaiming their house again. The text has its poignant moments�Lucy's brave journey back to rescue her pig-puppet�and humor, as the family mourns all that they've surrendered to the wolves: "My video game high scores!" wails her brother; "My second-best tuba!" wails her father. The art mingles photographic images, blank mask-like faces, and pen-and-ink drawings for an overall weird and grotesque effect. The message of the book seems to be to vindicate children's fears, however seemingly outlandish to adults: there are wolves in the walls, and so accordingly, there probably are real, child-eating monsters under the bed! But the wolves/monsters can also be defeated through courage and ingenuity. How best to describe the book? Quirky and edgy�edgy and quirky. And very, very strange. 2003, HarperCollins, Ages 4 to 8.
School Library JournalGr 2-4-Lucy hears sounds in her house and is certain that the "sneaking, creeping, crumpling" noises coming from inside the walls are wolves. Her parents and her brother know "if the wolves come out-, it's all over," and no one believes that the creatures are there-until they come out. Then the family flees, taking refuge outside. It is Lucy who bravely returns to rescue her pig puppet and who talks the others into forcing the animals to leave. Gaiman and McKean deftly pair text and illustrations to convey a strange, vivid story evolving from a child's worst, credible fear upon hearing a house creak and groan. Glowing eyes and expressive faces convey the imminent danger. This rather lengthy picture book displays the striking characteristics of a graphic novel: numerous four-panel pages opening into spreads that include painted people; scratchy ink-lined wolves; and photographed, computer-manipulated images. Children will delight in the "scary, creepy tone" and in the brave behavior displayed by the intrepid young heroine.-Marian Creamer, Children's Literature Alive, Portland, OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsYou know what they say: "If the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over." When Lucy hears wolves crinkling, crackling, sneaking, creeping, and crumpling in the walls, she futilely attempts to warn her family. Once out of the walls, the wolves proceed to dance "wolfish dances up the stairs and down again" until Lucy, with the help of her stalwart pig-puppet, decides that enough is enough, and leads her family back-into the walls. Gaiman does here for the older picture-book set what he did for middle-grade readers with last year's Coraline, crafting a tale of surreal and sinister adversaries who are bested by a young girl's determination to set her world to rights. The slyly deadpan text, rich in language and wordplay, never doubts Lucy's capacity to manage the chaos, but McKean's illustrations are something else again, their mixed-media creepiness giving the lie to the publisher's disingenuous "all ages" designation and marking it clearly as not for the faint of heart. (Picture book. 7-10)
Washington Post“The illustrations are amazing. And, like every good scary story, there’s an unexpected twist at the end.”
Sunday Times (London)“Spectacular…atmospheric, sinister, scary, and funny…This is a book for cool kids who will grow up to be fearless.”
ALA Booklist“This is a picture book for the twenty-first century child: visually and emotionally sophisticated, accessible, and inspired.”
Family Fun Magazine“Gaiman, with regular collaborator Dave McKean, suffuses this sumptuous story with a night-light-worthy creepiness.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books“Gaiman has one creepy imagination. Hand this to a jaded third or fourth-grader and watch their eyes get big.”
The Guardian (UK)“Madly inventive, madly funny. Some will find it creepy; for the rest it will offer the sustaining jam of life.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books“Gaiman has one creepy imagination. Hand this to a jaded third or fourth-grader and watch their eyes get big.”
- Harpercollins Childrens Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 10.20(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 11 Years
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