The Wolves in the Walls

The Wolves in the Walls

4.1 12
by Neil Gaiman, Dave Mckean, Dave McKean
     
 

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Lucy heard noises.
The noises were coming from inside the walls.
They were hustling noises and bustling noises.
They were crinkling noises and crackling noises.
They were sneaking, creeping, crumpling noises.

Lucy is sure there are wolves living in the walls of their house -- and, as everybody says, if the wolves come out of the walls, it's

Overview

Lucy heard noises.
The noises were coming from inside the walls.
They were hustling noises and bustling noises.
They were crinkling noises and crackling noises.
They were sneaking, creeping, crumpling noises.

Lucy is sure there are wolves living in the walls of their house -- and, as everybody says, if the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over.

Her family doesn't believe her. Then one day, the wolves come out.

But it's not all over. Instead, Lucy's battle with the wolves is only just beginning.

A wonderfully strange and hilarious adventure for young readers from the acclaimed author and illustrator of the magical New York Times best-seller Coraline.

Editorial Reviews

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.”
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.”
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.”
The Guardian (UK)
“Madly inventive, madly funny. Some will find it creepy; for the rest it will offer the sustaining jam of life.”
bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean -- the pair who brought you the chilling bestseller Coraline -- make a frightening and darkly amusing return in this hair-raising picture book about a family and their wall-dwelling wolf problem.

Based on the cacophony of noises coming from inside, Lucy's sure there are wolves in the walls of her house. No one in her family believes her suspicions, but when the wolves finally emerge one night after "a howling and a yowling, a bumping and a thumping," Lucy, her brother, and her parents hightail it outside to safety. After some family bickering about what they should all do, Lucy bravely decides to rescue her pig-puppet, which has been mistakenly left behind. While on her covert mission, the girl discovers lots of room inside the house's walls for habitation, and the family sneaks back into the house. There they see the wolves watching TV, playing video games (even beating the high scores), and "playing an old wolf melody on Lucy's father's second-best tuba," In a grand turning of the tables, they leap out of the walls, scare the intruders away, and reclaim their home for good.

Disarmingly imaginative and brilliantly twisted, Gaiman and McKean's picture book rises above the level of mere scare tactics to mesmerize and grip readers with its blend of multilevel artwork, eccentric story, and creepy atmosphere. McKean's well-suited, amazing illustrations -- reminiscent of The Sandman and Coraline -- will bend your mind in fantastically freakish directions, while Gaiman's tale is sure to enthrall kids with a penchant for unnerving stories. Definitely cool, right down to the bone. Matt Warner

The Washington Post
Many 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 Weekly
When 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 Literature
The 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.
— Claudia Mills
School Library Journal
Gr 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 Reviews
You 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)
The Bulletin for 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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380978274
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/17/2003
Pages:
56
Sales rank:
646,554
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Lexile:
500L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

Dave McKean is best known for his work on Neil Gaiman's Sandman series of graphic novels and for his CD covers for musicians from Tori Amos to Alice Cooper. He also illustrated Neil Gaiman's picture books The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, The Wolves in the Walls, and Crazy Hair. He is a cult figure in the comic book world, and is also a photographer.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Birth:
November 10, 1960
Place of Birth:
Portchester, England
Education:
Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
Website:
http://www.neilgaiman.com

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The Wolves in the Walls 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this to my child,since she asked for it many a night.It makes for a good story to tell before bedtime,and we may need a new book,from being read too much,since the spine is losing its grip on the pages.Lucy hears noises that her family misses entirely,blaming rats,and when the truth comes out she was right,there's no rubbing it in just how to take back what is rightfully theirs.I'd say this is a story about how a young girl inspires her family to fight to get their home back from jam-and-toast loving wolves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After recently reading the Sandman series and given that I'd heard that this was coming out,I read it to my daughter,who has requested it daily.The story of Lucy,who has more insight to the safety of her home against her parents,who say she's reacting to an overactive imagination and hearing things;that she eventually rallies them to take action to remove the wolves altogether.I'd recommend this book to anyone who has felt the need for something different at night.
FaeryArbiter More than 1 year ago
The artwork is beautiful and the story is fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this with my iPhobe Nook app. I wasn't able to listen to the story on my phone or my Nook. Feeling kinda ripped off.
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Auburn1 More than 1 year ago
It's a real delight to flip through & look at the pictures: They're fabulous! Unfortunately, the story is rather boring & vague... My 2 kids were a little puzzled... (...what???) Not the type of story you would read more than once. Too bad!