Coraline brings together the wild imaginings of fantasy, the morality teaching of fairy tales, and a dash of the darkness and horror into one story. The reader follows the exploits of Coraline, a child as curious as any other, who finds a secret more curious than most as she’s exploring her family’s home. Children who long for adventure and an escape from ordinary life will find a kindred spirit in the young heroine.
Neil Gaiman is a master of the art of storytelling, especially when it comes to the aspect of world building. His depiction of the real and the imaginary and the places where they merge immerses the reader in the story. Creatures that are comical, heroic, and monstrous populate the pages of this book, and all are described in a way that makes them believable and easy to imagine, even if they are unfamiliar in reality.
In addition to the rich storytelling, Coraline offers some valuable insights into life, insights that should resonate with children in a way that makes the story personal. Themes of the love for family, the value of contentment, and the necessity of imagination make this book a worthwhile read. Such themes should, as all good storytelling does, leave the reader better for having read it.
Violence/Gore:Knife-throwing is used as part of a stage act; throughout the book, some characters have buttons in place of eyes, and this is described and sometimes illustrated in a creepy manner; a verbal threat; a few creepy scenes with monsters and disturbing imagery but no injury or gore; a character attacks others using supernatural powers; report of a character coming out of a grave in the past; a child is locked in a dark room; an animal has a bad scratch of unknown origin; a few creepy scenes in which a child hears something scratching to get into her room; an animal claws and bites a character, with some blood mentioned; a character loses an appendage, and this is both described and illustrated, but the illustration is not bloody.
Mature Subject Matter:
Kidnapping; child abuse.
Alcohol / Drug Use: