Friday, May 4, 2012

Wolves in the Walls

Wolves in the Walls
Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean
HarperCollins, 2003
$17.99, Hardcover
March 14th, 2012

Genre: Mystery
Age: 5+
Description: “If the wolves come out of the wall, then it’s all over.” Lucy lives in an old house and hears noises one day—from within the walls. She’s certain its wolves but her family doesn’t believe her. After a few nights, the wolves come out and her family is forced to make a run for it. Noticing she left her pig puppet behind, Lucy manages to sneak back into the house and hides in the walls herself as she spies on the wolves. Everyone wants to move but Lucy is determined to go take their house back so she convinces her family to move into the walls. When the wolves start messing with their personal stuff (mother’s jam, father’s tuba, and brother’s high video game scores) they have had enough and break out of the walls. The wolves are freaked out—“When people come out of the walls, it’s all over!” The wolves leave and are never seen again. All is well until Lucy hears sounds in the walls again. She asks her pig puppet if she should tell her family but he replies with, “They’ll find out soon enough.”
Opinion: This is a great picture book for young and older readers. The art is reminiscent of Stinky Cheese Man and its craziness. The font varies in size and shape to emphasize the plot’s action. There is no explanation of the art style but it appears to be of some kind of mixed media collage as there are illustrations mixed with real photos of things. The atmosphere the illustrations give off just screams Gaiman—it is a dark and spooky story and the wolves are terrifying creatures.

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