08 November 2010

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline: The Graphic NovelHave you ever wished you had a different life?

Coraline did. And then her wish came true... Be careful what you wish for.

This book came out in 2002; the film appeared in cinemas in 2009. We were living in England at that time. Our then 13 year old daughter begged to see the film. Of course I said "If you read the book first." And she read the book.

As Halloween has just passed by on the pages of the calendar the story came to my mind. I don't like scary films. Horror isn't my thing. I decided it was time to read Coraline for myself to see what it was all about.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes, the story is a bit eerie. But the story is really pretty nice; it definitely carries some themes in its pages.

In the story Coraline visited an alternate world; a world in which things were pretty much a mirror of reality but in which the people had button eyes. At first she was drawn to the world but soon she realized that the life she already had was what she really wanted.

Sometimes we wish for change in our lives when we really don't have it so bad. Coraline felt forgotten by her busy parents. Their busyness, however, had nothing to do with their love for her.
Parents, though, can look at this part of the story as a strong reminder. Yes, we are busy; sometimes unbelievably so. But do we really want to give our children the impression that we are too busy for them? At times in the past I have used reminders such as this to wake myself to the point of view of our children. I am going to make an extra effort, starting now, as I have in the past, to stop what I am doing when one of our many children comes to me with a request. If I truly can not fulfill that request of my time at the moment then I am going to be extra sure to make the time as soon as I finish the task that was at hand. I have always, always been blessed when I have acted in this manner; and I believe our children have to.

I think my favorite line from this book is:

"Coraline slept uneasily that night, waking from time to time to plot and plan and ponder, then falling back into sleep, never quite certain where her pondering ended and the dream began, one ear always open for the sound of something scratching at her windowpane or at her bedroom door.
Now to watch the film with our daughter.


  1. My seven year old loves this movie. I have heard that the book was much more frightening than the movie. Horror is not my thing either so maybe I'll give this a try based on your review.

  2. Let me know what you think, Sarah.
    I need to go move the film to the top of our Netflix list.


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