Reviews for Coraline
Booklist Reviews 2008 March #2
*Starred Review* Russell, a 35-year veteran of comics and frequent collaborator with Gaiman, offers an adaptation of Gaiman's 2002 novel Coraline (illustrated by Dave McKean), a tale of childhood nightmares. As in the original story, Coraline wanders around her new house and discovers a door leading into a mirror place, where she finds her button-eyed "other mother," who is determined to secure Coraline's love one way or another. This version is a virtuoso adaptation, streamlining passages that function best in prose and visually highlighting parts that benefit most from the graphic form. A master of fantastical landscapes, Russell sharpens the realism of his imagery, preserving the humanity of the characters and heightening horror, even as Gaiman's concise storytelling ratchets up the eeriness. The adaptation loses none of Coraline's original character; she's clever, resourceful, intrepid, and highly determined when it comes to doing what must be done. Comics fans will delight in this version, and readers familiar with the previous book will greatly appreciate the opportunity to explore the story in a successful new way. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
Gaiman's shivery tale gets the graphic novel treatment. Lured into a parallel world constructed by a nightmarish "other mother," Coraline must rescue trapped children and her parents as she makes her way home. The book's attractively colored panel illustrations are propulsively paced. However, they feel both redundant and reductive when examined alongside the vivid, layered prose of Gaiman's original novel. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2008 June #2
A deliciously dark graphic adaptation of Gaiman's modern classic is delivered with pitch-perfect accuracy and presented in a striking palette. Staying true to the original text, Russell's adaptation follows young Coraline Jones as she discovers a strange door in her otherwise boring flat. Once over the door's mysterious threshold, she meets her ghastly "Other Mother," a horrid-looking beldam with sinister, button eyes, long, yellowed teeth, spindly, tapered fingers with sharp, brown nails and a wry, baleful smile. Coraline's Other Mother intends to keep her in this horrible new world forever, and captures her real parents, prompting young Coraline to seek them out in this strange dimension. Russell, a veteran illustrator and collaborator with Gaiman, makes the novel positively jump off the page, sending shivers down its readers' spines. Colorist Lovern Kindzierski deserves special kudos for utilizing a masterful array of hues, working in smart synchronicity with the nuances of the tale. A stellar reworking of the original text, this is sure to delight established fans and to mesmerize newcomers. (Graphic fiction. 10 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews 2009 January #1
Master fantasist Gaiman's creepy and wonderful 2002 all-ages novel Coraline won Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards. Acclaimed illustrator Russell--who previously collaborated with Gaiman on the beautiful "Ramadan" issue of Sandman, the Eisner Award-winning "Death" from Sandman: Endless Nights, and a superb comics version of Gaiman's prose story "Murder Mysteries"--here presents an excellent graphic novel adaptation of Coraline's story. When she and her parents move into an old house, the imaginative, adventurous, precocious, and neglected young Coraline discovers a door that leads only to a brick wall. But when she opens the door one night, the wall has disappeared. When she goes through, Coraline finds a home just like her own, only better, where her other mother and father (who look like the real ones, except for the big black buttons they have for eyes) want her to stay forever. When Coraline decides against this, her other mother kidnaps her real parents, and Coraline must brave unknown dangers to save them. Russell appropriately mutes the bright colors he's known for and faithfully preserves much of Gaiman's text and his tone of understated horror (and humor). Because a Coraline film is scheduled for early 2009, expect much interest. Highly recommended.--S.R. [Page 69]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2008 July
Gr 6-8- This adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel (HarperCollins, 2002) reads as though it were intended for the graphic novel format in the first place. Insatiably curious Coraline is an explorer dedicated to discovering everything she can about the area around her family's new home. When she comes upon a door in their flat that seems to go nowhere, enters an alternate world that at first is full of interesting things and delicious foods-everything that she has longed for. However, the dangerous creature there-called the "other mother"- intends to keep her forever. After Coraline's parents are kidnapped into the other world, she sets off on a mission to rescue them. Russell's illustrations suit the tone of the story perfectly, from the horrific black button eyes of the people in the other world to Coraline's very telling facial expressions. The style is realistic, which makes the moments when the other world loses its solidity even more eerie. The pacing never lags, and Coraline's transformation into a girl who understands that having everything you want is the least interesting thing of all is natural. For readers who enjoyed the novel, Coraline is sure to complement their reading experience. Those who come to the book first as a graphic novel will be just as captivated.- Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT [Page 119]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2008 June
Russell adds new dimension to Coraline in this delightfully creepy graphic novel adaptation of Gaiman's bestseller, faithfully retelling the story of a bored girl who discovers a magical and dangerous parallel world through a door in her family's large, old house. At first, Coraline is excited by the marvels of this strange new world, including her "Other Mother." But Coraline soon realizes that there is something sinister about the Other Mother, who looks like her real mother, except for her black button eyes and long sharp fingernails. The Other Mother wants to replace Coraline's eyes with buttons, too, so she can stay in her new home "for ever and always." When Coraline returns to her world, she discovers that her parents are trapped in a shadowy prison behind a hallway mirror. With the enigmatic help of a talking black cat, Coraline gathers her courage and goes off to face the Other Mother and win her parents' freedom. Fans of Gaiman's tale will embrace Russell's vision and appreciate the compelling way in which the text and illustrations compliment each other. Russell's artwork powerfully evokes both the wonder and terror of the Other Mother's realm. The illustrations also bring new depth to the supporting characters, including Coraline's eccentric neighbors and the black cat that comes across as both annoying and lovable. This adaptation is also a great way to introduce readers to Gaiman's work and an appealing choice for reluctant readers.-Amy Luedtke PLB $19.89. ISBN 978-0-06-082544-7. 5Q 5P M J G Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.