Joanne Harris on a brooding, post-Freudian fairytale…
A troubled and lonely little girl, Coraline, discovers a parallel world behind the walls of her parents’ house. Entering it, she is drawn into a world that almost exactly mirrors her own, except that her mirror-mother has sewn-on buttons instead of eyes and seems strangely reluctant to let her leave… It’s a dark, post-Freudian fairytale, genuinely frightening in parts, combining elements of Alice with Gaiman’s trademark modern myth. Coraline herself is a beautifully-executed and plausible little character, and her story is strange, brooding, quirky, unsentimental and filled with enough fantastic detail to satisfy the most imaginative of children – or even of adults.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean, is published by Bloomsbury (978 0 7475 6210 8, £5.99).
Joanne Harris’s latest book Runemarks (978 0 552 55575 3) is published by Corgi Childrens at £6.99.