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The Wolves in the Walls
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About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book. Among his numerous literary awards are the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Originally from England, he now lives in America. Dave McKean is best known for his work on Neil Gaiman's Sandman series of graphic novels and for his CD covers for musicians from Tori Amos to Alice Cooper. He also illustrated Neil Gaiman's picture books The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, The Wolves in the Walls, and Crazy Hair. He is a cult figure in the comic book world, and is also a photographer.

Reviews

Gr 2-4-Lucy hears sounds in her house and is certain that the "sneaking, creeping, crumpling" noises coming from inside the walls are wolves. Her parents and her brother know "if the wolves come out-, it's all over," and no one believes that the creatures are there-until they come out. Then the family flees, taking refuge outside. It is Lucy who bravely returns to rescue her pig puppet and who talks the others into forcing the animals to leave. Gaiman and McKean deftly pair text and illustrations to convey a strange, vivid story evolving from a child's worst, credible fear upon hearing a house creak and groan. Glowing eyes and expressive faces convey the imminent danger. This rather lengthy picture book displays the striking characteristics of a graphic novel: numerous four-panel pages opening into spreads that include painted people; scratchy ink-lined wolves; and photographed, computer-manipulated images. Children will delight in the "scary, creepy tone" and in the brave behavior displayed by the intrepid young heroine.-Marian Creamer, Children's Literature Alive, Portland, OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"If the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over," is the oft-repeated prediction in Gaiman's latest, a picture book that cleverly balances humor and spookiness in a slightly off-kilter setting. As he did in his novel Coraline, the author again introduces an inquisitive girl who lives in a creepy old house with her distracted family. When Lucy hears "squeaking, creeping, crumpling noises" from inside the house's walls, she's convinced it must be wolves. Lucy's parents and younger brother, who don't share Lucy's sharply attuned ear, but have heard bad things about wolves in people's walls, insist any noise must be emanating from something more logical, like rats or mice. But when Lucy's hunch comes true, the family flees-until brave, determined Lucy hatches a plan to turn the tables. Gaiman's text rings with energetic confidence and an inviting tone, even as he leads readers into a bizarre and potentially spine-tingling scenario. McKean (who previously collaborated with Gaiman on the Sandman comics and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish) expertly matches the tale's funny-scary mood. Lucy shines as a heroine, standing tall among somewhat tuned-out supporting characters that are an inventive mixture of ordinary and odd. Against shadow-filled backdrops that blend paint, digital manipulation and photography, his stylized human figures look right at home. His pen-and-inks of the wolves, often with a judicious dash of color, suggest that they inhabit a world apart-or perhaps unreal? Author and artist credit their audience with the intelligence to puzzle out the question for themselves. All ages. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Gaiman's text rings with energetic confidence and an inviting tone. McKean expertly matches the tale's funny-scary mood."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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