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Neil Gaiman is surely a master of fantasy. Once again he took us to a brave adventure, this time into a dark world behind the locked door with bricks wall, a copy world of Coraline’s real one. With always-busy Mom & Dad, Coraline mostly spends her boring school holiday alone. She lives in a flat that has 153 blue things, 21 windows, 14 doors, 13 of which can be opened and closed but the big brown one on the corner is locked.
Sometimes curiosity could lead us into trouble, especially if we mind someone else’s business. Sometimes also, we see things on the other side of our domain as better and look more attractive. When Coraline asked her Mom to open the locked door, without realising it they have opened the pathway for those who live on the other side of the bricks wall to cross and start building the imitation house. Everything looks the same with Coraline’s house, just better: attentive parents, tasty meals, great toys, cat that speaks, whole day of stage performance, dogs that eat chocolates, button eyes and many more. All they need is Coraline to stay there, with them, forever.
This adventure is part of Coraline’s growing up process in which she has to make decision about seeing what’s real and not real, what’s good and bad, and what’s important in her life. The fake house has everything she wants, but she understands that getting everything that she wants will make them no longer important and desirable. She was scared, no one trusted her when she reported about her missing parents, so she needed to take action alone.
The best part of the story is the bravery Coraline shows to defeat the creepy creature who made the heart-less imitation world. Coraline shows determination, she uses her head before taking actions and deciding to play the dare-game, and most importantly she did that because she loves and she wants her parents back no matter how inattentive they are to her and how weird the meals they usually cook. That’s definitely the right thing to do for your parents! Coraline refused to eat the meal prepared by “the other mom” and she chose to eat the wrinkled apple. She even changed to her own clothes before “entering the dare-game war”. Bravery is when you know you are scared but you still insist of going. And she fights with pride!
Readers from any age will take this book seriously. It is creepy yet engaging. Fairy tales are usually nice and pretty. “Coraline” is totally the opposite, even the book cover and the inside illustrations are dark and far from pretty. But everyone likes mystery and adventure, no one would easily forget this story of dark world combined with will power and bravery.
PS: The black cat inside the book reminds me of this movie :) Just to spice things up, “Coraline The Movie” is ready for release in 2009. Check out the trailer.