'This book is quite extraordinary. Extraordinary and scary. But also madly inventive and madly funny. It illustrates two things that it is quite crucial to remember for this age group: you are never, ever too old for picture books and that even when you can read quite fluently - which many at the top end of this age range will be able to do - a story shared is a story that doubles in pleasure.' Guardian 'This spectacular book, with its stylish blend of photography, paint, collage and drawing does not look like most children's picture books. It bypasses the cosy, simplified cliches of child appeal, which makes it absolutely intriguing for youngsters. It is atmospheric, sinister, scary and funny This is a book for cool kids who will grow up to be fearless.' Sunday Times one of the most stylish picture books for 5+ a strange, cathartic, visually original book about a scary prediction that comes true, and is also classy and cool.' Sunday Times Books of the Year Gaiman's words and McKean's pictures are a match made in some dark damp inspirational place. With gems like this and 'The Wolves in the Walls' the pair are extending the audience for picture books" Time Out
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
"Let them join the circus. I want to join real life."April 9 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
I personally found the fantastical MIRRORMASK to be an enjoyable read. The story itself wasn't too terribly gripping but I loved the way in which it was written. Neil Gaiman is a master at creating new worlds and painting vivid imagery with his captivating words. But please note that while this is called the "children's edition" I'd have to say it is more like a young adult read. Granted it's a short book with only 80 pages of storytelling intersperced with pictures taken from the movie as well as illustrations from Dave McKean, in a sense it is too grown-up for real young kids to enjoy.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An appealing, visually vivid format is presented.Jan. 6 2007
Midwest Book Review
- Published on Amazon.com
Helena has been raised in a family of circus performers and dreams of a normal life - until haunting music leads her far from home to a magical world where her real life is stolen. Her only hope is to rescue her new home from a threat - if she can. MirrorMask is a film: Gaiman's story here pairs with artist/director Dave McKean to provide a blend of novella and art, supplemented by images from the film. An appealing, visually vivid format is presented.
I love Gaiman's works, Corilane was one of my favorite children's books. I had high hopes for Mirrormask, we own the movie, and though it's a bit dark for the younger children, it's still a very creative and visually stunning film.
After reading the book I'm glad that the movie was visually stunning. For some reason the book does not flow, or hold together well. Had I not seen the movie I would be completely lost in attempting to follow this book. The concept of standing on the books to cross the gorge, or the giants locked together, or the darkness and what it is doing - is all lost. Now you can say that it was for the simplicity of making it a children's book - but I don't buy it. The concepts involve possible death, a brain tumor, and an evil girl willing to sacrifice the entire world she lives in to try something new (not our main character - the bad guy).
The book follows a young girl who has grown up in a circus, she want's to live a normal life and gets in a argument with her mother about it. Her mother then collapses and is hospitalized with a brain tumor. Feeling quilty, Helena withdraws into a world of her strange artwork. That night she wakes up to find herself drawn into a world of her own creation - someone has stolen the mirrormask and traded places with her. Now she has to travel through a strange and hostile world ruled by a Queen of Light and a Queen of Darkness, to find the only way home - the stolen mirrormask.
The artwork was good and the concept is great - but to read it without having seen the movie will leave the reader a bit perplexed. If reading to children, go with one of Gaiman's other works before this one.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"One day you'll be the death of me." "I hope so."Feb. 11 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
When I saw this book and looked through it, I thought one thing. "Wow - for a "children's edition", this thing really has a lot of words. I think I'll take a peek inside." The next thing i know, I'm inside the house with my head stuck to a small book, looking through it as if it held something amazing. I've always had this thing for fairytales and, well, mirrormask is a modern day telling of something worthwhile. It has its harrowing portions for the young and it has the funny little portions for the not-to-young, and it has the drawings that one can expect along the way. It really was more than I thought I would EVEr find in a book like this. It had the dark side and the light side and the point to all the sides. Altogether, it was like the movie and yet it was its own thing.
If you do not know mirrormask, it rests in the hands of a young girl. She is part of a circus, her father's pride and joy, and everyone would think she would love it there. Her mothe rloves to point out that kids would love to run off and be part of this world, but all she wants to do is "run off and join Real-life." This provokes her mother, who says "you will be the death of me." And then her mother becomes ill and, truly, it seems like she might be the death of her mother. While her mother is sick, she finds herself pulled into this othe rworld, where the queen there is sick and no one knows why. They only know that light is faltering and darkness is arising. So the girl, consumed by enough darkness, tries to cure this world of its affliction.
The book is a thing that is a child inside, and I like that. I liked the movie, too, but thebook has more of the fairytale feel to it. It is light in places and dark in others, and it teaches a system of notions and emotions to people who perhaps don't know them or need a nice reminder. Me - I enjoy the reminders and I enjoyed this book, liking the characters and the fact that darkness has a lot of the same reasons as light does. This is uplifting and, at the same time, dark and Gaimanesque.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Review of audio onlySept. 29 2011
BarkLessWagMore (Horror After Dark Crew Member)
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I think I did myself a disservice by listening to this story on audiobook instead of checking out the actual illustrated book or viewing the movie. I have a sneaking suspicion the illustrations enhance much of the story, which felt a bit bare bones without them, and that I've missed out on the full experience. Basically MirrorMask tells the story of a young girl, growing up in a travelling circus and starting to rebel and wanting "a real life". The after she has a horrible fight with her mother and says something ugly, her mom falls ill and needs surgery. Helena then has a dream-like (is it real or no?) adventure where she enters another realm and realizes a doppleganger has taken over her life. With the help of a masked-boy named Valentine she sets out to find a mirrormask to set things right. This audio is very short and I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Gaiman's Coraline. It was beautifully read by the narrator as well as imaginative and full of adventure and riddles but there simply wasn't enough character development for my liking and something happens that is glossed over and forgiven instantaneously that weakens Helena as a character in my eyes.