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The Wolves in the Walls Hardcover – Jul 1 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Jul 1 2005
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Perfection Learning (July 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075695438X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756954383
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 1 x 25.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Amazon

Truth be told, Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's picture book The Wolves in the Walls is terrifying. Sure, the story is fairytale-like and presented in a jaunty, casually nonsensical way, but it is absolutely the stuff of nightmares. Lucy hears wolves hustling, bustling, crinkling, and crackling in the walls of the old house where her family lives, but no one believes her. Her mother says it's mice, her brother says bats, and her father says what everyone seems to say, "If the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over." Lucy remains convinced, as is her beloved pig-puppet, and her worst fears are confirmed when the wolves actually do come out of the walls.

Up to this point, McKean's illustrations are spectacular, sinister collages awash in golden sepia tones evocative of the creepy beauty in The City of Lost Children. The wolves explode into the story in scratchy pen-and-ink, all jaws and eyes. The family flees to the cold, moonlit garden, where they ponder their future. (Her brother suggests, for example, that they escape to outer space where there's "nothing but foozles and squossucks for billions of miles.") Lucy wants to live in her own house...and she wants the pig-puppet she left behind.

Eventually she talks her family into moving back into the once-wolfish walls, where they peek out at the wolves who are watching their television and spilling popcorn on slices of toast and jam, dashing up the stairs, and wearing their clothes. When the family can't stand it anymore, they burst forth from the walls, scaring the wolves, who shout, "And when the people come out of the walls, it's all over!" The wolves flee and everything goes back to normal...until the tidy ending when Lucy hears "a noise that sounded exactly like an elephant trying not to sneeze." Adult fans of this talented pair will revel in the quirky story and its darkly gorgeous, deliciously shadowy trappings, but the young or faint of heart, beware! (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 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, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Inside the house everything was quiet. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I discovered Neil Gaiman in the airport bookstore on a recent business trip. I became a convert after reading the first few pages of "American Gods". What a delight it was to find that my newest, favoritest author also writes children's books. ...
Parents beware, this book is scarier for adults than it is for kids. Adults remember the things that scared them at night, in a distorted sort of way. Creatures living in the walls seems to be one of those things that might have given us nightmares when we were kids. However, for me, the scariest part wasn't the wolves themselves, but the unsettling notion that there was so much space behind the walls. What other things might live in the invisible spaces of our homes? <Shiver....>
Despite my own perspective of the story, my ... son admires Lucy's courage. You see, you cannot tell a story about overcoming your fears without the idea of "fear" itself. WitW delivers just enough fear to compel the reader. The ending is light-hearted and fun, so make sure your children read the book to its completion.
The illustrations are top-notch and really compliment the mood of the story well. They are a little unsettling, to be sure, but I also remember how I loved the terrifying illustrations in "Where the Wild Thigs Are" as a child.
Creepy, funny, and heroic, WitW is destined to become a classic picture book. ...
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Format: Hardcover
Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. Often working in the realms of science fiction and fantasy in his writing for "adults," Gaiman has successfully carried his creativity, masterful storytelling, respect for his audience, and of course, his charming British wit, into his children's stories. Following "The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish," and "Coraline," Gaiman brings children and adults alike an adventurous tale in "The Wolves in the Walls."
Our heroine, Lucy, is convinced that wolves live in the walls of her house. Her mum, dad, and brother brush off her assertions, until the wolves finally come out. Driven from the house, Lucy takes it upon herself to solve her family's dilemma.
The best thing about Neil Gaiman as a children's author is his clear respect for kids. He knows kids aren't stupid, and his stories make children the heroes, using their unique point of view to conquer their own fears and rescue their loved ones. Lucy in "Wolves" is no exception: she's definitely a kid - she consults with her pig puppet frequently - but she's not helpless - she saves the day in the end.
Gaiman's longtime collaborator, Dave McKean, makes this story truly special. His unique artistic notions have made him famous in the comic book world (especially for his cover art for Gaiman's "Sandman" series) and his work in "Wolves," covering a wide range of styles, makes this story visually exciting.
The vivid story and art might scare the youngest of children, but nobody is put in real danger, and most children (and adults, too!) will find this exciting tale a pleasure to read aloud.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2014
Format: Paperback
The world of Neil Gaiman is a weird, unsettling, whimsical place where strange things are lurking just under the surface... and yes, that includes his kids' books. "The Wolves in the Walls" is a perfect example, which mingles Gaiman's slightly eerie storytelling with Dave McKean's equally eerie artwork. It's a perfect story for kids with slightly dark tastes.

Lucy can hear noises coming from inside the walls -- "They were hustling noises and bustling noises. They were crinkling noises and crackling noises." She tries to tell her mother, brother and father, but her mother dismisses the idea that there are wolves inside the walls. After all, "if the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over." So they claim that the noises are mice, rats and bats.

But as time goes on, Lucy continues to hear the wolves "clawing and gnawing, nibbling and squabbling," and feels eyes watching her. And one night, the wolves rip out of the walls, sending Lucy's family running out into the night. And it turns out that wolves are very poorly behaved...

"The Wolves in the Walls" starts out as a very creepy, almost horrific story, with wolves inside the walls and eyes staring from knotholes. But Gaiman's puckish sense of humor comes out in the second half, which shows that the wolves aren't quite as scary as we initially thought. They seem more interested in being the most obnoxious squatters that a G-rated book can show.

And while the story is aimed at children, Gaiman injects some little jokes that seem aimed more at adults ("'What?' said the Queen of Melanesia, who had dropped by to help with the gardening").

Dave McKean's artwork perfectly suits the story as well.
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Format: Paperback
Neil Gaiman writes wonderful books for children with very sophisticated illustrations that I love! He uses many different art techniques, photo montages, collages, pen-and-ink drawings and painting to render the unsettling and often bizarre world of a child's imagination. In this book I particularly like the hidden faces of the wolves in the clouds.
The story features Lucy and her cuddly pig who can hear wolves living in the walls of the house. Lucy tries to warn her family, but no one believes her. Her tuba-playing father thinks she has an overactive imagination, her jam-making mother says it's rats, her brother knows it's bats but they all tell her that "when the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over."
Well the wolves do come out of the walls and they are freaky and scary and funny and portrayed with a keen sense of the fantastic. And it is all over - until Lucy comes up with a solution.
This is sold as a children's book but, as with all Gaiman's books, the artwork makes it much, much more. It's scary and quirky and funky and witty.
And...a huge visual feast.
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