MirrorMask (children's edition) Hardcover – Sep 27 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9–Coraline fans too young for The Sandman series (DC Comics) form the most likely audience for this novella of the film MirrorMask. A fitful dream the night before her mothers surgery takes 15-year-old Helena to a world split into light and darkness. The queen of the White City is ill, and only the stolen MirrorMask can save her and her kingdom. As Helenas quest to find the Charm wears on, she realizes that she might not be dreaming after all. McKeans stark but lively pen-and-ink drawings perfectly reflect the narratives sinister humor. The images from the film, however, are drab and unclear. While entertaining, this scant story is less developed than Gaimans other work and, being a movie tie-in, threatens to join the growing pile of pop-culture ephemera all too soon.–Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
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Praise for The Wolves in the Walls: '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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Diane C. Donovan
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.
"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.
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