Inspired by the movie trailers & John Hodgman’s tweets, I downloaded Coraline to my Kindle this weekend and read the book — it’s a short & fun read — took me less than a day.
It’s a fun story aimed at kids — a little dark, naturally — and I liked it a lot. Better, I thought, than his recent The Graveyard Book.
I’m getting more & more interested in stories and fairy tales for kids as SPL starts to experiment with points of view and narratives — so have been thinking a lot about Narnia, of course, and Tolkein, and Alice, and on and on. Thinking about the characteristics of the most memorable serial stories — I think the very best of these were basically constructed on the fly with an audience of 1 or 2 specific kids in mind.
I’m trying out modeling some of our nighttime stories on ones that I’ve read; sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. But it’s fun to think about, fun to experiment. It’s such a cliché to talk about “seeing through the eyes of a child,” but I have to tell you that it’s one of the chief aspects of being a parent — trying to understand how things must seem to the kid, what will be fun, what will be scary, what will make sense, what will teach. It’s a neat activity, and changing the way that my interactions work throughout my life, really.
One Reply to “Coraline, by Neil Gaiman”
The Wizard of Earthsea series by Ursula Leguin remains one of my favourites.