The Wolves in the Walls
One such modern classic is The wolves in the walls, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean. This impeccable collaboration of writing and art is notable because its readership includes both children and adults, even though its themes may seem somewhat chilling for younger readers. But children do sometimes like to be scared and the layers of meaning in this story make it a useful tool for discussing many of the issues that a child might face. It is also a reminder to adults to try to understand a child's perceptions and remember our own childish selves. The world of the imagination, the power of belief, the pain of being misunderstood, the facing of fear and the courage to act are all explored. The story is dark, the wolves are scary, but they are ultimately vanquished and shown to be just as fragile as the people. McKean's illustrations are a dark and stirring blend of photography, computer imagery and drawing, and create a claustrophobic and compelling atmosphere. The book has also inspired a musical and a virtual reality film.
Paula Norris is a Library Assistant in the Readers' Services Department of the Library. She works on the service desks and also has responsibility for the Multimedia Area, with a particular interest in the film collection and microform materials.
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