Valerie's Reviews > The Wolves in the Walls

The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman
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Oct 15, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy-science-fiction

A Summary/A Thoughtful Review:
This dark and suspenseful picture book, more appropriate for an older audience of upper elementary to middle school-aged readers, will appeal to those looking for an eerier side of fantasy. Neil Gaimen writes a thrilling story about a anixous, yet curious girl, Lucy, who believes there are wolves living in the walls of her house. As her father, mother, and brother continue to deny the reality of this situation, Lucy, on the other hand, continues to hear "sneaking, creeping, crumpling noises...howling and yowling, a bumping and a thumping..." from inside the walls of her house, but confides and finds comfort in her stuffed animal, pig-puppet. Her fear builds up until one night, "the wolves came out of the walls." The family flees with fear out of the house, to their garden at the bottom of the hill as the wolves take over their house. As the family thinks of other locations to live (places without any walls), Lucy faces her greatest fear by returning to the house to rescue pig-puppet. In the end, there is a creative turn of events which causes the wolves to flee, instead.
Although the idea of "wolves in the walls" is quite fanciful, the central idea behind this text: fear, and the act of facing that fear, is a solid one, one to which readers can grasp on to. Gaimen's combination of two and three-dimensional illustrations, mixed with a collage of real-world items, also creates an image of reality within this fantasy world. This definitely was a pleasant surprise!
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by James (new)

James Govednik This book sounds creepy--and fun! It sounds like it would prompt thoughts about how we deal with fear, especially irrational fears, like large ferocious canines taking up residence in the walls. Would this book work as a centerpiece for a discussion on that topic? Your description of the illustrations also makes me want to add this to my "to-read" list.


message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura Noto I like the concept of the main character being afraid of wolves in the walls. It is a new idea and it isn’t something that younger readers/ listeners would transfer into their own fears. Sometimes my students take books literally. Just based on the cover the illustrations look a little creepy… but I am interested to find out what the turn of events will be. I am excited to hear about this book tomorrow in class!


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