I heard a review of this story on the radio once where someone said that it taught children that it is ok to be afraid. And it’s true: it is the literary equivalent of John Wayne’s famous saying: Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.
I love the animated film but it’s only recently that I have got around to reading the novel. Having seen the film first, I thought the book was a pared-down version but actually, of course, it is the other way round; the film adds padding to the novel.
Coraline Jones is a lovely little heroine. Her adventure is littered with British cultural references which are missing in the film such as the painting in the drawing room which is clearly ‘Bubbles’ by Millais.
Coraline has a curious nature which, combined with her parents’ indifference, leads her to investigate the world beyond the bricked-up door. When threatened by evil she has to fight to save the world she knows.