Synopses & Reviews
There are sneaking,
noises coming from
inside the walls.
Lucy is sure there are wolves living in the walls of their house -- and, as everybody says, if the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over. Her family doesn't believe her. Then one day, the wolves come out.But it's not all over. Instead, Lucy's battle with the wolves is only just beginning.
"Gaiman's text rings with energetic confidence and an inviting tone....McKean expertly matches the tale's funny-scary mood." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Gaiman has one creepy imagination, and his goosebump-inducing tale is given full visual throttle by McKean's illustrations. Hand this to a jaded third or fourth-grader and watch their eyes get big the better to see you with, my dear." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Gaiman and McKean deftly pair text and illustrations to convey a strange, vivid story....Children will delight in the 'scary, creepy tone' and in the brave behavior displayed by the intrepid young heroine." School Library Journal
"The trend toward quirky, edgy picture books takes a turn toward the ultra-quirky and ultra-edgy....How best to describe the book? Quirky and edgy edgy and quirky. And very, very strange." Claudia Mills, Children's Literature
"The slyly deadpan text, rich in language and wordplay, never doubts Lucy's capacity to manage the chaos, but McKean's illustrations...[are] not for the faint of heart." Kirkus Reviews
"The prose is deliciously entertaining, creeping and crumpling along with the imagery....In the vibrant world of children's fiction, Neil Gaiman has clearly shown that there is still room for experimentation and different ways of telling a story." Iain Emsley, January Magazine
"[A] charmingly surreal trifle full of dream-logic twists and rhymes begging to be read aloud....There's nothing scary enough in The Wolves in the Walls to prevent it from becoming a much-requested bedtime read." Rachel Manija Brown, Green Man Review
“Gaiman, with regular collaborator Dave McKean, suffuses this sumptuous story with a night-light-worthy creepiness.” Family Fun Magazine
“Madly inventive, madly funny. Some will find it creepy; for the rest it will offer the sustaining jam of life.” The Guardian (UK)
“This is a picture book for the twenty-first century child: visually and emotionally sophisticated, accessible, and inspired.” ALA Booklist
“Spectacular…atmospheric, sinister, scary, and funny…This is a book for cool kids who will grow up to be fearless.” Sunday Times (London)
“The illustrations are amazing. And, like every good scary story, theres an unexpected twist at the end.” Washington Post
“Children will delight in the “scary, creepy” tone and in the brave behavior displayed by the intrepid young heroine.” School Library Journal
“Gaiman has one creepy imagination. Hand this to a jaded third or fourth-grader and watch their eyes get big.” Bulletin of the Center for Children & #8217;s Books
Lucy is sure there are wolves living in her walls and everyone says if the wolves make their way out it is all over for her and her family. A wonderfully strange adventure from the New York Times-bestselling author of Coraline.
An illustrated novel in which Lucy senses there are wolves living in the walls of her house. From Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, the writer and artist of the New York Times bestseller Coraline.
About the Author
A professional writer for more than twenty years, Neil Gaiman has been one of the top writers in modern comics, and is now a bestselling novelist.His work has appeared in translation in more than nineteen countries, and nearly all of his novels, graphic and otherwise, have been optioned for films.He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers.
Gaiman was the creator/writer of the monthly cult DC Comics series, "Sandman," which won Neil nine Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, including the award for best writer four times, and three Harvey Awards."Sandman #19" took the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story, making it the first comic ever to be awarded a literary award.
His six-part fantastical TV series for the BBC, "Neverwhere," was broadcast in 1996.His novel, also called "Neverwhere," and set in the same strange underground world as the television series, was released in 1997; it appeared on a number of bestseller lists, including those of the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Locus.
Stardust, an illustrated prose novel in four parts, began to appear from DC Comics in 1997.In 1999 Avon released the all-prose unillustrated version, which appeared on a number of bestseller lists, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of the year, and was awarded the prestigious Mythopoeic Award as best novel for adults.
American Gods, a novel for adults, was published in 2001 and appeared on many best-of- the-year lists, was a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, and won the Hugo, Nebula, SFX, Bram Stoker, and Locus Awards.
Coraline (2002), his first novel for children, was a New York Times and international bestseller, was nominated forthe Prix Tam Tam, and won the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award, the BSFA Award, the HUgo, the Nebula and the Bram Stoker Award.
2003 saw the publication ofbestseller The Wolves in the Walls, a children's picture book,illustrated by Gaiman's longtime collaborator Dave McKean, which the New York Times named as one of the best illustrated books of the year; and the first Sandman graphic novel in seven years, Endless Nights, the first graphic novel to make the New York Times bestseller list.
In 2004, Gaiman published the a new graphic novel for Marvel called 1602, which was the best-selling comic of 2004, and 2005 saw the Sundance Film Festival premiere of "MirrorMask," a Jim Henson Company Production written by Gaiman and directed by McKean.A lavishly designed book containing the complete script, black and white storyboards, and full-color art from the film will be published by William Morrow in early 2005; a picture book for younger readers, also written by Gaiman and illustrated with art from the movie, will be published by HarperCollins Children's Books at a later date.
Gaiman's official website has 400,000 unique visitors per month in 2004; close to 600,000 per month are expected in 2005. His online journal is syndicated to thousands of blog readers every day.
Born and raised in England, Neil Gaiman now lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he is currently at work on Anansi Boys, the long-awaited follow-up to American Gods.
The Wolves in the Walls have brave heroines. Are Coraline or Lucy inspired by anyone you know?
Coraline was a little bit my daughter Holly when she was young, and Lucy is a little bit my daughter Maddy, when she was younger, but both of them are utterly their own selves. Maddy dreamed that there were wolves in the walls when she was little, and that they came out, which was where I got the idea for the story...
I think both Coraline and The Wolves in The Walls are about bravery, in very different ways: about fighting back and dealing with the things that scare you.
How did you and Dave McKean create a book together? Do you write and then he illustrates, or do you get together and make it all happen?
Mostly I start the book, with the idea and the words, and then Dave takes the words and does magic to them. He's my toughest critic, so if he likes something I know it will work.
I like it when he goes off and does the pictures, because they are always a surprise to me.
What would you personally find the most frightening thing to discover in the walls of your house?
A hard question. First I thought wolves, then I thought spiders or snakes big ones and then I thought monsters. But on reflection, I think the answer is probably lawyers.
Did you ever have a friend like pig-puppet?
I didn't, but Liam McKean, Dave's son, certainly did. In fact, when he was about two, I got an urgent phone call from his mother asking me to go and buy another pig-puppet just like the first one (which was bought near my house, although Dave and Clare live thousands of miles from me) because Liam would not let go of the pig puppet long enough for Clare to wash it.
So I sent the substitute pig-puppet, and Liam reluctantly let the first pig-puppet be washed.
Liam has a life-sized plastic pig in his bedroom, too, big enough to ride.
And finally, what advice would you give to anyone who heard sneaking, creeping, crumpling noises coming from the walls inside their house?
Hmm. Sounds like wolves to me. And if the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over...