Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

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 comment

  1. The Wizard of Earthsea series by Ursula Leguin remains one of my favourites.