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The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman

The Wolves in the Walls (2003)

by Neil Gaiman

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Lucy warns her parents and little brother that there are wolves in the walls of their house, but they each insist that the noise she is hearing is made by mice, rats, or bats. Then the wolves come out of the walls, and it is all over. Or is it? Fortunately, Lucy has to return to get her beloved pig-puppet and, at her prompting, her family also return. Now they are living in the walls...

One of a number of children's book collaborations between author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Dave McKean - other titles include Coraline, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish and Crazy Hair - The Wolves in the Walls features an engrossing and somewhat creepy story, and mixed media artwork that perfectly captures the atmospheric thrills of Gaiman's text. I really enjoyed this one, and (as always) appreciated Gaiman's understated sense of humor. The text here is quite extensive for a picture-book, making this more of an illustrated short story, so I'd recommend this one more to middle-grade readers, than to the younger children who usually consume picture-books. Needless to say, I'd also recommend it to Gaiman and McKean fans. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Feb 2, 2018 |
This graphic novel by Neil Gaiman is called The Wolves in the Walls. The illustrations are by Dave McKean, just like in Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, and they seem to be computer-generated, like the movie Coraline. The artwork definitely has a spooky feel that goes with the suspenseful plot. This is the story of a family of four who lives in a big, old house that has wolves living in the walls. Needless to say the wolves come out of the walls and proceed to live largely at the expense of the family. The young daughter of the family decides that while the wolves are dangerous and intimidating, the house is not theirs. She endeavors to take it back.

Like Coraline or The Graveyard Book, or a Tim Burton movie, this story has a darkish hue to it, so older elementary students (Grade 4) might be the best audience. The drawings are kind of creepy and twisted. Older kids might really like that! I like that it is the girl protagonist who saves the day while her parents and brother are too scared to. That bit of the story would be a good balance to all of those stories of a male hero. ( )
  AlbertPascal | Jan 16, 2018 |
Dave McKean's illustrations are creepy as ever in this graphic novel! The atmosphere of this novel is very Neil-Gaiman-esque (most similar to his young adult story Coraline). I enjoyed this but think that it is very nightmare-inducing.
  Andrea_LaLonde | Aug 10, 2016 |
The Wolves in the Walls Written by Neil Gagman Illustrated by Dave McKean
This thrilling book tells of Lucy and her family and their adventures with wolves in the walls. At first everyone discredits Lucy. The only thing that believes her is her pig puppet. However, one night the wolves come out of the walls. The wolves spend several days in the house until Lucy devises a plan. The family lives in the walls. Then one night they get the wolves out of their house for good. Several nights later Lucy hears noises in the wall that she thinks are elephants. The ending has her pig speaking and saying her family will believe her.

This book uses alliteration to describe the sounds the wolves make. The book gives hints of foreshadowing without giving any details away. The book is eerie and suspenseful, keeping readers on the edge of their seat. This book uses repetition for emphasis. The book’s illustrations complement the narration. The ending is a cliffhanger. This book would be good for teaching children to tell the truth. This book uses anthromorphism in wolves behaving like humans in the house. This book is a great one for older children around Halloween.

1. I would have children do a book summary with characters, problems, setting, and solution.
2. I would have children guess what each character’s response will be to Lucy.
3. I would have children write in a journal about what they would do if they were Lucy.
4. I would have children say what they think happens after the ending.
5. I would have children devise a plan to make wolves leave the house.
6. I would have children sequence events of the story. ( )
  RebekahBowers | Jul 16, 2016 |
'The Wolves in the Walls' is illustrated by Dave McKean and written by Neil Gaiman. In this story, Gaiman is showing how Lucy should not always be afraid of monsters. Using wolves hiding in the walls of Lucy and her family's house Gaiman is introducing the concept of fear. Sometimes what we are afraid of may also be just as afraid of us. ( )
  Jtreed | Mar 22, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neil Gaimanprimary authorall editionscalculated
McKean, DaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Lucy walked around the house.
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AR 3.9, Pts 0.5
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380810956, Paperback)

Truth be told, Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's picture book The Wolves in the Walls is terrifying. Sure, the story is fairytale-like and presented in a jaunty, casually nonsensical way, but it is absolutely the stuff of nightmares. Lucy hears wolves hustling, bustling, crinkling, and crackling in the walls of the old house where her family lives, but no one believes her. Her mother says it's mice, her brother says bats, and her father says what everyone seems to say, "If the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over." Lucy remains convinced, as is her beloved pig-puppet, and her worst fears are confirmed when the wolves actually do come out of the walls.

Up to this point, McKean's illustrations are spectacular, sinister collages awash in golden sepia tones evocative of the creepy beauty in The City of Lost Children. The wolves explode into the story in scratchy pen-and-ink, all jaws and eyes. The family flees to the cold, moonlit garden, where they ponder their future. (Her brother suggests, for example, that they escape to outer space where there's "nothing but foozles and squossucks for billions of miles.") Lucy wants to live in her own house...and she wants the pig-puppet she left behind.

Eventually she talks her family into moving back into the once-wolfish walls, where they peek out at the wolves who are watching their television and spilling popcorn on slices of toast and jam, dashing up the stairs, and wearing their clothes. When the family can't stand it anymore, they burst forth from the walls, scaring the wolves, who shout, "And when the people come out of the walls, it's all over!" The wolves flee and everything goes back to normal...until the tidy ending when Lucy hears "a noise that sounded exactly like an elephant trying not to sneeze." Adult fans of this talented pair will revel in the quirky story and its darkly gorgeous, deliciously shadowy trappings, but the young or faint of heart, beware! (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:34 -0400)

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Lucy is sure there are wolves living in the walls of her house, although others in her family disagree, and when the wolves come out, the adventure begins.

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