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Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman
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Wolves in the Walls (2003)

by Neil Gaiman

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English (60)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (61)
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The Wolves in the Walls Written by Neil Gagman Illustrated by Dave McKean
Summary
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.

Reaction
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.

Extension
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 |
Summary: The book was a contemporary fiction, and the setting seems to be in present time, possibly the United States. Lucy is a young girl who is sure she hears wolves in the walls of her home. She tells her mother and her mother assumes they are just mice, her father thinks they are rats, and her brother tells her they are bats. All of her family tell her that if the wolves come out of the walls, it is all over, but Lucy doesn't know what that means. The wolves do come out of the walls and take over the house, causing Lucy’s family to flee from their home and live in the garden. Lucy returns to her home through the walls to retrieve her beloved pig-puppet, and tells her family they can live in the walls of their home. After living briefly in the walls of their home, Lucy’s family comes out of the walls scaring off the wolves. In the end the house is cleaned and back to normal, but Lucy hears a different type of animal in the walls...

Personal Reaction: This has been one of my favorite picture books. The illustrations and art work on each page are incredible. Dave McKean incorporates real photography and real images in the artwork, of what it looks like water color painting to create these vivid images of the writer's words, making everything come to life through the pictures. Neil Gaiman has a way with words and the boxed phrasing on each page makes every section gripping. I felt for poor Lucy when no one believed her except her adorable pig-puppet. This was a wonderfully written and beautifully designed contemporary picture book, but it was a bit scary for very small children. The fonts used were wonderful and the different sizing of the words truly emphasized the different words.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1) At the very end of the book, Lucy hears Elephants in the walls, have students write the extension to the book, as if it didn't end, have them write what the elephants do and draw their pictures using photography images and water colors. This will help with creative thinking as well as critical for the students must decide on how the story should end, or what other animals after the elephants will Lucy hear, or maybe how will the family get rid of the elephants, or will the family move to an island like her father had mentioned
2) This would be a great introduction book for a computer class, or using different fonts. For example, after reading this book take the students to the computer lab and introduce them to the different fonts and sizing within word or other writing programs. Have a discussion as to what words in the book were sized differently and why. Have students create a small paragraph of an event in their life, and ask them to make the words different sizes and different fonts to emphasize and highlight certain things. ( )
  Genevieve.Foerster | Mar 21, 2016 |
A creepy children's story. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
The Wolves In the Walls tells the story of young Lucy. She keeps hearing scritches, scratches and other noises in the walls. She in convinced that there are wolves behind them but her family keeps fluffing off her fears, but not without throwing out an ominous warning, "If the wolves come out of the walls, then it's all over." You must read on to find out what happens to Lucy, her pig puppet, and their family when Lucy's fears come true.

This may be our favorite new picture book. My son picked it randomly off the shelf at the library and while I usually put his random selections back, seeing Neil Gaiman's name on the cover made me rethink that plan. I was not at all disappointed. We've already read it a number of times since bringing it home and it is definitely on our "need to own" list. It is a modern day horror story for the preschool and kindergarten set that you won't regret you brought home.

In addition to the great storytelling, Dave McKean's artwork is also phenomenal. The whole book is in dark, sepia tones and manages to seamlessly combine two-dimensional and three-dimensional aspects. Many of the characters look just as you would expect to seem them in such films as Coraline, The Corpse Bride, or the Nightmare Before Christmas. I'm a sucker for the incredible artwork found in modern day children's books and this one definitely takes the cake. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neil Gaimanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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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