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Book Review

Book Cover

Coraline: A Visual Companion (Hardback)


Author: Stephen Jones
Titan Books
RRP: £24.99, US $34.99
ISBN: 978 1 8485 6278 3
Available 25 January 2009

Coraline Jones has just moved into a big old Victorian house with her inattentive parents, and like any eleven-year-old with an active imagination, she soon begins exploring her new home. One day, Coraline discovers a tiny door that leads to another house. Waiting for her there are her Other Mother and Other Father, who have big black buttons for eye. At first this other world is marvelous and magical, but Coraline gradually comes to realise that her new parents want her to become their little girl and stay with them forever...

Coraline is a stop-motion fantasy film animated and co-directed by Henry Selick, based on Neil Gaiman's Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novella. Shortly after moving into her new home a young girl named Coraline is drawn to a mysterious locked door. Behind the door and down a gloomy corridor she finds a strange duplicate world, with an eerie duplicate flat and a duplicate but off-kilter Other Mother and Other Father, with black button eyes, who won't let her return to the real world.

The last batch of companion books released through Titan Books (The Spirit: The Movie Visual Companion, Watching the Watchmen and Kung Fu Panda: The Art of Kung Fu Panda) are quickly establishing Titan as one of the best publishers when it comes to lovingly constructed coffee table edition books.

Coraline: A Visual Companion builds well on Titan's reputation. This is a stunning full-colour guide to the making of the movie, featuring hoards of rare and exclusive photos and illustrations, and interviews with the cast and crew, this book takes the reader on an in-depth tour of the film.

We start with a look at the original book that the movie was based on, move onto the movie itself, then take an in-depth look at the characters and actors that provide the voices, and finally we get a brief look at the various other productions (including an Irish puppet play and the Swedish stage play).

This is a book that is easy to dip in and out of, or can be read from cover to cover without any information feeling like it's been included to simply fill out the pages. For fans of the movie this is an essential purchase.


Nick Smithson

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