That’s not scary

CoverI’m a Children’s Librarian and I read a lot of Children’s books, but I’m also an adult. An adult who isn’t actually that surprised if it turns out at the end of the book that the creepy boy that no-one else ever sees is actually a ghost <gasp>! I don’t shriek in horror at the thought of a slightly sad ghost horse hanging around a pony club or recoil in dread if a ghost only has one arm (but no bloody stump). BUT there have been a couple of ghost stories for kids that have genuinely freaked me out –

 A woman stood in the kitchen with her back to Coraline. She looked a little like Coraline’s mother only…Only her skin was as white as paper. Only she was taller and thinner. Only her fingers were too long, and they never stopped moving, and her dark-red fingernails were curved and sharp. “Coraline?” the woman said. “Is that you?” And then she turned round. Her eyes were big black buttons.

Buttons! I dare you not to feel a bit of a chill at the thought of your Mum being replaced by a stand-in with buttons for eyes.  That was from Coraline by Neil Gaiman. If you’ve only seen the movie or played the (awful) game, you should definitely check out the book, but this post isn’t about Coraline, it’s about a series of books by Chris Priestley called Tales of Terror… .

It started out with Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror, then Tales of Terror From The Black Ship and I’ve just finished  Tales of Terror From The Tunnel’s Mouth.

“Don’t worry,” gurgled Peter. “I’m here, brother. I’ll always be here.” His mouth widened into a dimpled grin and mud oozed horribly between his teeth and down over his chin. He opened his mouth further and the mud flooded out, pouring down his chest in an unending glutinous stream.”

What books got your hiding under the covers when you were a kid, and still might as an adult?

Tell us your favourite movie and win win win – Coraline movie passes


The movie Coraline based on the children’s book by Neil Gaiman is released on the 6th of August in NZ. Bronnypop posted about this earlier in the year.

It’s the first stop-animation movie to be shot in 3D. In the film, Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning) walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life – only much better. But then this wondrously off-kilter, fantastical adventure turns dangerous … Get a taster by viewing the trailer.

If  you live in Christchurch, you can win a double pass courtesy of Paramount Pictures – flick us an email with your name, address and phone number to and tell us about your favourite movie, and why you like it …  We’ll pick 5 lucky winners to go to the preview screening on Wednesday August 5. (P.S. This competition is now closed – but feel free to comment on your favourite movie!)

I’ll kick off . My all time favourite movie is Excalibur. Directed by John Boorman, this unholy gorgeous mashup blends the medieval and the soft focus glitzy 1980s. Stars – Gabriel Byrne. Liam Neeson. Helen Mirren. And Nicol Williamson as Merlin doesn’t just eat up the scenery, he eats it and builds it again and eats it. All the Arthurian characters are here – Arthur. Mordred. Percival. Lancelot. Guinevere (Cherie Lunghi plays her a bit simpery but you can’t have it all). Gorgeous gold armour, battles, riding horses, magic. Copious use of O Fortuna (probably the best soundtrack music ever) …ahhh….

*Scarlett has given us her fave:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It is closer to the book than most of the movies in the series, and the sets are great, especially Sirius’ house. I like Kretcher…he’s funny

Zac:  “My favourite movies all seem to be kids/family movies (I’m just a big kid at heart). My favourite though is Princess Bride. It’s got everything that a good movie should have; humour, sword fights, villians and a happy ending.”

Isabelle: “The Lion King because it was one of the first movies I ever saw that left an impression.”

Rachel: “My favourite movie of all time would have to be Sleepy Hollow. Other movies come and go, but I think that Tim Burton is a fantastic director, and having Johnny Depp in the lead role just makes it better. I normally hate horror movies, and hide under the sofa most of the movie, but something about this film, the music, the scenery, the amazing acting or the twisted plot always holds me spellbound. Coraline looks like it has a similarly engaging storyline, I can’t wait for it to come out!”

Ariana: My favourite movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas. My favourite character is Jack the skeleton and his loyal companion the ghost dog.  I like the movie because it’s got loads of catchy songs and  really sweet story. Though a bit spooky all the while. The story shifts from Jack  to the rag doll, who admires Jack just for being himself.  It’s a bit sad for Jack when he tries to create the perfect Christmas and no-one appreciates his work. I also love The Corpse Bride but it’s not quite as good.

Everybody loves Neil

I’m bursting with excitement at the upcoming release of the movie version of one of my most favouritest books ever.  I’d like to say that it’s a philosophical tome of great worthiness, but that would be a lie (and possibly make quite a boring movie …).  Instead I will confess that it’s a children’s book, Coraline, written by one of my most favouritest authors ever – Neil Gaiman.

It’s not as bad as it sounds, though, because my Mr Gaiman is one of those writers.  Continue reading