When I was in Kindergarten I was absolutely convinced werewolves lived in my bathroom. Whenever the light was turned out and the door was left open, they would lurk inside, watching me from the blanket of darkness. I had special measures to deal with this predicament, especially when I had to reach into the blackness to flip on the light switch.
Reading The Wolves in the Walls with my kids brings the essence of my childhood experience back to life. As you probably can imagine, having wolves coming out of the walls in your house is petrifying. Neil Gaiman does a good job of relieving some of that tension with some honest humor kids will love, while Dave McKean’s illustrations are whimsical while still communicating a certain level of horror.
Ultimately, The Wolves in the Walls is a story about acknowledging and facing one’s fears. It’s a great message that’s hidden behind the scary tropes, which is what good horror is all about. Because when the wolves come out of the walls, all hope is not lost. Instead, you find the courage to face the situation and persist in driving clear through a resolution.
While The Wolves in the Walls might be too scary for younger children, it’s entertaining enough to consider. I’d recommend reading through it without your children first, just to be safe. You might also want to not make it something to be read right before bedtime. Instead, read it aloud in the middle of the day, on a really bright, sunny day.