Neil Gaiman's Coraline has won just about all the awards there are to win, and deservedly so. It's a creepy little book, full of just the right amount of suspense and spookiness to keep a young child up late at night. Gaiman's sparse writing style works well for this sort of tale, and the way he sets up Coraline's quest (the easy route vs. the correct one) is very nice.
It's hard to really like any of the characters here; even though it's impossible not to root for Coraline once she starts on her way (trying to escape from a bizarre alternate world), she's not exactly the most charismatic of heroines. I think I enjoyed the talking cat most of all; he's classic Gaiman.