Last year HarperCollins published a box with three of Neil Gaiman’s books. These books are: The Graveyard Book; Fortunately, the Milk; and Coraline. While I already owned The Graveyard Book I purchased the box anyway. For one it was rather cheap. But also all the books had illustrations by Chris Riddell. Ever since The Sleeper and the Spindle I have such a love for his illustrations. The illustrations in these books were again gorgeous. They were placed in great places, often just before a chapter start. Below you will find my short reviews on each of the books in a slighly different set up than the normal reviews as to not make this post too long.
Title: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts.
This book has so many elements that I loved. The characters, their relationships, the paranormal mixed with the creatures and the hint at a different world. I was a bit iffy the first few pages (I mean a name like Nobody) but then I was sucked in and I became emotionally invested in Nobody and Silas. I would have liked to have gotten to know more about Silas.
For me, I enjoyed the set-up with chapter stories about Bod growing up with some things that were important for the overarching plot.
Title: Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
You know what it’s like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad’s in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he’s got to do. And the most important thing is DON’T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back.
Fortunately the Milk is a lovely children’s story where one can wonder whether or not the father has really experienced these things or if it was a made up story. It was full of interesting ideas and certainly interesting characters for children. The father tells the story very vibrantly. I would love to read this my child someday.
Title: Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Rating: 3,5 out of 5 stars
There is something strange about Coraline’s new home. It’s not the mist, or the cat that always seems to be watching her, nor the signs of danger that Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, her new neighbours, read in the tea leaves. It’s the other house – the one behind the old door in the drawing room. Another mother and father with black-button eyes and papery skin are waiting for Coraline to join them there. And they want her to stay with them. For ever. She knows that if she ventures through that door, she may never come back.
While I enjoyed reading this story, overal it couldn’t quite capture me. Parts of it were cute, other parts were rather creepy. Coraline herself just couldn’t quite capture me throughout this story. I guess I wanted more from her personality next to what we got. Maybe a tad more depth. I am curious about the movie now though. And I have to say, I did really like the cat.