Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

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“It’s Coraline, Not Caroline. Coraline,” said Coraline.

Coraline, as it is described by the author during its introduction, tells the story of a little girl called Coraline, not Caroline.Caroline… sorry, Coraline is a kid that is bored. Her parents are always busy, rarely paying any attention to their daughter. Even her breakfasts are bland. One day, Coraline wanted to explore but a dull and rainy day traps our little hero in her house. She must entertain herself, and her parents, as I have mentioned, are too busy, and one might believe they don’t even care.

She finds a little door in the drawing room and a key that fits in. That takes her into the otherworld where it looks like her house. However, Coraline does not find her parents there; she finds her other-parents, and guess what; her other-father and her other-mother are perfect! Both other-parents are very attentive with Coraline and the breakfast they cooked for her is so delicious.

“You will always be safe here with me.”

We’ve learned from movies, games, literature, and other media that whenever something seemed perfect, it means something is not right. Coraline is not the exception. Her other-parents have buttons instead of eyes, and this is not even the beginning; I mention it, but apparently our protagonist didn’t mind much. Though as the story progresses, we see the world is weirder than we’ve initially thought.

I want to tell you how much the other-neighbors are weird, too, but it would be too redundant. Is not like the real neighbors weren’t weird in the first place. They are not very relevant to the story, it is just part of the “scenery”, to call it a way. They do have a purpose, though, and is to tell you that everything has changed, not only in Coraline’s flat.

Coraline is very short, and it is a good book to read at any age. There are very creepy moments accompanied with some creepy illustrations (at least in the edition I have read.) It is the adventure of a little girl that wants to explore out of boredom, and ends up doing her best to be brave to get out of that world and its situation. Highly recommended if you are looking to read a child’s book that does not look for children!

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

“Mum’s away. Dad’s in charge. There’s no milk.”

Unfortunately, the Milk, is the adventure of a dad (I call him the Not-Gaiman) that went to buy milk for his children’s breakfast cereal, and his tea. It takes a lot of time to return home, so when he finally arrived, the kids start asking what happened; this is where Not-Gaiman starts telling them a fantastic story, which begins with an abduction.

The odd thing was the beam of light that came out of the disc—a glittery, shimmery beam of light that was visible even in the daylight. And the next thing I knew, I was being sucked up into the disc.

The little story is a wonderful read. A perfect book for your kids (including the one that still lives within you). Or perhaps this could be a guide to these parents looking for an excuse whenever they go to “buy cigarettes” (see what I did there—no? My jokes are genuinely bad, my apologies) and tell a fantastic story, put a smile on their faces. 

Unfortunately, the Milk, put a lot of memories in my head. I am guessing this could be the adult-with-a-heart-of-a-child version of the small adventures we’d had in our heads using any object; that little box that turned into a spaceship, or the stick that in our eyes was the most powerful sword in a kingdom that existed in our innocent minds. 

Looking for a short tale takes you to a journey with aliens, space dinosaurs, pirates, tribes, time travel, and vamp… sorry, WUMPIRES? Fortunately, the milk got you covered.