Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fortunately, the Milk

Fortunately, the MilkFortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like Gaiman's other recent release of Hansel and Gretel, this book is aimed at younger readers. It's not quite for the youngest, such as Chu's Day, but it's definitely for the younger set. It's an absolutely delightful adventure tale, with wondrously whimsical illustrations by Skottie Young. This is Gaiman at his most playful - he is definitely channeling his inner child!

The set up for the story is a mother going on a trip, leaving the dad to care for the two children (a boy and a girl). She reminds him that they need milk, but he forgets until it's time for breakfast cereal, and they have no milk. So the father runs down to the corner grocery store to get it. When he comes back, he tells the children of his many adventures while returning with the milk. These adventures involve pirates, a hot-air balloon piloting T-Rex, time travel, and aliens. The illustrations by Young are spot-on, and are well-integrated into the story, with the words flowing around them. I also especially liked the interjections by the kids, who seem disinclined to believe their dad.

Oh, the title comes from the story - during the retelling, after something horrendous has happened to the dad, he'll say something like, "There I was dangling from the balloon with one hand. Fortunately, the milk was in my pocket," or something similar. I can see kids really enjoying this little bit of repetition - Gaiman mixes the phraseology to keep it interesting.

I think I would have LOVED this book as a child! It's so inventive and fun. Even as an adult, I really enjoyed the tale. Gaiman never ceases to amaze me, with his inventiveness. A fun read for children of all ages, as they say.

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