Fortunately, the Milk

Fortunately, the Milk

4.6 29
by Neil Gaiman, Skottie Young

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"I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: t h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road."

"Hullo," I said to myself. "That's not something you see every day. And then something odd happened."

Find out just how odd things get in this

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"I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: t h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road."

"Hullo," I said to myself. "That's not something you see every day. And then something odd happened."

Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious New York Times bestselling story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a letter to readers, Gaiman explains that his rationale for writing this story, about a father who has taken an excessively long time to return from the corner store with milk for his children’s breakfast, stems from his reconsideration of the father in The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. That dad, he realized, is “not really a positive portrayal of fatherhood”—he is a lump. To compensate, “I would write a book in which a father did all of the sorts of exciting things that fathers actually do.” He may have to try again: the father in this story is abducted by aliens, made to walk the plank by pirates, and rescued by a stegosaurus in a balloon, among other outrageous escapades. It reads like an extemporaneous riff by a clever father asked a question he doesn’t want to answer, and it makes an excellent gift for those heroic fathers who consider reading aloud to their children one of parenthood’s greatest joys. Young’s wiry, exuberant b&w caricatures (not all seen by PW) are incorporated throughout. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers used to say, "If you read only one book this year, make it this one." Gaiman has tried to write the only book anyone will need, ever, packing into it every adventure story written in the past 300 years. The book seems to include every plot on There's a time machine. There are "wumpires" and pirates. The story is simple: A father goes to the store to buy milk. The only trouble is, he's kidnapped by aliens, and by the end of the book, he's being threatened by dancing dwarfs. Sometimes the book feels like a personal bet between the writer and the illustrator: "But can you draw this?" Young is always up to the challenge, no matter what gets thrown at him. He makes pirates look both dangerous and adorable. But once in a while, readers may wish that the author would stop throwing things. The best scene in the book is brief and quiet. The father asks a time-traveling stegosaurus where all the dinosaurs went. "The stars," professor Steg says. "That is where we will have gone." Frenetic as the story is, it's hard not to love a novel that borrows equally from Calvin and Hobbes and The Usual Suspects. If you read only one book this year, a story with dancing dwarfs is always a wise choice. (Adventure. 8-12)

It all begins with a short walk to the corner store to fetch a container of milk; but for the father narrator of Neil Gaiman's Fortunately, the Milk, there are no easy errands. On his way to pick up breakfast drinks, he gets abducted by aliens, but even that adventure is not the end of his travails. One early reviewer suggested that this picture book almost seems like Gaiman's challenge to outflank the resourcefulness of Skottie Young, his artist collaborator, but fortunately for us and the milk, he never does. An entertaining read; bound to be reread and reread.

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
This would also make a wonderful readaloud, but don’t be surprised if the kids insist that it be read in one sitting—and maybe with a side of cookies and milk.
Wall Street Journal
“[A] delightful tale.”
“If your kids still allow you to read aloud to them, this book is for you.”
“[A]n astounding tale…an absolute delight to read out loud….one part Douglas Adams, one part Doctor Who, and one part The Usual Suspects.”
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
There is no milk for breakfast. The only liquid for the young narrator and his sister to pour on any of the many cereals they have is orange juice, and they are not keen to go that route. Fortunately, their dad does not want to go without milk in his tea, and they are relieved when he offers to run to the corner store for milk. A long time passes, but he eventually returns—with the milk and quite an explanation of just how perilous was his neighborhood errand, including aliens beset on taking over and redecorating the world, a time-traveling stegosaurus with a hot air balloon, a ship of pirates unfamiliar with walking the plank, a volcanic island with a large emerald, a coven of menacing "wumpires," and more. Join "Dad" on a fantastic voyage through time, space, and imagination in this latest offering from Newbery Award winning author Neil Gaiman and Eisner Award winning illustrator Skottie Young. Sure to be a hit—and an inspiration—for all ages. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—A tale of the bravery and selflessness exhibited by a father taking care of his children while his wife is away. Despite Mom's advance warning, the family finds itself ready for breakfast but without milk for cereal and tea, so Dad takes a trip to the store to get some. Upon his long-awaited return, he gives the children a fantastical and descriptive explanation of the adventures he faced while trying to make it back home. Not only did he embark on a time-traveling hot-air balloon ride with a stegosaurus, but he also confronted pirates, aliens, wumpires, and a volcano god, never losing possession of the milk. Gaiman knocks it out of the park again with this imaginative story. His outrageous plot is perfectly paced to keep advanced and reluctant readers enthralled, and his use of onomatopoeia and humorous descriptions will make the book hard to put down. Reminiscent of Roald Dahl's titles, it will sweep children away into an unimagined world and make them wonder if their own parents have ever had any secret adventures. Young's frequent black-and-white cartoons add to the wackiness of this tall tale.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.40(d)
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years


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Fortunately, the Milk 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman is a hilarious book about what happens when Mom isn’t home and Dad is left in charge. When the family finds themselves with no milk for breakfast, Dad goes to the store to pick some up. When he finally returns home, he tells a tall tale about aliens, space-time travel, pirates, and other crazy things! This book has an interesting take on dads and fatherhood, making the very ordinary seem amazing, and reminding us how fun it can be to use our imaginations. This book is also an excellent read for young children. The narrator is a young boy, who writes in short sentences that are very clear and easy to understand. It contains excellent descriptive language when discussing Dad’s excellent tale, and will make kids laugh out loud while reading. You can’t get much better than that! Overall, I would not hesitate to purchase this book, especially if you have a 3rd, 4th, or 4th grade boy wanting to get lost in a good book. It’s definitely worth the read! Submitted by Danielle Padgett
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hilarious! It's as if a group of kids did a round robin story, & Neil Gaiman put it all fantastically together!
jdbrowning More than 1 year ago
New Gaiman, always satisfies. Neil is a pioneer in the writing world and is always fresh and exciting. His work across the spectrum of literature is amazing. If you haven't read his prose, or his graphic novels you are missing the gamut of a genius just sitting there taking us to places that allow us to feel better. Start here but expand your vision and seek it all out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gaiman does it again!   Inventive, original, and written in a unique voice that could only come from Neil Gaiman, may he live forever.  Perfect.  Read this aloud to your kids and just see if they can keep from giggling. :-) 
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Fortunately, The Milk is the fourth book for young readers by British author, Neil Gaiman. Mum’s away, Dad’s in charge and there’s no milk for breakfast. Dad pops down to the corner shop to get some, but seems to take forever to get back. He explains to his sceptical son and daughter just what took him so long.  The back cover blurb of this book claims that no Green Globby Aliens, no Pirates, no Angry Volcano Gods demanding human sacrifice, no Intergalactic Police, and no Hot Air Balloon piloted by an accomplished Stegosaurus feature, but, while not wishing to include a spoiler, this is patently false. All these things, and many more, do appear in the pages of this book. Gaiman delights young (and maybe not-so-young) readers with a brilliantly inventive plot while Chris Riddell enhances the text with lots of marvellous illustrations. A fun read. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't realize at first that this was such a short book when I first saw and purchased it on my Nook. But after reading it, it was refreshingly random and hilarious in a similar style to the previous book I read by Gaiman, Good Omens. Meant for bedtime reading to little ones, but I enjoyed it anyway.
Books4Tomorrow More than 1 year ago
Who would’ve guessed a bottle of milk can lead to so much adventure?! Of course, that’s exactly what would happen if you leave dad in charge of the household and kids while mom’s away. Grumpy-looking aliens, eighteenth-century pirates, a stegosaurus with a temperamental time-machine, a jungle, a volcano, ponies, vampires, and three purple dwarfs...this charming tale of adventure is just filled with all the goodies that would set a child’s imagination alight!    The illustrations are on the dot, making this an even more fun read than the narrative alone. In many ways the images reminded me of Tim Burton’s movie interpretation of Coraline, but without the nightmarish bits. This is the second novella of Gaiman’s I’ve read, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he is a masterful storyteller with a wicked imagination. Fortunately, the Milk is the ideal bedtime read to send your little one off to dreamland with a smile!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the premise for the story was interesting, it went on far too long. Both myself and my grandson were looking for an end to the dad's dilemma. Unfortunately we grew tired of the complications encountered and never finished the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Neil Gaiman.This book is fun for everyone of all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book really funny
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I was a young boy I fell in love with Ray Bradbury, he was a marvelous combination of humor and lyricism and horror...when he died I wondered if I would ever find another writer to take his place. Neil Gaiman has done that, "fortunately the milk" is a truly delightful little children's book for adults. Everyone should read it, and buy a copy of it to give to their friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A hilariously unexpectedly told story that is impossible to dislike and it is all because of the milk. A must read for everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moving the clan to sonic my den will be res 1
book4children More than 1 year ago
I dare you to try and not like this book! Why haven't I read anything by this author before? He's brilliant. I have completely missed out on his other books and I feel rather idiotic for not recognizing his name when Fortunately, the Milk came out. I need to write Mr. Gaiman a letter declaring my undying love for his latest book. This is the kind of story that childhood is made of. It is an imaginative, nutty adventure of time travel and narrow escapes, all to save the milk. It is wacky and wonderful. I can't wait to read other books by this author. My love of the book is solidified in Skottie Young's amazing artwork. I can't get over his brilliance with a pen and ink. His characters have so much life to them! The pictures take the story to the next level. This is a must have for a child's library. Highly recommended for ages 7 and up.
Rissaleone More than 1 year ago
It is highly entertaining and fantastical! And I enjoyed the illustrations just as much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
"While picking up milk for his children's cereal, a father is abducted by aliens and finds himself on a wild adventure through time and space." Fortunately, the Milk is an imaginative children's story that made me smile. It involves, aliens, time travel, and even volcanos! It will definately stir the imagination of some lucky kids and adults alike!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 7 year old son and i loved reading this book together. It is hilarious and totally unique. I love Neil Gaiman, and he is just as talented at writting silly kids stuff as he is at creepy adult books and graphic novels. The humor is witty and unpredictable, and it feels like a story your dad might have made up to mess with you (if your dad is a brilliant writter). It definetly has reread value too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have read while i am farting smelly egg doo doo breezes. Our dog squirts like a duck out back. We poop yellow do do sometimes