Fortunately, the Milk

( 20 )

Overview

"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."

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Overview

"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."

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  • Neil Gaiman talks about Fortunately, the Milk
    Neil Gaiman talks about Fortunately, the Milk  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

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.

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 TVTropes.org. 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)
Wall Street Journal
“[A] delightful tale.”
Newsday
“If your kids still allow you to read aloud to them, this book is for you.”
boingboing.com
“[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.”
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.
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
10/01/2013
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

  • ISBN-13: 9780062224071
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/17/2013
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 33,111
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for readers of all ages, and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Shirley Jackson Award and the Locus Award for Best Novelette for his story "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains." Originally from England, he now lives in America.

Skottie Young is an award-winning cartoonist and writer who illustrates New York Times bestselling adaptations of L. Frank Baum's Oz novels for Marvel Entertainment. His unique art style and sensibilities have drawn acclaim worldwide, earning him multiple Eisner Awards. He has worked in comics, toys, and animation for Marvel, Warner Bros., Image Comics, Mattel, Cartoon Network, and many more. Skottie lives in Illinois.

Biography

Neil Gaiman thought he wrote comic books. But a newspaper editor, of course, set him straight.

Back when he was riding the diabolical headwinds of his popular series of graphic novels, The Sandman, the author attended a party where he introduced himself as a comic-book writer to a newspaper's literary editor. But when the editor quickly realized who this actually was -- and the glaze melted from his eyes -- he offered Gaiman a correction tinged with astonishment: "My God, man, you don't write comics, you write graphic novels." Relating the story to theLos Angeles Times in 1995, Gaiman said, "I suddenly felt like someone who had been informed that she wasn't a hooker, that in fact she was a lady of the evening."

Gaiman's done much more, of course, than simply write graphic novels, having coauthored, with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, a comic novel about the Apocalypse; adapted into hardcover the BBC miniseries Neverwhere about the dark underworld beneath the streets of London; and, inspired by his young daughter, put a horrifying spin on C.S. Lewis' wardrobe doors for Coraline, a children's book about a passageway into a magical, yet malevolent, land.

But it is The Sandman that is Gaiman's magnum opus.

Though he had told a career counselor in high school that he wanted to pen comic books, he had a career as a freelance journalist before his first graphic novel, Violent Cases, was published in England in 1987. DC Comics discovered him and The Sandman was born. Or reborn, actually. The comic debuted back in 1939 with a regular-Joe crime fighter in the lead. But in Gaiman's hands the tale had a more otherworldly spin, slowing introducing readers to the seven siblings Endless: Dream, Death, Desire, Destiny, Destruction, Despair and Delirium (once Delight). They all have their roles in shaping the fates of man. In fact, when Death was imprisoned for decades, the results were devastating. Richard Nixon reached The White House and Michael Jackson the Billboard charts.

Direction from newspaper editors notwithstanding, to Gaiman, these stories are still comic books. The man who shuttled back and forth between comics and classics in his formative years and can pepper his writing with references to Norse mythology as well as the vaudevillian rock group Queen, never cottoned to such highbrow/lowbrow distinctions. Comparing notes on a yachting excursion with members of the Irish rock band U2, the writer who looks like a rock star and Delirium and the rock stars who gave themselves comic-worthy names such as Bono and The Edge came to a realization: Whether the medium is pop music or comic books, not being taken seriously can be a plus. "It's safer to be in the gutter," he told The Washington Post in 1995.

In 1995, Gaiman brought The Sandman to a close and began spending more time on his nongraphic fiction, including a couple of short-story collections. A few years later he released Stardust, an adult fairy tale that has young Tristan Thorn searching for a fallen star to woo the lovely but cold Victoria Forester. In 2001, he placed an ex-con named Shadow in the middle of a war between the ancient and modern dieties in American Gods. Coming in October 2002 is another departure: an audio recording of Two Plays for Voices, which stars Bebe Neuwirth as a wise queen doing battle with a bloodthirsty child and Brian Dennehy as the Angel of Vengeance investigating the first crime in history in heaven's City of Angels.

Gaiman need not worry about defining his artistic relevance, since so many other seem to do it for him. Stephen King, Roger Zelazny and Harlan Ellison are among those who have contributed introductions to his works. William Gibson, the man who coined the term "cyberspace," called him a "a writer of rare perception and endless imagination" as well as "an American treasure." (Even though he's, technically, a British treasure transplanted to the American Midwest.) Even Norman Mailer has weighed in: "Along with all else, Sandman is a comic strip for intellectuals, and I say it's about time."

The gushiest praise, however, may come from Frank McConnell, who barely contained himself in the pages of the political and artistic journal Commonweal. Saying Gaiman "may just be the most gifted and important storyteller in English," McConnell crowned Sandman as the most important act of fiction of the day. "And that, not just because of the brilliance and intricacy of its storytelling -- and I know few stories, outside the best of Joyce, Faulkner, and Pynchon, that are more intricate," he wrote in October 1995, " but also because it tells its wonderful and humanizing tale in a medium, comic books, still largely considered demimonde by the tenured zombies of the academic establishment."

"If Sandman is a 'comic,'" he concluded, "then The Magic Flute is a 'musical' and A Midsummer Night's Dream is a skit. Read the damn thing: it's important."

Good To Know

Some fascinating factoids from our interview with Gaiman:

"One of the most enjoyable bits of writing Sandman was getting authors whose work I love to write the introductions for the collected graphic novels -- people like Steve Erickson, Gene Wolfe, Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, Mikal Gilmore, and Samuel R. Delany."

"I have a big old Addams Family house, with -- in the summertime -- a vegetable garden, and I love growing exotic pumpkins. As a boy in England I used to dream about Ray Bradbury Hallowe'ens, and am thrilled that I get them these days. Unless I'm on the road signing people's books, of course."

"According to my daughters, my most irritating habit is asking for cups of tea."

"I love radio -- and love the availability of things like the Jack Benny radio shows in MP3 format. I'm addicted to BBC radio 7, and keep buying boxed CD sets of old UK radio programs, things like Round the Horne and Hancock's Half Hour. Every now and again I'll write a radio play."

"I love thunderstorms, old houses, and dreams."

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    1. Hometown:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 10, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portchester, England
    1. Education:
      Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman is a hilarious book about w

    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

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Milkfully, the laughs!

    Hilarious! It's as if a group of kids did a round robin story, & Neil Gaiman put it all fantastically together!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2013

    Gaiman does it again!   Inventive, original, and written in a un

    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. :-) 

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2013

    New Gaiman

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 14, 2014

    Who would¿ve guessed a bottle of milk can lead to so much advent

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    recommended with reservations.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    "While picking up milk for his children's cereal, a father

    "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!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2013

    I love this guy

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    read this before buying

    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

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    Awesome

    THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ BUY IT OR GET THE SAMPLE!!!!!!!!!!* *
    U

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    REED DIS BEFOW WOO WY

    I'M A TOUGH PERSON AND I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE! IF YOU DONT BELEVE MY I DARE YOU TO COME WHERE I LIVE AND IF YOU DON'T KNOW (HINT) YOU ARE A CHIKEN!! AND A BIGGGGGGGGGG FAAAAAAAAAAAT FRICKEN KID LIKE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE AND I WUV DIS BWK I DO MOT WO HO WO RIBE???????@ PPPPPPPPPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPPPDBNFHDHJFGFNVHDHYDDFE ASDF VIDEOS RULE GJHXFYFJJHEHJRGEHIFUEEDHYEEDDEYEIEHFHJRJBFHJHHFJFFBFFJFFFHFCFJFBFFJNGVHCCNNCCCCJJJFJFFFJHCDNDDJEBFJBFBKDVDJBJFBFJJFFFJFJFFBHBJJBFJFJFNFFFJFHEDHDHCJIFFFHFFIFKFF

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014

    Ryan

    Jgnfzdcddhdbnsjbdznwsdlsodlclnmskbffggdhhrsywrwi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2014

    Fun little short story for kids and grown people

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2014

    You are crazy not to read this book.

    A hilariously unexpectedly told story that is impossible to dislike and it is all because of the milk. A must read for everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Redstar

    Moving the clan to sonic my den will be res 1

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  • Posted December 17, 2013

    I dare you to try and not like this book! Why haven't I read an

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 24, 2013

    Recommended

    It is highly entertaining and fantastical! And I enjoyed the illustrations just as much!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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