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Fortunately, the Milk

Fortunately, the Milk

4.6 31
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


"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

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
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.)
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
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)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sold by:
Sales rank:
680L (what's this?)
File size:
10 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years


Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

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.

Brief Biography

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

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Fortunately, the Milk 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 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.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
Neil Gaiman has been on my radar since I listened to one of his novels on audio this summer. Another blogger brought this novel to my attention a couple weeks ago as she read this children’s story to her son and they really enjoyed it. This is one wacky read and I can see how kids would love to have this one read to them or read it themselves. I got lost just looking at the black-n-white illustrations that accompany the text for they are wonderful and your imagination just soars looking at them. You might find these illustrations wrapping around the text or falling off the page, just like the illustrations, this novel is quite stimulating and energizing and I never knew exactly what might happen when I turned the page. If dad had just gotten the milk for their breakfast as mum had suggested before she left for her conference, this novel would never had taken place but dad forgot and now he was on a milk run and quite a milk run it was! He left for the corner store and before you knew it, he met a spaceship, then there were pirates and a ship, a hot-air balloon, dinosaurs, a jungle, and I could go on for father experienced countless adventures, all a part of his milk run. Will his children believe his story when he finally returns? It’s a cute, entertaining story all because dad forgot to get the milk. Be ready to use your imagination, be ready to smile and remember that anything goes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hay dood :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will read this to my future children! It is a fantastic story for all ages. It is the first book I have read by Neil Gaiman. I love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Coreena More than 1 year ago
This is a fun book for kids with fantastic illustrations with an interesting story full of imagination. I read this one to my daughter and she loved it. She liked how the father had all sorts of crazy adventures on his way to get milk for his children. There are pirates and dinosaurs and hot air balloons, among other things, all tied together with the phrase, "fortunately, the milk." This would also be a good book for early or reluctant readers because it moves along quickly and has so many wonderful illustrations. It is almost a cross between a novel and a graphic novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book hooked my kids so easily and loved it
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!