Friday, January 24, 2014

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman




Genre: Time Travel / Humor / Adventure / Family

Year Published: 2013

Year Read: 1/16/2014

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers




I have read many books by Neil Gaiman that were either children’s books or adult books, but Neil Gaiman’s most recent book, “Fortunately, the Milk,” has to be one of the most surreal and light-hearted books out of his collection! 

The story starts off with a young boy and his little sister running out of milk and their father ends up going to the store to buy some more milk.  However, when the father vanishes for a long time and he finally comes back home, his kids wonder where he had been.  The father than goes on and tells this bizarre story about how he was on his way home, when he was abducted by aliens who wanted to remodel the planet Earth.  The father then manages to escape the aliens through an emergency exit in the ship and he lands in the ocean where he meets a group of pirates!  The father then managed to escape the pirates when a booming voice from above the sky calls out to him to climb up the rope ladder. When the father climbed up the rope ladder, he ends up meeting a green stegosaurus called Professor Steg who happens to be a world-renowned time traveler!

Then things get weirder from here…

Neil Gaiman has done it again in this whimsical tale about a father going on a wild adventure after trying to deliver some milk to his kids!  Now, I have mentioned before that this is probably Neil Gaiman’s most light-hearted book out of all of his children’s books combined since most of his works were dark and yet still retain its creative flair for the fantasy elements!  So, I absolutely loved the way that Neil Gaiman made this story both hilarious and creative at the same time and I also loved the humorous nature of this story as the Father and Professor Steg easily trick their enemies whenever they get into a tight situation! I also loved the loose narrative of this story as the Father and Professor Steg constantly keep getting into weirder situations as the story progresses and I was constantly baffled by the various people they meet along the way such as Splod the God and a group of wumpires (not vampires, although they have the same characteristics).  But what really surprised me the most in this book were Skottie Young’s illustrations, since I was so used to seeing Dave McKean illustrate many books by Neil Gaiman and it was a pleasant surprise to see a different artist illustrate a book written by Neil Gaiman.  Skottie Young’s illustrations complement the chaotic and hilarious nature of this book as the characters and the landscapes look truly exaggerated and surreal, making the Father’s adventures really stand out!  I also loved the image of the Father himself as he wears a long striped scarf and has wild and crazy hair that brings out his eccentric nature.

The only thing that might be problematic with this book is that the story tends to jump around very quickly and that might confuse some children.  There are many events that take place during the father and Professor Steg’s adventures such as meeting the pirates and meeting the space aliens and all of those adventures colliding with each other might confuse some children who are not used to reading so many events in one sitting.

Overall, “Fortunately, the Milk” is a fantastic read for children who are huge fans of Neil Gaiman’s works and love reading about surreal and imaginative adventures!  I would highly recommend this book to children of any ages!


 

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