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Fortunately, the Milk Paperback – International Edition, September 17, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3–7—A mum leaves for a conference, leaving her son and daughter in the care of their dad while she is away. Before she leaves, the dad assures her he has everything under control. And he does for the most part. But, he forgets one simple thing: the milk. Facing the possibilty of having no milk for the kids' cereal or, more importantly, for his own tea, dad leaves to pick up the breakfast staple from the corner store. When he finally returns with the milk later that morning, he has quite an amazing, time-twisting, mind-bending tale to tell. It is a yarn replete with planet-remodeling aliens, savage pirates, blood-thirsty "wumpires," a time-travelling dinosaur scientist, and dancing elves, with touches of humor, philosophy, and feminism. The story is told from the son's point of view, who interjects his father's storytelling with occasional questions and skeptical comments. Gaiman also narrates, and is a committed, energetic storyteller. While it is a fast-paced, rip-roaring adventure, brief mention of throat-slitting, use of guns, and talk of human sacrifice make this recording not quite suitable for the the smallest members of the family. Hilarious, captivating, and just plain fun, this is a production not to miss.—Jennifer Verbrugge, State Library Services, Roseville, MN --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

A little boy and his little sister awake one morning, milkless. Their mother is away on business, their father is buried in the paper, and their Toastios are dry. What are young siblings to do? They impress upon their father that his tea is also without milk and sit back to watch their plan take effect. But something goes amiss, and their father doesn’t return and doesn’t return some more. When he does, finally, he has a story to tell, a story involving aliens; pirates; ponies; wumpires (not the handsome, brooding kind); and a stegosaurus professor who pilots a Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier (which looks suspiciously like a hot-air balloon). There is time travel, treachery, and ample adventure, and, fortunately, the milk he has procured is rescued at every turn. Gaiman’s oversize, tongue-in-cheek narrative twists about like the impromptu nonsense it is, with quick turns, speed bumps, and one go-for-broke dairy deus ex machina. Young fills the pages with sketchy, highly stylized images, stretched and pointy, bringing the crazed imaginations to life with irrepressible energy. Children will devour this one, with or without milk. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A national media campaign and select author appearances are on the docket to celebrate the release of Newbery Award–winning Gaiman’s latest. Grades 3-6. --Thom Barthelmess --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (September 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062295152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062295156
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (353 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,750,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I make things up and write them down. Which takes us from comics (like SANDMAN) to novels (like ANANSI BOYS and AMERICAN GODS) to short stories (some are collected in SMOKE AND MIRRORS) and to occasionally movies (like Dave McKean's MIRRORMASK or the NEVERWHERE TV series, or my own short film A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON).

In my spare time I read and sleep and eat and try to keep the blog at www.neilgaiman.com more or less up to date.

Customer Reviews

The story and illustrations are wonderful!
Brienne Owen
I really enjoyed this book (I read it myself before reading to my kids) and the kids loved it too.
M. Milner
That can't be said for every book one reads to their kid.
BeyoncePadThai

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Dee18 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Only Neil Gaiman could delight two polar-opposite readerships by releasing one of the most buzzed-about adult books of the year (`The Ocean at the End of the Lane' - so good I still can't bring myself to write a review because THERE ARE NO WORDS!) and then a few months later a lavishly wonderful children's book. It's not surprising, really, because Neil Gaiman wrote both `American Gods' and `Coraline' - cementing himself as a fine storyteller for all ages.

`Fortunately, the Milk. . . ' being Gaiman's children's foray, his Bloomsbury publishers know they can be a bit more blunt and honest with their younger readers. Hence this very apt author billing of 'Ridiculously Bestselling Author'

The book is about a father left in charge of his two children when their mum goes off to a conference. But the first disaster strikes at breakfast-time, when they run out of milk. So it's up to dad to trot down to the corner store for a refill . . . but he takes ages and ages, and it's only upon his return that the children discover what took him so long.

The whole book is a bit tongue-in-cheek, and there's something here for the intended 8-12 readership, as well as the parents for whom this will be bedtime reading. For the kids there are; Dwarves, wumpires, a stegosaurus, aliens, pirates, ponies, a volcano god . . . then for the adult readers there are some references to The Usual Suspects, a little Doctor Who-esque time travel conundrum and some making fun of Twilight. It's all a bit brilliant really. Even more so because Chris Riddell's illustrations have made the dad look like Neil Gaiman himself - which makes me think back on an old blog post Gaiman once posted about where he gets his ideas from.

Interestingly, there are two versions of Gaiman's latest children's book.
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362 of 430 people found the following review helpful By Jenny Lawson on September 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I finished The Book Thief and couldn't stop doing the ugly cry so my husband made me promise to stop reading books about small children in Nazi Germany for at least a day. I read this book instead and it didn't make me ugly cry at all. In fact, it was deliciously wonderful and I reveled in the lack of swastikas.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Steidle on September 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Neil Gaiman’s “Fortunately, the Milk” is as charming as it sounds. A story to delight even the most lactose intolerant. Read it with your morning breakfast, your coffee or tea; this book will surely please. A wonderful romp full of whimsy, time-travel, dairy and numerous globulous aliens. If you haven’t read any of Neil Gaiman’s works here is a great place to start. It’s good for all ages. Read it with a glass of milk! A book fortified to get you through your day!

If you like Doctor Who, Back to the Future, Monty Python, Neil Gaiman, laughing, reading good books, or dairy, than I suggest reading “Fortunately the milk”. If you don’t like at least one of these things, well, then I suggest consulting a physician immediately.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By brianne cortes on September 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
... continues to write amazing stories for all! Coming off the book high of "Ocean at the End of the Lane", I couldn't wait to get this book! I enjoy all the many genres of Gaiman. However, my daughter (11) got to read this before I was able. After I come home from work, she comes to me, hands me the book and says, "Awesome!! Don't worry I won't spoil it for you. (Wink) But I'll tell ya, this dad is waaayyyyy better than the one from "The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish". This one is so much more like [my] dad!!!". Lol! Too cute. Anyone of any age will love this book!! Especially dads everywhere!!
Oh! I can't write about this book without mentioning the art! Beautiful linework to match the whimsy of Gaiman. Definitely buy the hard cover!! ♥
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Heather Furtek on September 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just read this in two sittings with my 5 year old and it was wonderful. Thank you Mr. Gaiman. We both loved it.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Brandee95 on September 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book without knowing anything about it except that it was written by Neil Gaiman. To my surprise it is a children's book! Funny enough I still loved it. I wish I had bought the hardcover version however. The illustrations are fantastic and I don't think the kindle version does them justice at all. You really do miss out on the whole experience that comes from reading your little one a bedtime story where the pages actually turn. Overall,though, another win for my favorite author!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan J. Dejonghe TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
If you want something fun and imaginative to read, then Neil Gaiman has it for you. FORTUNATELY, THE MILK is about the third of the size of Gaiman’s CORALINE and THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, and also much less macabre. The story is set up perfectly. Mom leaves dad in charge, they need milk, dad blows it, and dad creates a fanciful story to make up his tracks.

I read this book to my kids in three sittings, but it could be done in more or less. Sometimes it is just as fun to close the book and talk about what you think will happen next.

If you are an adult looking to read this for yourself, just know that the fun is rather short, especially compared to other Gaiman writings—even OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE (which is his shortest “novel”). For new readers, this is just perfect.

I especially loved the plentiful illustrations. That was the one thing I wished THE GRAVEYARD BOOK had more of, and this book delivered.

If you are looking to escape, have a little fun, and perhaps a good laugh, then come along and join up. You won’t regret the journey.
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