Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Review by M
Little M’s read Coraline and still remembers it being scary. We have The Graveyard Book and Chris Riddell’s illustrations mesmerisingly frighten us away. We read Neil Gaiman’s poem in the A Little Aloud, For Children anthology – it was marvellous. Fortunately, the Milk came along and now I’ve read my first Neil Gaiman novel. Fortunately, the Milk is also fully illustrated by Chris Riddell. Fortunately, for me, these illustrations are dazzlingly fun. Fortunately, the Milk is too.
It is funny in a laugh out loud way (yes, I was on a train, which probably made me laugh for even longer!). It is preposterous in either a ‘eyes wide open’ or ‘I don’t believe you’ way depending on your gullibility, disposition to enjoy or propensity to question. It introduces all sorts of concepts like quantum thought and superpositions, international invasions and colonisations, and the history of language. Do not read this book if you want the bedtime light turned off soon after reading because there will be questions. Lots of them. Expect to be challenged throughout the story and possible footstamping in response the ending.
|An inside page illustration by Chris Riddell|
The scenario is this: mum’s gone away and dad’s in charge and of course they’ve run out of milk for breakfast (and tea!). So off he goes to the shop. When he returns, ages later, what a yarn he spins about what took so long. A time-travelling, galactic and maybe even extra-galactic adventure story. Fortunately, there is milk, a dinosaur, a grundledorfer, ponies, gloop, a sandwich box and much more.
A book that would suit almost or newly independent and curious readers, and it is a must for reading out loud.
Unfortunately, the only downside is that the dedications page is too full of clues so make sure to skip that until after reading....
Reviewed by M
Publication details: Bloomsbury, 17 September 2013, LondonThis copy: uncorrected digital proof received for review from the publisher.
|Neil Gaiman: photo credit: Kimberly Butler|