Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Bring a smile to your face, and go buy Fortunately, The Milk. This is a book that EVERYONE needs to enjoy. It is delightful, in every sense of the word.
Fortunately, The Milk is ostensibly a children’s book, in the same vein as Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book or anything from Doctor Seuss. It would be good to think of it as the best combinations of both these literary gems. Not quite a chapter book but longer than a picture book, the hardcover edition has images on nearly every page, seamlessly interwoven with Neil Gaiman’s text. You’ll want to read it aloud; you’ll pore over every beautiful scribble by Eisner-winning artist Skottie Young**; you’ll laugh at the absurdity; you’ll ponder the ending with reverence.
This book is pure distilled happiness, and you need to have it.
I had the privilege of hearing Neil read from Fortunately, The Milk when it was still a twinkle in his publisher’s eye, at the book tour for The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Sure, everyone, reader and critic alike, is fawning over Ocean, but my favorite part was definitely Fortunately. It was just so fun.
It is a book that exalts fathers, and children, and, most of all, vibrant imaginations. The premise is sacchrine-simple: A family runs out of milk just before breakfast, and father goes to get some. He is gone what seems like an awfully long time. When he gets back, his hungry children wonder where he has been, so he answers them. The story involves pirates, piranhas, time-travel (someone is a Doctor Who fan, for sure!), a volcano god, the invention of the button, aliens, and more, because I’m probably forgetting someone or something.
You won’t be able to look at your everyday errands the same way.
Buy this book, then snuggle up to your kids (or your special friend, or your sweetest pet, or even just a really cozy blankie), and read. Make sure you do all the voices; that’s the way it really should be done.
**This is amazing, but I have gotten to meet both Skottie and Neil. Neil at the aforementioned book tour, and Skottie at ComicCon, the day he won the Eisner. So wonderful, both of them!