Do you remember Dr. Seuss' To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street? It's the story of a young boy's exaggerated account of his walk home from school so he has something to tell his father. Now, Neil Gaiman switches things around in a story for older children, probably about seven or eight. In Fortunately, The Milk, it's the father of the family who goes out for milk and has stories to tell his children when he gets home.
The narrator's mother went on a business trip, reminding the father to buy milk. But, it isn't until the next day when the two children have nothing to put on their breakfast cereal that he remembers. And, they wait, and they wait, and he has quite a story to tell when he finally returns.
The father brings together all kinds of favorite creatures to explain his absence. Young readers will enjoy the humor of the combination of time travel, aliens, dinosaurs, pirates, hot air balloons, vampires, and even ponies. It's an imaginative account that might become a favorite as readers guess what Father might encounter next. But, like other favorite children's stories, rest assured that Father does arrive home safely, with the milk.
I was lucky enough to get an autographed copy of Fortunately, The Milk when I was in New York City this year, and I waited until publication week to comment. It's a fun adventure, with that extra twist Gaiman is known for. And, Gaiman says it's an apology to fathers for an earlier book, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. This time, he tries to tell that fathers do more than read the newspaper. Who would ever guess the adventures fathers have when they go out for milk?
Neil Gaiman's website is www.NeilGaiman.com.
Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman. Harper. 2013. ISBN 9780062224071 (paperback), 128p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The book was given away at a conference.