Reviews for Fortunately, the Milk


Booklist Reviews 2013 July #1
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. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
A father goes out for milk for his children's cereal. He's abducted by aliens, escapes from pirates, and saves the universe from destruction. Dad arrives safely home and tells his story to his children, who don't believe him. This is high Brit silliness in the Douglas Adams tradition. Appropriately zany pen-and-ink drawings illustrate this shaggy-dog tale.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #6
In this shaggiest of shaggy-dog stories, a father goes out for milk for his children's cereal. He is abducted by aliens, escapes from pirates, is rescued by a dinosaurian professor in a hot-air balloon, is threatened by piranhas (well, he might have made that bit up), outwits some vampires, and saves the universe from destruction, as well as saving the world from forces that wish to redecorate it (replacing mountains with throw-cushions, etc.). Dad arrives safely home with the milk and tells his story to his children, who don't believe him. "Not. Any. Of. It." This is high Brit silliness in the Douglas Adams, indeed Goon Show, tradition. Gaiman throws together the space-time continuum, plastic flamingoes, and a pirate queen and dares the reader to demur. The brief story, generously illustrated with appropriately zany pen-and-ink drawings, demands to be read aloud, because who could resist zoom, tworp, and thang, to say nothing of "a noise like a hundred elephantine snot balloons all deflating at once"? sarah elli Copyright 2013 Horn Book Magazine.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 July #1
Publishers used to say, "If you read only one book this year, make it this one." Gaiman has tried to write the only book anyone will need, ever, packing into it every adventure story written in the past 300 years. The book seems to include every plot on TVTropes.org. There's a time machine. There are "wumpires" and pirates. The story is simple: A father goes to the store to buy milk. The only trouble is, he's kidnapped by aliens, and by the end of the book, he's being threatened by dancing dwarfs. Sometimes the book feels like a personal bet between the writer and the illustrator: "But can you draw this?" Young is always up to the challenge, no matter what gets thrown at him. He makes pirates look both dangerous and adorable. But once in a while, readers may wish that the author would stop throwing things. The best scene in the book is brief and quiet. The father asks a time-traveling stegosaurus where all the dinosaurs went. "The stars," professor Steg says. "That is where we will have gone." Frenetic as the story is, it's hard not to love a novel that borrows equally from Calvin and Hobbes and The Usual Suspects. If you read only one book this year, a story with dancing dwarfs is always a wise choice. (Adventure. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2014 May/June
What would you do if you ran out of milk? Ask your dad to go to the corner store, of course! When he comes back after an extended period of time, he tells of an adventure where aliens try to get permission to redecorate the planet and a stegosaurus in a hot air balloon saves him and they go through the space time continuum all the while holding onto the bottle of milk. Would you believe him? These children are not sure what to think as their father runs through his travels. Gaiman creates a fantastic tale of mishaps. Young's illustrations work perfectly with the scattering of the story. This would make a fun read-aloud as well as a jumping off point for space, time machines, inventions, explorers, timelines, finding facts from the text to support or deny viability, or just an all-around humorous tale. Maureen Mooney, Library Media Specialist, Caroline St. Elementary School, Saratoga Springs, New York [Editor's Note: Available in e-book format.] RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 July #3

In a letter to readers, Gaiman explains that his rationale for writing this story, about a father who has taken an excessively long time to return from the corner store with milk for his children's breakfast, stems from his reconsideration of the father in The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. That dad, he realized, is "not really a positive portrayal of fatherhood"--he is a lump. To compensate, "I would write a book in which a father did all of the sorts of exciting things that fathers actually do." He may have to try again: the father in this story is abducted by aliens, made to walk the plank by pirates, and rescued by a stegosaurus in a balloon, among other outrageous escapades. It reads like an extemporaneous riff by a clever father asked a question he doesn't want to answer, and it makes an excellent gift for those heroic fathers who consider reading aloud to their children one of parenthood's greatest joys. Young's wiry, exuberant b&w caricatures (not all seen by PW) are incorporated throughout. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 October

Gr 3-6--A tale of the bravery and selflessness exhibited by a father taking care of his children while his wife is away. Despite Mom's advance warning, the family finds itself ready for breakfast but without milk for cereal and tea, so Dad takes a trip to the store to get some. Upon his long-awaited return, he gives the children a fantastical and descriptive explanation of the adventures he faced while trying to make it back home. Not only did he embark on a time-traveling hot-air balloon ride with a stegosaurus, but he also confronted pirates, aliens, wumpires, and a volcano god, never losing possession of the milk. Gaiman knocks it out of the park again with this imaginative story. His outrageous plot is perfectly paced to keep advanced and reluctant readers enthralled, and his use of onomatopoeia and humorous descriptions will make the book hard to put down. Reminiscent of Roald Dahl's titles, it will sweep children away into an unimagined world and make them wonder if their own parents have ever had any secret adventures. Young's frequent black-and-white cartoons add to the wackiness of this tall tale.--Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE

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