Fortunately, the Milk is a hugely popular book in our house. It’s a work of genius. A captivating story told in simple words. Simple words, yet the narrative told is quite complex. The marriage between Gaiman’s writing and children’s laureate, Chris Riddell’s, pictures is a perfect one. Riddel’s illustrations hugely add to the cosy feel of the book.
It’s the story about a dad (who look’s suspiciously like Neil Gaiman), who has to pop out and buy a pint of milk. What follows is the story the dad tells on his return. He was rather a long time popping to the corner shop, and so is accused by his children of bumping into somebody he knew and losing track of time. The elegant shaggy dog tale that is then spun is the envy of creative dad’s everywhere.
I’d love to be able to come up with a story like this. One in which a pint of milk saves the day countless times. The book features, aliens, vegan vampires, and angry gods. There’s even lactic time travel.
The book is great for confident readers. It also makes a fabulous bedtime story that older children, who might think they’re are above that sort of thing. I think you could probably read Fortunately the Milk, to almost anybody, and they couldn’t help but be entranced. It’s a slim volume and one that can, at a push, be read in one sitting. Allow time for it, because once you’ve started you may very well not want to stop!
Gaiman is a fabulous author, but this is probably my favourite.