Vee is on a forced mental health hiatus until 16th June. See you then!

Review of Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman

by - June 17, 2014

Format: Paperback
Genres: Younger Readers, Fantasy, Illustrated
Pages: 160
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 05/06/2014
Find Neil: Website ¦ Blog

Find Chris: Website ¦ Twitter
Book Depository ¦ Amazon UK/US ¦ Goodreads
(The Amazon US edition is illustrated by Skottie Young whose illustrations, I'm sure, are lovely. But they're not Chris Riddell so you should click on the Book Depository link for that edition)

You know what it’s like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad’s in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he’s got to do. And the most important thing is DON’T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back.
Featuring: Professor Steg (a time-travelling dinosaur), some green globby things, the Queen of the Pirates, the famed jewel that is the Eye of Splod, some wumpires, and a perfectly normal but very important carton of milk.

It's no secret that I saw the name Neil Gaiman, got interested, spotted the name Chris Riddell and immediately grabbed the book (albeit carefully, so as to not damage the book), and ran to the tills with it. Without actually bothering to check the back of the book first, to see if I'd even like a book aimed towards younger readers. It's Neil Gaiman with Chris Riddell's illustrations - of course, I loved it!

The story is great fun for readers of any age, and I have a feeling that my fellow Whovians would love this romp through space and time. This was made all the better by various references to Doctor Who, although I may have just been seeing these. I like to think they were there on purpose. Although this is a children's book, I never felt silly reading it, or like the tone of the story was too young for me, as a 22 year old.

There's so many things in this book it's hard to know where to start - Pirates, Vampires, Ponies, Aliens. I loved that there were various clues to all of these in Chris's illustrations and the beginning and even as I'm looking back at the book now I'm finding more clever references. And of course, a lot of milk.

The illustrations had me sitting in public with a stupid grin on my face, because there were just so many. I was like a One Direction fan with a free all access backstage pass. The Pirate Queen was exquisitely drawn with lots of lovely details like skulls and crossbones around her skirt and neck. The Vampires (or Wumpires) were made even more hilarious by the presence of 'Pale And Interesting Edvard' and my favourite, the Dad himself had an uncanny resemblance to Neil Gaiman. He also looked like he could be The Doctor.

Read this to yourself, read this to your kids, read this to your dog, your gerbil, your granny. Just... read it.

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  1. I've only read Coraline by Neil Gaiman, but I really want to try this one! I LOVE it when books can be awesome and entertaining for any age. That's the mark of a seriously talented author. So whenever I read/review a book and say "I felt too old" I kind of feel like there's something wrong with the book. I shouldn't ever feel too old for something!!

  2. This sounds so good! I personally haven't read any Neil Gaiman books (hanging my head in shame right now) but I want to pick this up right now. Great review!

    1. *whispers* I haven't either, this was my first. But Neil looks so cool and he wrote an episode of Doctor Who and I've seen Stardust so I figured that earned me cool points right.


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