Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

October 24, 2014
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil GaimanFortunately, the Milk . . . by Neil Gaiman
Narrator: Neil Gaiman
Also by this author: InterWorld
Published by A&C Black on September 17, 2013
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 144
Length: 58 minutes
Format: Audiobook

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ENHANCED EDITION - contains four videos and a completely glorious audio recording by Neil Gaiman of the entire book (not compatible with all devices).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.The award-laden, bestselling Neil Gaiman, author of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Stardust, Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book and Coraline, brings his biggest ever publishing year to a spectacular conclusion with this gloriously entertaining novel about time-travel, dinosaurs, milk and dads.

OK, if you have to pick just one audiobook to listen to with your kids (current kids, future kids, imaginary kids, young kids, old kids, or even you own innerself secret kid), you have to pick this one. I listened to it with my boys last year, and this year they both requested to listen to it again. Both. Can I just stress that? There was no disagreement between these brothers. And despite the fact they have quite different taste in books, they are firmly in agreement that this book is amazing and deserves to be listened to multiple times.

So, what makes this book so deserving of their admiration? It’s fun. Pure and simple, it is just fun and imaginative, and silly. The pacing is also wonderful for this wacky adventure that all begins when a father sets out to the store in what turns out to be a quest for getting (and keeping) the milk! The amount of silliness packed into such a short story is just, well, silly. But it’s not overdone, its not a book that tries too hard in all the wrong ways. There is an amazing balance of fun and mystery and adventure that keeps the reader fully engaged.

The story is told by a father who is recounting his many outlandish mishaps on what should have been a short and simple trip to the corner market. During these mishaps, the here a few of the things involved: a dinosaur, a hot air balloon, milk, time travel, aliens and pirates (and much more). Think this is too much to be handled in a short book? A book that takes less than an hour for the audiobook version? Well, go read it (or listen to it) and tell me it doesn’t work.

It is a simple children’s book, but at the same time, not so simple. I also love the way it ends, leaving kids to try and figure out if the story was ‘true’ or not. Highly recommend it.