Have you ever given it any thought as to what strange things could happen when you just nip out to the shop for milk? Whatever I thought could happen, isn’t as interesting and peculiar as the new story by Neil Gaiman titled Fortunately, the Milk.
A father left in charge of his two children has to go out to get milk for breakfast. It sounds very mundane, but it’s far from it in every single way. The story seems unreal. I mean who could believe that all these things happened? There are arty yet very slimy aliens – their re-designing ideas are very unusual, but maybe fun. There are pirates – I don’t know how they can call themselves pirates – who don’t know what ‘walking the plank’ means, with really mean intentions. And there is Professor Steg, a remarkable hero who saves the dad from many tricky situations. The professor is also a brilliant inventor, including an inventive vocabulary.
Gaiman-esque dad and Professor Steg form quite an uncanny time travelling duo. The adventures get better and better with every turn of the page. They encounter bizarre, or perhaps slightly misunderstood, tribesmen, worshipping Splod, the Volcano God, who are awed by the visit from the man with the milk. As if from the frying pan into the fire, the odd couple run away from the heated volcano situation almost into the thirsty and very toothy jaws of wumpires – though they seem to be a more curious than hungry type. In the nick of time, Professor Steg and the dad get saved by the superhero intergalactic dinosaur police.
Believe it or not, the dad gets home safe and sound with the milk. Explaining his shortish absence to his children is a completely different matter. As impossible as it all might sound, it is a true story and is beautifully told in Gaiman’s unique imaginative language. The book is illustrated by the insanely talented Chris Riddell. The story and illustrations form an amazing book which will delight all children and adults (or a child inside every adult).
I loved the whole story, not because I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman’s books, but because this is an incredibly funny and imaginative story that made me laugh and want to join the coolest Galactic Police.
Author: Neil Gaiman
Title: Fortunately, the Milk
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback, 160 pages