I was so excited to receive an ARC of Neil Gaiman’s upcoming Fortunately, The Milk, written for readers between the ages of 7-12. With a publication date in late September, Fortunately, the Milk strikes me as a perfect back-to-school-book, when younger students need a silly and nonsensical escape from starting another year in a new grade.
When two children are left at home with their father while their mother presents at an out-of-town conference, they run out of milk for their breakfast. Their father heads out to the store to pick some up for their cereal (and his tea), but he encounters quite a few adventures and misadventures on the way back home. These include abduction by aliens, a ship of eighteenth-century pirates, Professor Steg and his Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier, wumpires, time travel, space travel, and more. All the while, the refrain “Fortunately, the milk” carries through, threading the premise of the story always backwards towards the fridge empty of milk and the necessary trip to the store.
Gaiman’s text is paired with illustrations by Skottie Young, which take the silliness and the whimsy of the story even further. I will definitely purchase a copy of Fortunately, the Milk when it comes out in September, since the ARC only has about half of the illustrations completed. The book is about the size and shape as a Magic Tree House Book., a length that is so suited for younger readers.
It is a fun, quick read that is, at times, like watching the best bits from an episode of Doctor Who (which is not surprising since Gaiman has written two episodes for the show). I’m looking forward to picking it up again in September for a re-read!