Pull up a Chair, it’s a Saturday Book Share: Fortunately, the Milk

Saturday Book ShareOK, Styling Librarian, I’m in! Trying out your new meme 🙂

Today I spent 11 hours at the local Barnes & Noble manning the Book Fair booth for our four junior highs, so I did a fair amount of chair sitting. I mingled with parents and students, visited the cafe, and picked out books, but that chair was great during pockets of slow time.

So, I was able to read Neil Gaiman’s Fortunately, the Milk in its entirety over the course of the day.

What a treat! When Mum goes out of town, a father and his two children find that the milk has run out and there is nothing to accompany their cereal and tea. Father steps out and takes quite a long time to fetch it. When he returns, he tells the most fabulous tale of why he is late, which includes (among other things) pirates, piranha, aliens, a time-machine-inventing stegosaurus, wumpires, and a volcano god. The milk, is the star of the show, playing a key role in Father’s adventures at just the right times. This tall tale is delightfully, frivolously funny.

If you have ever heard Neil Gaiman speak (not necessarily in person, but at all), you will not be able to read this book without hearing his voice in your head. A favorite passage of mine goes something like this: “And we have spoons. Spoons are excellent. Sort of like forks, only less stabby.” I cannot help but think of my favorite quote from Gaiman’s Doctor Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife,” where Idris, the TARDIS in human form, says, “I like biting. Biting is excellent. It’s like kissing, only there’s a winner.”

And the illustrations! Skottie Young’s line drawings are beyond imaginative and the perfect accompaniment to the text. I love that everyone’s hair (ponies included) is a spectacular, crazy mess. There are so many illustrations it is difficult to choose a favorite, but the pony with the lavish locks and the sensitive wumpire are right up there.

In all, if you are a lover of books, language, or illustration, go buy Fortunately, the Milk for your library, yourself, and your friends (especially small ones). It will be a delicious treat for your heart and mind.

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