Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fortunately the Milk - a review

Gaiman, Neil. 2013. Fortunately, the Milk. New York: Harper Collins.

With Mum out of town and the fridge out of milk, a boy and his sister await their father's return from the store with milk for breakfast.  After an interminably long wait, he comes homes and relates a most outlandish story (frequently interrupted by his son) explaining his lengthy absence.  Much occurred on his journey, but fortunately, he managed to save the milk.  Is it a true story? You decide.

Something very long with a head on the end of it came over to us.  It was attached to a very large body, on the other side of the room. "Who are you?" it asked Professor Steg, "And why is your gorilla holding a transtemporally dislocated milk container?"
"I am not a gorilla," I said.  "I am a human father."
"The human is holding the milk in order to make these evil redecorating snot-bubbles go away and stop menacing this planet and us," said Professor Steg.
The Diplodocus in a police cap opened its mouth and didn't say anything.
The Tyrannosaurus, who had handcuffed all of the green globby people together with something that looked a lot more like pink string-in-a-can than it looked like handcuffs, which was a good thing because they probably didn't have hands and they definitely didn't have wrists, stared at us and his eyes opened wide."
"Great day in the morning!" he exclaimed. 
Humorous black and white illustrations and occasional illustrated text, accompany this explosive burst of ridiculousness. Every father should come home late with such an excuse. A yarn like this is well worth the long wait for milk. Great fun - especially for reluctant readers, boys, and budding humorists.

One caveat: Although it's short (I read it on my lunch break), and fun and silly, making it the perfect choice for reluctant readers, both the son and the father narrate in the first person, which could make it slightly difficult for struggling readers.

This is the official Harper Kids book trailer, however, I prefer the British version from Bloomsbury Publishing for its silliness.They're both fun. Check them out.

Skottie Young illustrated the US version. The UK version was done by Chris Riddell.  Interestingly, the US version is called Fortunately, the Milk, while the UK version is called Fortunately, the Milk ... (note the ellipses)  Want to see the difference?  Click for an excerpt from the UK version. Click for an excerpt from the US version.  Funny how publishers assume that we need different versions.  Other than a few unnecessary u's and misplaced c's (no offence meant, neighbour), I think we're generally on the same page and would do just fine with the same version. No?

Canadians, when there is a UK and a US version, which do you prefer?

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