It should have been straight forward. Mum has had to go away for work and dad has been left to run the house and look after the kids. He has been given clear instructions of what needs to be done and there’s a note on the fridge in case he forgets. But disaster strikes on the first morning when there is no milk for the breakfast cereal and you can not eat cereal without milk.
So dad heads off to the shop on what should be a simple errand but on the way the most bizarre thing happens. He gets zapped abroad an alien spaceship, escapes through a door and finds himself in a space continuum where he travels through different time periods and meets all manner of friendly and hostile characters. Will dad ever make it back with the milk and if he does will the children believe his story…
Fortunately, the Milk is a superb introduction to the science-fiction genre for young readers and has the idea of time travel as a central theme. The wild and wacky science-fiction adventure follows the adventures of dad after he gets nabbed by aliens who want to take over the planet. On his adventures dad meets a hot air ballon piloting dinosaur, an angry group of pirates, some dark and unfriendly wumpires (that’s vampires to you and me), a volcano god and some intergalactic dinosaur police - just an ordinary day out for dad then! The action comes thick and fast as dad sees himself travelling through a whirlwind of time periods and always getting further away from the present day despite the best efforts (or perhaps lacks of) from Professor Steg - the pilot of the floaty-ball-person-carrier.
Gaiman’s story-telling is excellent as are the illustrations by Chris Riddell. I love any book illustrated by Riddell and there is much to like in the illustrations of Fortunately, the Milk that are filled with humour and wit. I am a particular fan of the illustrations of dad that look very much like author Gaiman. More observant readers will notice that the opening illustration serves as a ‘secret’ prelude for the events that await.
A highly recommended read as Neil Gaiman’s wild imagination collides with Chris Riddell’s fantastical illustrations in an action-packed story that you need to read to believe.
Recommended for 7+.