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Fortunately The Milk, the latest book for children by Neil Gaiman, has been on my to read pile forever.


I love Gaiman’s books, and so last week I decided I had waited too long and dug it out of the pile.

I read it in under an hour and promptly passed it on to my teenage daughter, who finished it that evening.

She passed it on to my son, who read it to me over the space of two days, utterly entranced, and he passed it on to my middle daughter, who finished it that night.

The only person in the family who hasn’t read it, is the cat.

And she would if I would just hurry up and invent cat thumbs.

Needless to say, we all thought this was a fantastic book, and it has shot straight to the top of my list of books that must be purchased for our school library.

It is currently in hardback, and available in a 3/4 novel sized format.  It would make a fantastic transitional book for readers who are not yet ready for full blown novels, although some of the words are quite tricky, and it really requires a reader who is confident at giving tough words a go.  It’s well worth the effort though.

The pages have plenty of white space to offset the text blocks, short and manageable chapter lengths and absolutely stupendous illustrations by another firm, family favourite, Chris Riddell.  We were particularly taken with the hero of the piece, who looked suspiciously like Neil himself.

The story is about a dad, who goes out to get some milk for his children’s breakfast cereal, and who is gone for a particularly long time.  When he finally gets back with the milk, his children accuse him of having been chatting to a neighbour.  He refutes this and proceeds to tell them exactly what happened when he went to get the milk.

The story involves time travelling dinosaur inventors, Incan volcano gods, lady pirates, aliens who look like snot and a lot of references to milk.

It is funny and clever and creative and utterly consuming. My son read to me until his voice was hoarse he wanted to know what happened so badly.

It’s a resounding ten out of ten for us.

We recommend it for children from six to 12 and all Gaiman fans of any age.  We recommend it to boys, girls, granny’s and cats.  We sing its praises whole heartedly.

p.s. Our favourite bit was the Wumpires.