Book Review “Fortunately, the Milk” by Neil Gaiman

Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Skottie Young
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 17, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Neil Gaiman has really been having a rocking 2013 so far! He started off the year with a children’s book called “Chu’s Day”, which was super cute (and a favorite of my now 16 month old). He followed that up with a fantastic adult fantasy novel called “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”, which is one of my favorite books of the year. His latest is also probably one of the zaniest yet most fun books I have read in the longest time with “Fortunately, the Milk”. Right from the cover of this book you can tell that this is going to be a crazy ride. From first glance to remind me of something that Roald Dahl would have done. Gaiman’s writing is so much and interesting that you just read page after page and before you even realize it you have read the book in one sitting.

The book follows a father that goes out to get his kids milk for their morning cereal and his coffee and ends up going on an adventure. He gets abducted by aliens, meets pirates, time travels with a stegosaurus that is also a doctor and also confronts a tiki god and some vampires along the way…all while hanging on to that milk. This story is so much fun and out-there but really entertaining along the way. I found myself laughing throughout and kept stopping to share certain paragraphs with my wife as I progressed.

Skottie Young’s illustrations are spread out through each page and really enhance the reading experience so much. I am a big boy and can read a book without pictures but it really makes the story so much more visual and exciting with these great images that carry along the story. This is why I love Gaiman and his writing style since this guy has a super cool imagination and delivers this visual books that stick with you long after you read them. I will most definitely revisiting this book in the future (if not for the illustrations). I can’t wait to see what Neil Gaiman has planned for 2014 and now sure if he can top this stellar year.


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Book Review “Stardust: Gift Edition” by Neil Gaiman

Author: Neil Gaiman
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: November 1, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

If you are familiar with Neil Gaiman’s work, then surely you know about his best selling book “Stardust”, which was first published back in 1999. If you haven’t and enjoy classic fairy tales- then this book is for you.  This book is a really quick read and just very fun.  There is romance, action and everything you can want in a fairy tale story. Of course, it goes without saying that the book is far superior to the movie adaptation, in case you made the mistake of watching that film before reading the book.

This new “Gift Edition” of the book comes beautiful trim-look within its clothbound hardcover.  There is a new gold-stamped cover, as well as a new interior design with a illustration and chapter opener by artist Charles Vess. The new release also includes an introduction by Neil Gaiman, as well as the author’s postscript, “Wall: A Prologue” and updated acknowledgements. If you own this book already, I am not sure it really warrants a repurchase but if your copy is running a little ragged this looks very sharp on the bookshelf.

Official Synopsis: Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria Forester—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that stone barrier, Tristran learns, lies Faerie . . . and the most exhilarating adventure of the young man’s life.

With the holiday’s right around the corner, this would be a nice gift to give to friends that are Gaiman fans or even better those that are not and looking for a way to get introduced.  This is a great way to get into Gaiman’s work.  Plus, who doesn’t love a timeless fairy tale?  If you are a mega-fan you might want to check out the “Gift Edition: Deluxe Signed Limited”, which comes in a collectible slip case.

Book Review “Chu’s Day” by Neil Gaiman

Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Adam Rex
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 8, 2013

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors. Coraline is one of my favorite stories in the last decade. It may be a little too scary for some kids but I am a big kid, so it is ok. This book is aimed a much younger audience. On the book cover it says Newborn to 4 but Amazon is listing the book as 4 and up. I feel that this book is much more suited for under age 4. It may not be my favorite book from Gaiman but more important my daughter loved it and that is all that matter.

The story of Chu is short and sweet. It follows a a little panda that packs a big sneeze and as the book reads, “when Chu sneezes, bad things happen”. It is a very simple story and does get a few laughs even for the adults like myself that was acting out the lines. I felt like some of the words could have rhymed a bit better but overall it was still a cute and fun book.

Adam Rex has delivered some very colorful and interesting illustrations. As I was reading this book to my 6-month old daughter, she was literally grabbing the pages right out of my hand and turning them. The book itself is a little short in terms of quality but at least it has great replay value. I believe I ended up reading this book about 5 times in one sitting.