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Fortunately, the Milk

Gaiman, Neil

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Fortunately, the Milk
While picking up milk for his children's cereal, a father is abducted by aliens and finds himself on a wild adventure through time and space.

Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 0062224077
Characteristics: 101 pages :,illustrations ;,20 cm
Additional Contributors: Young, Skottie. Illustrator


From Library Staff

After it takes a very long time for their dad to return from the store with the milk, a young boy and his sister are treated to a tale of how that milk helped him to escape aliens, pirates, vampires, and more.

From the critics

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Feb 04, 2015
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The book's unnamed Dad tells the most inventive story ever rather than admit he dallied while running out to get milk for his children's breakfast cereal. It's the type of random, convoluted, logic-defying yarn only a child is imaginative enough to invent, and it's excellently, amusingly right up its readers' alleys. Nicely illustrated and perfectly fun.

A quick sample:

"The globby aliens went a very pale green. The pirates, shiny-black-hair-men, and the piranhas looked at them, puzzled, seeking some kind of explanation, as did the wumpires.

" 'If two things that are the same thing touch,' proclaimed the volcano god, 'then the whole Universe shall end. Thus sayeth the great and unutterable Splod.'

" 'How does a volcano know so much about transtemporal metascience?' asked one of the pale green aliens.

" 'Being a geological formation gives you a lot of time to think,' said Splod. 'Also, I subscribe to a number of learned journals.' "

And that doesn't even mention the time travel, hot-air-balloon-flying stegosaurus professor, or intergalactic dinosaur police.

Jan 20, 2015

What a Fantastic Family Read! We all enjoyed this wonderful tale. My children, aged 6-11, couldn't wait for nightly story time when we got to read the next chapter! I wish it were easy to find more books like this one to keep the kids attention! My son (6) who doesn't like to read couldn't get enough of this one! I would, and have, recommended this book to Everyone looking for a good family read.

Jan 07, 2015
  • mmcbeth29 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

There is no milk for cereal in the home so dad goes out to the corner store to get some. He is gone a verrrry long time. When he returns he tells an outrageous story of why he was late. It includes aliens, time traveling, pirates, Mayan gods, vampires and dinosaurs. The bottle of milk saves the day more than once in his story. And no matter what happened, the milk makes it home safely in the end.

I adored this story because it is what you would call a tall tale--a story made up on the spot by grown ups late at night and told to the children. It was obviously utter nonsense, but who cares. Seeing where Dad would take the story next was a lot of fun. And the way Gaiman weaved a bottle of milk throughout was a nice touch.

The quirky and fun illustrations throughout the book help speed the story along. My only negative comment about the illustrations is that Mom is drawn to look like a 35 year old nag and Dad looks like an 18 year old fun only kind of guy (this was a strange characterization).

This book is advertized for grades 3-7. I think kids of all these grades would love this story. It is a quick read making it perfect for reluctant readers.

Sep 22, 2014
  • VRMurphy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great fun, and a wonderful companion piece to Dr. Seuss' "To think that I saw it on Mulberry Street".

Jul 24, 2014
  • MissAnnie rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

If you were wondering how to make up stories to tell your family and friends, this little book provides all the lessons you will need.

Jun 24, 2014
  • alicat42 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book really made me smile.

Jun 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Returning from the store in time for breakfast can be tricky when facing vengeful aliens, volcanic sacrifices, and a time-traveling stegosaurus . . . Hang on to that milk!

Jun 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Returning from the store in time for breakfast can be tricky when facing vengeful aliens, volcanic sacrifices, and a time-traveling stegosaurus . . . Hang on to that milk!

May 22, 2014
  • LocketLibrarian rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A funny quirky adventure through time. Would love to read this aloud with a class.

Apr 24, 2014
  • CRRL_CraigGraziano rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

How far would you go to make sure you had milk in your refrigerator? Might you outsmart a spaceship full of aliens looking to remodel your planet? Would you dare face off against bloodthirsty pirates? How about climbing into a time-traveling hot air balloon invented by a genius stegosaurus? Fortunately, the Milk, by Neil Gaiman has these things and so much more.

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Add Age Suitability

Jan 03, 2015
  • Yellow_Duck_31 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Yellow_Duck_31 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and under

Oct 20, 2014
  • BklynAllisonH rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

BklynAllisonH thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

Jun 24, 2014
  • alicat42 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

alicat42 thinks this title is suitable for 5 years and over


Add a Summary

Jun 24, 2014
  • alicat42 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A trip to get milk results in many adventures.


Add a Quote

Jan 12, 2014
  • JCLChristiH rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I said good-bye to all the dinosaurs. I thanked Professor Steg for saving my life. "Not at all," she said. "We were both fortunate that you had the milk with you. It is not every container of milk that saves the world, after all." "That was me that saved the world, " I said, "Not the milk." The space dinosaurs all had their picture taken holding the milk and smiling at the camera. "What are you going to do with the milk?" they asked me, "Are you going to put it in a museum?" "No, I am not," I told them. "I am going to give it to my children for their breakfast cereal. and possibly I will pour some in my tea." - See more at:,_the_milk#sthash.C5hLd5oV.dpuf


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