Fortunately, this Book

So I mentioned to some friends the other day that I wanted to find someone to do pen and ink drawings to go along with a short story I’m working on.  I had this idea that it would be cool to have simple drawings but have them interact with the words.

“So, have you seen Neil Gaiman’s Fortunately, the Milk?” the friend asked right away.

No, but I liked the sound of that.  I’m a fan of Neil Gaiman.

The next day I looked up the book and immediately bought it.

It is exactly…exactly…the sort of thing I’d envisioned (though admittedly on a slightly bigger scale). And somehow my friend knew that instantly.

My friends are so much cooler than I am.

You guys, this book.  It is wonderful.  I’m already thinking of all the kids in my life who need it for Christmas.  I mean, not my own kids, because the second they saw it lying on my desk, they were all over the title and the cover illustration and had read the whole book before I even knew what was happening.

Here, take a look at it really big and you’ll see why:

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Yes, that is a dinosaur in a hot air balloon. Yes, there is a mysteriously wonderful red button about to be pushed.  Yes, the main character is sporting a manic grin and a fabulous scarf, not to mention the ever important bottle of milk.  You know you want to know what’s up with that milk.

The whole book is like this, you guys.  The story is super fun.  Quirky and strange, which you would expect from Neil Gaiman, but the kind of weird that made both me and my kids laugh out loud.  And the illustrations (done by Skottie Young) have the exact same feeling.  I hate to use the overworked word whimsical, but they are.  Simple, too, but with enough detail to be fascinating.

The best part is the way the words and illustrations interact.  I can’t get enough of it.

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I won’t give away any more, but every page is a delight.  Every page, people.

It’s a small book, a quick read even for a kid, and if you know anyone aged 8-12, you should buy them this book.

In my not-at-all-pushy opinion.

(Unless you know the same kids I do. Then ask me first. I probably already bought it for them.)

Oh, did I mention that it’s all about a dad making up a story for his kids?  Yeah.  It is.

Thank you, Neil Gaiman. You’re my hero.

(And if any of you like to do pen and ink drawings, I have this odd little story I’d like to talk to you about…)

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