Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sunshine State Book Review 2015: Fortunately, the Milk

My first Sunshine State read of the summer is Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman.  You might recognize his name.  He also wrote The Graveyard Book.  I have to tell you, this was one wild, crazy, adventurous, imaginative, stupendous, wonderful, and quick read!  I'm not even going to try and summarize it for you because this description on Amazon from Booklist is amazingly spot on!

"A little boy and his little sister awake one morning, milkless. Their mother is away on business, their father is buried in the paper, and their Toastios are dry. What are young siblings to do? They impress upon their father that his tea is also without milk and sit back to watch their plan take effect. But something goes amiss, and their father doesn’t return and doesn’t return some more. When he does, finally, he has a story to tell, a story involving aliens; pirates; ponies; wumpires (not the handsome, brooding kind); and a stegosaurus professor who pilots a Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier (which looks suspiciously like a hot-air balloon). There is time travel, treachery, and ample adventure, and, fortunately, the milk he has procured is rescued at every turn. Gaiman’s oversize, tongue-in-cheek narrative twists about like the impromptu nonsense it is, with quick turns, speed bumps, and one go-for-broke dairy deus ex machina. Young fills the pages with sketchy, highly stylized images, stretched and pointy, bringing the crazed imaginations to life with irrepressible energy. Children will devour this one, with or without milk."

It is very funny and will definitely keep kids on the edge of their seats to see what happens next!  The illustrations are very intricate and well done as well.  I haven't decided if this would be a better read aloud (because there are so many twists and turns and it occasionally jumps back to the present when Dad is telling his story- but you only know that from the font change) or if it would be better for kids to read it by themselves.  I feel if they read it by themselves they would probably devour it in one sitting (which is not a bad thing) but they might get a little confused with plot twists or some vocabulary, depending on their reading level.  Although, if you read it aloud, don't wait too many days in between readings (like your students would even let you!).  There is a lot that goes on in the story and it might not be as easy for some to remember or catch up.

In the past we have always done a Sunshine State Feast (click here to read more about it) but sadly last year it didn't happen because of various reasons but one being... I wasn't there!  Oh, maternity leave :o)  That's okay though, it just means we'll have to have a bigger and better one this year since my 4th graders will be in 5th and we combine forces for the Feast!  That being said, whenever I provide you with the information below and you see the category for "Food," that's what I'm referring to.

Genre: Science Fiction
Lexile: 680
Grade Level Equivalent: 4.3
Pages: 128
Skill: Sequence/Chronological Order
Food: Milk (are you even surprised???)

One of my all time favorite things is when a book or movie says the title in the book or movie!  This book says the title A LOT!  I LOVE IT!!!  At our Feast we will have a Trivia Game (thanks to one of the books being Olivia Bean Trivia Queen) and that is one of the questions: How many times does Fortunately, the Milk say it's title in the story?

Earlier this week I posted Sunshine State Awards for your students if they read one of the 15 books.  If you would like a copy of the award for reading this book click here to grab your free copy!  There are three different versions: SRC Test, AR Test and just reading the book.

Next up: PIE by Sarah Weeks!


  1. I am going to read this ASAP. I have started reading Wonder right when school starts the past two years and then lead straight into Elvis and the Underdogs...BUT I'm thinking maybe many of the kids read that in 4th this past year for Battle of the Books and won't want to hear it again....SO...maybe I will start this before they can get their hands on it. Hopefully not too many will have read it over the summer. I've got some major decisions to make now! LOL!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Thank you for the recommendation! I added this to my Amazon wish list.


  3. Thank you for your recommendation. I added this book to my Amazon wish list.

    Fit to be Fourth

  4. Thanks for the reminder about the Sunshine State Books! I always use it to find new ones to read and tell my clas about. I'm off to the library today to grab a few on the lists.
    Thanks BBB!
    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans