Monday, 2 February 2015

Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Fortunately, The Milk is a tale of what happens when Dad has been left in charge of his two children. When he goes out to buy the milk, the weird fun begins. He is abducted by globby, five-eyed aliens. He also meets pirates who have never heard of "walking the plank"; he befriends a talking dinosaur and meets a god named Splod. 
The story is brought fantastically to life by Chris Riddell's inventive and witty caricature illustrations (Dad is a version of the younger Gaiman).
Fortunately, the Milk has a general interest level of ages 7- 9. The story is fast paced and as Dad is the protagonist would appeal equally to boys and girls. Much of the sentence structure is either simple or compound, making comprehension accessible for those who have recently gained reading independence. Most children in year 4 would probably be able to read it as an independent read. 
As a class read, it would provide a fantastic stimulus for an extended write. The children could plan and write their own 'Fortunately the Milk' stories, describing all the improbable adventures that happened to Dad on his way back from the corner shop.
As the book contains a great deal of conversation, it is also a good model for including direct speech in children's own writing. For teachers who are focussing on the teaching of 'nouns', Gaiman, makes up his own imaginative names for objects such as a 'big-red-flat-pressy-thing' for a button, in much the same way Jeanne Willis does in the Dr Xargles books.
A wonderfully funny and imaginative book ideal for class libraries as well as class reads.

Published by Bloomsbury 2013
 ISBN 978-1-4088=4176-1

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