Review: A little boy and his little sister awake one morning with milk for their cereal. Their mother is away on business and their father is buried, reading in the paper while the childrens' sit impatiently and hungry for breakfast. The siblings concoct a plan to persuade their father to drop his paper and go get milk by telling him his tea isn't as good without milk. The father reluctantly makes a trip to the story, but takes a very long time from coming back to the story with their coveted milk. When he does finally arrive back home, he has a story to tell, a story involving aliens; pirates; ponies; wumpires (not the handsome, sparkly ones but the brooding kind); and a stegosaurus professor who pilots a Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier (which looks suspiciously like a hot-air balloon). Fortunately, the Milk reminds me a lot of Douglas Adams' bizarre plots and humor. There is a lot of things that young readers will enjoy: time travel, treachery, and tongue in cheek humor and narrative twists as the father goes to great lengths at rescuing his bottle of milk at every turn. The illustrations by Young fills the pages with sketchy, highly stylized and exaggerated images, stretched and pointy, bringing the crazed creatures father meets on his perilous journey to life. Many kids just like siblings in the book will scratch their head and wonder if they believe the father's wild stories at all. I think this would make a great read aloud.
Rating: 4 stars
Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 3 and up.
If you like this book try: Sideway Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar, Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo