Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Skottie Young
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: September, 2013
Genre/Format: Science Fiction/Chapter Book
GoodReads Summary: "I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road."
"Hullo," I said to myself. "That's not something you see every day. And then something odd happened."Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.
What I Think: Neil Gaiman is brilliant. That's about all I need to say but of course, I'll say more. I love the fun and lightheartedness of this book. Fortunately, The Milk is funny right from the beginning and all the way through. I read this to Peanut and it was such a blast to read together. Something surprising would happen and we would look at each other with crinkled noses, saying, "What?" And then we would laugh and examine the pictures and read it again. It just kept getting more and more unbelievable the more we read. We loved it right through to the end.
Speaking of the end: it's great. Gaiman pulls it off with charm. It's clear that he's a dad (and probably an awesome one) because this is just the type of story a dad would write with exactly the type of ending a dad would end with. Dad's are great for joking around, making instant and ridiculous puns, and making you wonder how they pull a coin from behind your ear (grandpas are great for that, too...but don't forget, grandpas were dads before they became grandpas). I'm being purposefully vague about the ending but I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did!
In terms of a read aloud, this book is fantastic if you have a hankering for reading in different voices. There are dinosaurs and pirates and aliens...and my favorite, wumpires. I didn't realize all the different voices I was going to have to take on. When I read this aloud again, I will definitely go through and think through how each voice is going to sound so I didn't overlap as much. Other than suggesting some preplanning, this book is a stellar read aloud. I can't wait to reread it when Little Bean is a bit older.
Read Together: Grades 1 - 4
Read Alone: Grades 2 - 5
Read With: Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl, Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar, Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath, Miss Daisy is Crazy (My Weird School series) and others by Dan Gutman
Snatch of Text:
"'You're on a pirate ship now, my fine bucko,' said the Pirate Queen. 'And you don't get dropped off anywhere. There are only two choices - you can join my pirate crew, or refuse to join and we will slit your cowardly throat and you will go to the bottom of the sea, where you will feed the fishes.'
'What about walking the plank?' I asked.
'NEVER heard of it!' said the pirates.
'Walking the plank!' I said. 'It's what proper pirates do! Look, I'll show you. Do you have a plank somewhere?'" (p. 19)
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing, Making Inferences, Fluency
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Dialogue
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when something outrageous happened to you but no one believed you when you told them the story.
Topics Covered: Family, Adventure, Honesty, Imagination
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