January 6, 2014

Shorts: Gaiman's Wolves and Time Travelers

One of my favorite authors is Neil Gaiman, and I have become especially more fond of his children's stories because I now have my little daughter to share them with. Before 2013 ended, I we read two of Gaiman's children's books: The Wolves In The Walls and the recently-released Fortunately, the Milk.

The Wolves In The Walls
Written by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Dave McKean


We share books, my daughter and I.

This is the story of Lucy, who could hear the sounds being made by wolves coming from within the walls of their house. She tries to tell her mother, father, and brother about the wolfish sounds, but they were all incredulous and refused to believe her. Only her little pig-puppet believed her. And then one night, something happened in Lucy's house... Can you guess what?

Wolves In The Walls is a children's story, yes, but I think it might be too dark or scary for the smaller kids - I was initially worried that my 3-year-old might be frightened when we read it, but she didn't flinch at all even when she saw the hideously terrifying illustrations of the wolves. It's actually the drawings that will scare the younger readers, not the story itself.

But it was a fun read despite the horror and the scare factor. I loved reading it aloud to my daughter, complete with hushed tones and throaty growls when required. And while the illustrations, courtesy of Dave McKean, were indeed creepy, I don't think any other manner of drawing would be able to capture the narration as perfectly as McKean's did.

And the best part is that the ending leaves the readers free to draw their own conclusions about what happens next.

Rating: ★★★★
Book details: Soft bound, brand-new from Fully Booked MOA

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Fortunately, the Milk
Written by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Skottie Young




Love the illustrations of this one.

Fortunately, the Milk is the story of a father who experiences (literally) otherworldly things and accidentally embarks on time-traveling adventures after he goes out on an errand: getting milk for his children's breakfast cereal. Before he realizes it, he is taken up on a balloon-like contraption, hurtles through time and space, and meets pirates, vampires, and a brainy dinosaur-scientist named Dr. Steg. He is saved from several mishaps by the bottle of milk he fortunately manages to hold on to from his trip to the grocery store.

Now this one is fun, quirky and adventure-filled, and will be definitely enjoyed by kids of all ages. It involves time-travel, space travel, science, pirates, vampires, dinosaurs, and simple logic. The illustrations are lighter, cleaner, and more cartoonish, in an absolutely good way. I enjoyed reading how an ordinary breakfast item such as a bottle of milk could apparently save the day for an unwitting time adventurer. I especially loved the part about the vampires and how ze dialogue made ze entire portion zeem zo funny.

Milk, anyone? :)

Rating: ★★★★
Book details: Paperback, brand-new from Fully Booked MOA

4 comments:

Tin said...

I was surprised to find a book like Fortunately, The Milk carrying Neil Gaiman's name. You know, I'm used to seeing him in books that are dark and grim. And FTM was light and fun! I love that the Dad gets to be in the limelight this time, when the protagonists are usually kids. I have yet to read Wolves though. It looks perfectly Gaiman creepy:D

Monique said...

TIN: "Gaiman creepy" sounds just about right. It's like a brand of creepy. Heee. :D

Lynai said...

I have added Fortunately, The Milk to my TBR, and I am so looking forward to read it this year.

Reading books to my daughter is something that I am excited to do in the future. :)

hindiakoto said...

I found Fortunately the Milk cute. Such a great story that you can read to kids and adults alike!