Fortunately, the Milk by Neal Gaiman

Remember the last dream you had that seemed to be completely random? One minute it makes sense: the next minute it doesn’t.

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman is a strange, dream-like story. It is a story told by a father to his children when he took too long to go to the store and get some milk. When he came home with the milk, the children asked why it had taken so long. The remainder of the book is a clever and ridiculous story that the father tells in order to convince his children that he had been gone for good reason.Continue Reading

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet (published 1948) won the Newbery Honor upon publication. It is an adventure story about a child and geared for a child.

In this story, a child named Elmer Elevator (called “my father” throughout the book) befriends an alley cat, who tells him of a captured dragon forced to work  on Wild Island, near the Land of Tangerina. Continue Reading

The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber

When I saw The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber (originally published 1950; republished New York Review of Books) had an introduction by Neil Gaiman and was a part of The New York Review Children’s Collection, I was intrigued. The Thirteen Clocks is a short and bizarre fairy tale. Or fantasty story. Neil Gaiman describes it as nothing anyone has ever seen before or since and that is about right.Continue Reading

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke

The cartoon-like illustrations in Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke (First Second Books, September 2014) perfectly match the child-like imaginative story.  It begins with fantastic personification:

Julie’s house came to town and settled by the sea.

And Julia is obviously not a normal girl, for when she decides to open her home to lost creatures, she finds herself welcoming not just “patched up Kitty” but a sad troll and all sorts of other monsters.Continue Reading