Archive | 6:08 am

Of JAWS, Neil Gaiman, and the funny things dads do

2 Dec

My Uncle Don died in the summer of 1975. The funeral was far away (Timmins I think) and Mom went to the funeral, alone,  by train. She left us my twin sister and I alone with Dad for a week. Before she left she packed the freezer full of casseroles and gave explicit directions to everyone. We managed pretty well. The best weird thing that happened way that Dad took us to the drive-in theater. Guess what was playing.


That wouldn’t have happened if Mom had been home.

In Fortunately, the Milk, his new book for young readers, Neil Gaiman explores the idea of what might happen when Mom is gone and Dad is left in charge.


Like my mother, the mother of the story leaves two kids alone with their dad. She also leaves instructions and a freezer full of food. Gaiman’s mom leaves with the ominous reminder “Oh, and we’re almost out of milk. You’ll need to pick some up.”

They make it through the first night, but the first boring, Dad uses up all the milk in his coffee so there is none for the kids’ cereal. “You poor children,” he said. “I will walk down to the shop on the corner. I will get milk.”

The poor children have to wait a long time. When their father finally returns he has a story to tell that will knock your sicks off. His adventure is filled with hot air balloons, dinosaurs, aliens, ponies, vampires and a talking volcano. This is a fun and quirky adventure. It is also a short read that is enhanced by Skottie Young’s illustrations.



This would be a fun read a loud and I can imagine kids writing their own tale about what happens when someone other than their main caregiver is left in charge of their home.

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