So, J has been practicing his reading alot lately, and although he enjoys stories and having books read to him, he is still building up the confidence to read chapter books independently. There is a whole world of great books out there that I cannot wait to introduce to them!
I did get him a couple of Enid Blyton adventure books to read, but he finds the great black-and-white wall of text rather intimidating to scale at the moment. I have also tried introducing comic books like Calvin and Hobbes to him, but he tends to lose himself in the pictures and does not focus on the words at all.
Which is why I was SO excited to get my paws on a copy of ‘Fortunately, the Milk‘ by Neil Gaiman.
Neil Gaiman has written several other books for children, but none of them are exactly like ‘Fortunately, the Milk‘. His other books for children, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book, lean towards the macabre and are probably better for confident young readers who are out of preschool.
The book is a grand mix of storytelling and illustrations. The great black-and-white wall of text is broken up by Skottie Young’s quirky and fantastical sketches (which I can imagine will make for wonderful colouring-in exercise for older kids who are into
defacing creatively decorating their books) on every page. The font is unconventional too, designed to capture the attention of the reader as well as convey different emotions.
In the book, there are pirates, parents trying to provide a healthy breakfast, dinosaurs, time-travellers, aliens and colourful ponies, decorative plates, well, basically everything that you could ever possibly want in a great story. And of course, there is the milk.
J enjoyed reading it aloud so Little E, and coming up with different voices for each character.
The two of them spent several afternoons on the living room carpet, laughing over the nonsensical plot twists and the crazy, drawings bringing the book to life.
Afterwards, I caught them building lego models to re-enact the scenes from the book!
J liked the story so much that he read the whole thing to himself, and it was great fun for him the whole way. In fact, since he completed this first ‘big boy book’ all by himself, I have noticed him starting to choose more challenging books to read to himself at home!
Debs G rates Fortunately, the Milk: Five gold doubloons and a bowl of cereal (with milk, of course)
And…if you are still not convinced of the awesomeness of this book, check out this book trailer which includes an excerpt read by the lovely, lovely Neil Gaiman himself:
Bonus for Owls Well Readers: MPH Bookstores has generously agreed to sponsor a giveaway of ‘Fortunately, the Milk’ by Neil Gaiman to THREE lucky Owls Well readers!
To take part in the Giveaway just:
- Be a fan of the Owls Well Facebook page
- Like and share this Facebook photo and tag a friend – make sure your post is public!
- Leave a comment below telling me what book inspired you (or your child) to start reading independently and the name of your Facebook account that you used to like the page. Don’t forget to include your email address! (If you would like to send me the email address privately, leave a comment for the other answers, then email me at 4owlswell [at] gmail [dot] com)
(Giveaway is open to Singaporean residents and will end on 19th May 2014. Winners will be picked via Random.org – just make sure you complete all 3 easy steps!)
Update: Mel, Robert and Ashmika are our winners. Thanks for playing!