I come from a family of storytellers. My grandfather could weave a story that would leave you in tears of laughter while he sat there calm and cool as you please. He was a shoman about it and some stories the rest of the family won't tell because only he could tell them perfectly. The movie Big Fish reminds me of him, though most of his stories were more truth then fiction. Not that he was opposed to a bit of...embellishment.
When I was around eight or so, my grandparents moved to a house with a small sinkhole in the front lawn. It had a spindly, crooked tree growing out of it and managed to look frightening even in the daylight. When we came to visit the first time, they were so scared we'd try to play around and in it. So Granddaddy took my brother and I firmly by the hands and marched us over as close as he wished us to get. He let us peer down and then told us in a very serious voice, "This is a Monster Hole. You're safe with me as long as you hold onto my hand but if a little boy or girl should get close by themselves, a monster will grab their ankle and pull them in and gobble them right up!"
I never went near that scary monster hole! I also took it upon myself to watch out for Granddaddy when he mowed around it...just in case.
Gaiman's book Fortunately, the Milk reminds me so much of my grandfather and one of the reasons I love him so much. Two children are left in the care of their father while their mother is away and everything goes alright until breakfast one morning when...there's no milk! the father heads to the corner store to gain liquid sustenance for their cereal (and equally important his tea!) but is gone far longer then he should be. He finally returns only to relate a fantastic story of aliens, pirates, time-traveling dinosaurs, and of course milk. What happened? Should his children believe him? And who is responsible for naming a big-red-flat-pressy-thing a button?
Read and find out!
Gaiman weaves a tight and hilarious story over something as simple as milk while Skottie Young's illustrations work perfectly to capture the zany and exciting elements of the book. I can't decide if I like how he draws Steg or the dad better. This is a story you can't explain very well without spoiling something, so I'd simply urge you to pick up this short and humorous book and give it a try.
If you love Neil Gaiman's work, good story telling, or just want to laugh, this is the book for you.