Two children are awaiting their father’s return from the store so they can eat breakfast, because they can’t eat their cereal without milk. He returns with the milk a bit late, but the story he has to tell more than makes up for it.
This book is adorable. It’s puppies and kittens and cupcakes and whatever else that constitutes cute. But in the best way possible: it’s adorable for a science fiction and fantasy fan. Now I realize that the idea is to appeal to a younger audience, and in doing so, fire up their imaginations. The easiest way to do that is via genre fiction, using time machines and dinosaurs and so on.
Yet as a fan of those things myself, I was delighted with this book. Meaning that even though it is for a younger audience and it makes that clear, I had a great time with it. It’s like a middle grade Hitchhiker’s Guide, where anything can happen and does. Cleverness abounds.
Which brings me to say that even though it is for children, it treats them with respect, as per usual of Gaiman. Specifically it treats their minds with respect. There are twists and paradoxes in time that had me going back to check to be sure I knew how this was going down exactly, and that challenge to keep you thinking and paying attention is just the sort of thing a kid needs in a book.
And without trying to spoil anything, I loved that ending. That it’s less about a crazy adventure and more about a father trying to give his children a fun experience. I took that as a heartfelt message. Again, puppies and kittens and cupcakes.