Author: Mercado, Yehudi
Hudi needs to lose weight, according to his doctors. Concerned about the serious medical issue Hudi had when he was younger, his parents push him to try out for sports. Hudi would rather not, but then he meets Chunky, his imaginary friend and mascot. Together, they decide to find the right sport. As the only Mexican and Jewish kid in his neighborhood, Hudi has found the cheerleader he never had. Chunky eventually encourages Hudi to pursue his true love--comedy. In graphic novel format.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 2.80
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 514560
School Library Journal (+) (00/05/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2021 Gr 4–8—Middle school student Hudi has become a regular at his local hospital, due to a variety of injuries and other health issues, including losing a lung. His doctors and parents are fearful that his weight isn't helping his health, so, despite a lack of interest and natural ability, he finds himself thrust into the world of team sports. But Hudi's humor and imagination keep him going—along with support from his imaginary mascot, Chunky, a chipper, furry, horned pink creature who calls himself Hudi's "biggest fan"—as life at home with his family becomes more stressful. Drawing from his childhood experiences, Mercado's memoir emphasizes his humor and creativity as his younger self tries to figure out who he is and how he fits in, using jokes to cope with fatphobic adults in his life. Linework is strong and steady, with tropical golden and green tones punctuated by the deep but radiant magenta hues used to illustrate Hudi's pal Chunky. Mercado relies on a variety of panel layouts, borderless panels, and perspectives to keep the eye moving, and each chapter ends with a fun fourth-wall breaking postgame wrap-up. Hudi is Mexican and Jewish, while secondary and background characters present as Black and white. VERDICT Mercado offers relatable insights into the life of a child who is eager to fit in but also coming into his sense of self, sometimes with the help of adults and sometimes in spite of them. A compelling coming-of-age memoir.—Alea Perez, Elmhurst P.L., IL - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2021 Perennially overweight and always funny, Mexican Jewish Yehudi Mercado needs to drop some pounds but just wants to watch Saturday Night Live. Good-natured as they come and spurred on by his dad, Hudi submits to one sport after another. In baseball, he makes it to first . . . by getting hit with the ball. In soccer, he scores a goal . . . off a rebound from his face. He keeps at it, cheered on by his unusually honest imaginary friend, Chunky, a furry magenta mascot, until he tries football, when his father starts to wise up to his son’s gentle spirit. Lacking a certain depth that might’ve shed light on the pain that surely lies below the surface, Chunky is nevertheless as good-natured a romp as its highly appealing main character. The art evokes a light tone with simple, effective characteristics, like the massive chin of a coach, the fanged teeth and spiked hair of sports-nemesis Sunny, and Hudi’s own rounded cheeks and oversize glasses. A swift, funny tale that some readers may find a strong connection to. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.