Hot Best Seller

Chunky

Availability: Ready to download

Yehudi Mercado draws inspiration from his childhood struggle with his weight while finding friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working-class Mexican Jewish family. 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. H Yehudi Mercado draws inspiration from his childhood struggle with his weight while finding friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working-class Mexican Jewish family. 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 do anything else, but then he meets Chunky, his imaginary friend and mascot. Together, they decide to give baseball a shot. Hudi has found the cheerleader he never had, as Chunky cheers him on even when Hudi barely makes the team. Baseball doesn’t go well (unless getting hit by the ball counts), but the two friends have a great time drawing and making jokes. While Hudi’s parents keep trying to find the right sport for him, Chunky encourages him to pursue his true love—comedy. But when Hudi’s dad loses his job, it gets harder for Hudi to chart his own course, even with Chunky’s guidance. Can Chunky help Hudi stay true to himself, or will this friendship strike out?


Compare

Yehudi Mercado draws inspiration from his childhood struggle with his weight while finding friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working-class Mexican Jewish family. 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. H Yehudi Mercado draws inspiration from his childhood struggle with his weight while finding friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working-class Mexican Jewish family. 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 do anything else, but then he meets Chunky, his imaginary friend and mascot. Together, they decide to give baseball a shot. Hudi has found the cheerleader he never had, as Chunky cheers him on even when Hudi barely makes the team. Baseball doesn’t go well (unless getting hit by the ball counts), but the two friends have a great time drawing and making jokes. While Hudi’s parents keep trying to find the right sport for him, Chunky encourages him to pursue his true love—comedy. But when Hudi’s dad loses his job, it gets harder for Hudi to chart his own course, even with Chunky’s guidance. Can Chunky help Hudi stay true to himself, or will this friendship strike out?

30 review for Chunky

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    This was so much fun. Hudi is an overweight kid with one lung, an overactive imagination and a crackling wit. His parents want him to lose weight and sign him up for sports, switching to a new one after each colossal failure. This was really funny with a lot of self-deprecating humor. It's got some very good body positivity and self esteem messages as well. Received a review copy from Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss. This was so much fun. Hudi is an overweight kid with one lung, an overactive imagination and a crackling wit. His parents want him to lose weight and sign him up for sports, switching to a new one after each colossal failure. This was really funny with a lot of self-deprecating humor. It's got some very good body positivity and self esteem messages as well. Received a review copy from Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    "Yeah! Baseball! Babe Ruth was pretty fat and HE was good at baseball. You're going to have to clear some room for ALL THE TROPHIES I'm gonna win." pg. 26 This is a book about a Mexican Jewish boy named Hudi Mercado (obviously a fictionalized tale of the author's own childhood). He's fat, and his doctor says he has to lose weight. His parents insist he sign up for a sport, even though Hudi is clumsy and reminds his parents he always ends up getting injured when he tries to play sports. (He even g "Yeah! Baseball! Babe Ruth was pretty fat and HE was good at baseball. You're going to have to clear some room for ALL THE TROPHIES I'm gonna win." pg. 26 This is a book about a Mexican Jewish boy named Hudi Mercado (obviously a fictionalized tale of the author's own childhood). He's fat, and his doctor says he has to lose weight. His parents insist he sign up for a sport, even though Hudi is clumsy and reminds his parents he always ends up getting injured when he tries to play sports. (He even gets injured frequently in his non-sport daily life.) Hudi lives in Texas. Hudi is generally good-natured. He rolls with the punches. He's less angry and depressed than I'd expect a kid to be who is treated this way. He wants to go into comedy and he fantasizes about being on SNL all the time. He's a great kid. Hudi's parents aren't bad people, but they don't really have a nuanced approach to Hudi's being fat. The doctors tell them he has to lose weight, so they sign him up for sports. (view spoiler)[It's only later in the book it dawns on them that perhaps there are some downsides to this attitude. (hide spoiler)] Hudi is missing a lung - there's a wicked scar across his back. He fantasizes that he lost it in a ninja fight, but in reality they had to cut out one of his lungs after an infection. His parents are not fat, his mom is 'normal weight' and his dad is quite buff. His younger sisters are 'normal' weight. He's the only fat one. His mom also casually says stuff about how "my dress doesn't fit so this entire family is going on a diet." And etc. The description on this book makes it seem like this is a book about having an imaginary friend. Actually, Chunky - that's the imaginary friend's name, the monster's name - isn't really integral to the plot. You could theoretically ignore him and get the same story. But I guess imaginary friends make things more exciting for child readers. ANYWAY. Hudi cycles through sports, injuring himself in each one after cheerfully and bravely playing every single one. It's only at the end of the book, when he tries football that he 'succeeds' at sports. Recruited by a coach who says stuff like, "You wanna be a football player? Or you wanna put on makeup and tights?" (in regards to Hudi's desperate wish to join drama). (view spoiler)[You'd think his parents would be thrilled, but their wish being granted means their sweet son starts turning into an aggressive, violent football player, egged on by his coach who reminds me of John Kreese. STRIKE FIRST, STRIKE HARD, NO MERCY! His parents are now having second thoughts. (hide spoiler)] One thing that strikes me about this book is how sunny Hudi is, especially given the way people treat him. I expect jeers from peers, but the adults in the novel are so snide to him. E.g., a nurse - a fucking NURSE - says to him, "SOMEONE likes having seconds." Hudi doesn't even respond. Or his baseball coach has this conversation with him: HUDI: "I have to get on base if I want to get pizza. PROMISES were made." BASEBALL COACH: "Kid, you should NEVER EAT PIZZA EVER AGAIN." pg. 51 None of this seems to make Hudi angry and depressed. If I were him, I'd be angry and depressed. I'm good-natured, but there's limits. And it's absolutely disgraceful that no matter what sport Hudi joins, they don't have shirts that fit him. Disgraceful. And really weird. I'm certain there's other fat kids in the school. Again, doesn't faze the kid at all. I love Mercado's fake movie posters on page 72. The one called HANUKKAH COPS: 8 NIGHTS OF DANGER is particularly hilarious. I like the Spanish in the book. Hudi makes most grown-ups and other kids laugh. He's pretty chill and funny. Almost unbelievably chill and funny. Mercado doesn't get dark with this. Hudi doesn't start developing an eating disorder or get consumed by rage and/or depression. The worst thing that happens is that (view spoiler)[ Hudi is accepted and cheered at football, specifically for his size and power to hurt other players, with his Kreese coach cheering him on every step of the way. It scares Hudi's parents. They finally let him try out for Drama. (hide spoiler)] TL; DR An interesting graphic novel for children. I'd recommend it. It's good to see cheerful representation of fat people, and it's good to see Mexican Jewish representation here. Mercado doesn't dumb down or hide any of these aspects of Hudi's existence, despite ignoring the darker consequences that can spring up from a kid facing this kind of environment. It's... interesting that Mercado went with an imaginary friend plot. Not that I mind the imaginary friend, but he (it?) was pretty low-key and seems just to be here to add a 'fun' element for the kids. I'm an adult, so please take my analysis with a grain of salt. Cheerful book with a happy ending. HUDI: "Ronald's team is the Dragons. That's so much cooler than the Colts. Isn't Colt a gun?" CHUNKY: "I think it's a horse." pg. 40 NAMES IN THIS BOOK: (view spoiler)[ Hudi m Yehudi Wynnie f Yoni f Chunky m Sunny m Ronald m Burt m George m Leo m Jorge m The General m (hide spoiler)]

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ms. B

    3.5 stars, graphic novel memoir. Based on the author illustrator's own experiences growing up in Texas as a Mexican Jewish kid. After a diagnosis from a doctor to lose weight, Hudi's parents encourage him to try out different sports to find the one that's for him. With an imaginary mascot (Chunky is clear that he is a mascot, not a friend) cheering him on, Hudi finds his sport. Baseball, soccer, swimming or something else? Fans of sports stories or graphic novels about real life will want give t 3.5 stars, graphic novel memoir. Based on the author illustrator's own experiences growing up in Texas as a Mexican Jewish kid. After a diagnosis from a doctor to lose weight, Hudi's parents encourage him to try out different sports to find the one that's for him. With an imaginary mascot (Chunky is clear that he is a mascot, not a friend) cheering him on, Hudi finds his sport. Baseball, soccer, swimming or something else? Fans of sports stories or graphic novels about real life will want give this one a try.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Frank Chillura (OhYouRead)

    I pick up a lot of Graphic Novels lately. Especially Middle Grade ones that have a point or meaning behind the story. I appreciate that Chunky was telling the story of a young boy, in and out of the hospital due to a lung condition he had as a child. After having surgery to remove one of his lungs, his road to recovery left him a little bit chunky. Maybe it was triggering seeing so many people telling him that he needed to lose weight and pushing him into sports, but I was a little sad because of I pick up a lot of Graphic Novels lately. Especially Middle Grade ones that have a point or meaning behind the story. I appreciate that Chunky was telling the story of a young boy, in and out of the hospital due to a lung condition he had as a child. After having surgery to remove one of his lungs, his road to recovery left him a little bit chunky. Maybe it was triggering seeing so many people telling him that he needed to lose weight and pushing him into sports, but I was a little sad because of that. I was left in that same position growing up and somehow found my way into theater, so I felt a kinship to Hudi. I absolutely loved his imaginary friend, Chunky, because not only was he the comical side character I always seem to love, but he was the voice of reason that Hudi desperately needed. Thank You to Harper Collins & Harper Alley for sending me a copy of Chunky in return for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pam Page

    I love it when I find a quality graphic novel that I know kids will love and relate to and Chunky sure fits that! The artwork is so vibrant, the story so important for kids who are trying to find their strengths, and the imaginary Chunky who adds more humor to the story.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I’m a teacher and I’m always looking for new graphic novels for my classroom. But there are so many things in this that are just uncomfortable. -claiming another kid got out of juvie -gun reference -then about half way in the book so many gun references. They are playing video games with gun. The character wants a toy gun. Huh. -the main character is insufferable! -toxic masculinity! The character wants to join drama but the football coach stops him. Not once but twice in the book says “put on t I’m a teacher and I’m always looking for new graphic novels for my classroom. But there are so many things in this that are just uncomfortable. -claiming another kid got out of juvie -gun reference -then about half way in the book so many gun references. They are playing video games with gun. The character wants a toy gun. Huh. -the main character is insufferable! -toxic masculinity! The character wants to join drama but the football coach stops him. Not once but twice in the book says “put on tights and join drama” -the “Chunky” character was pointless. Not really sure who this book is suppose to be for.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens

    It's hard being an overweight, non-athletic, Mexican Jew in Texas. Luckily, Hudi has his humor and vivid imagination to help him get through. He also has a hot pink monster mascot. It's hard being an overweight, non-athletic, Mexican Jew in Texas. Luckily, Hudi has his humor and vivid imagination to help him get through. He also has a hot pink monster mascot.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I loved that Chunky was Hudi's imaginary friend and self-esteem cheerleader. However, I wish Hudi had found a support person that was not imaginary. Not every kid is able to imagine cheering themselves on without guidance. I do wish it had gone a little deeper into body image or blended cultures. There were several funny moments in the book. I think my 5th graders will like it, but they gravitate toward graphic novels anyway. Probably 3.5 stars rounded up. I loved that Chunky was Hudi's imaginary friend and self-esteem cheerleader. However, I wish Hudi had found a support person that was not imaginary. Not every kid is able to imagine cheering themselves on without guidance. I do wish it had gone a little deeper into body image or blended cultures. There were several funny moments in the book. I think my 5th graders will like it, but they gravitate toward graphic novels anyway. Probably 3.5 stars rounded up.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Carr

    Format Read: Book (Graphic Novel) Cover Art: 4 stars Library Buy: Yes Review: Fantastic, funny, and entertaining memoir with a lot of heart! We all need a Chunky in our life to cheer us on. I totally related to the struggles with athletic pursuits. My junior high gym teacher would always send me to practice tennis against the wall because I wasn't very good. Sports was not my thing! I love how Hudi doesn't lose who he is along the way. His humour is injected into every attempt at being "sporty". I Format Read: Book (Graphic Novel) Cover Art: 4 stars Library Buy: Yes Review: Fantastic, funny, and entertaining memoir with a lot of heart! We all need a Chunky in our life to cheer us on. I totally related to the struggles with athletic pursuits. My junior high gym teacher would always send me to practice tennis against the wall because I wasn't very good. Sports was not my thing! I love how Hudi doesn't lose who he is along the way. His humour is injected into every attempt at being "sporty". I would give this 4 1/2 stars if I could. I absolutely know my students will love this and I'm adding it to my list of potential Surrey Book of the Year nominees for 2022-2023.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Linda Stack-Nelson

    Funny! Sweet! Real! Love it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

    'Chunky' with story and art by Yehudi Mercado is a graphic novel for younger readers about a kid with a weight problem and an imaginary friend named Chunky. In a story inspired by the author's youth, we meet young Yehudi, overweight, but a sharp-witted kid. He's also prone to injury, so when his parents get him involved in sports, there is always the inevitable injury just waiting to happen. Yehudi tries out for baseball, soccer, swimming and football, but will he ever find his true passion? I've 'Chunky' with story and art by Yehudi Mercado is a graphic novel for younger readers about a kid with a weight problem and an imaginary friend named Chunky. In a story inspired by the author's youth, we meet young Yehudi, overweight, but a sharp-witted kid. He's also prone to injury, so when his parents get him involved in sports, there is always the inevitable injury just waiting to happen. Yehudi tries out for baseball, soccer, swimming and football, but will he ever find his true passion? I've read a few of this author's graphic novels and I'm a fan. The characters are fun wisecrackers (apparently like the author). The art is a great style and all the ones I've read seem well suited to younger readers. I received a review copy of this graphic novel from HarperCollins Children's Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This is so weird and I so weirdly loved it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    I absolutely loved the message behind this story. The situations are so real, so much Hudi’s life, and I love that he shared these personal situations with kids especially. I know others wish he had support from someone in the story more than his imaginary friend Chunky, but in these situations sometimes an imaginary friend is all someone has until someone sees the reality, they read a book, or they find a teacher/mentor to support them. Hudi mentioned in his acknowledgments he had support from I absolutely loved the message behind this story. The situations are so real, so much Hudi’s life, and I love that he shared these personal situations with kids especially. I know others wish he had support from someone in the story more than his imaginary friend Chunky, but in these situations sometimes an imaginary friend is all someone has until someone sees the reality, they read a book, or they find a teacher/mentor to support them. Hudi mentioned in his acknowledgments he had support from his family, but he felt compelled to follow the trend of sports yet the arts is where his heart remained. This story will resonate with so many. I can’t wait to share with students. Especially paired with Starfish by Lisa Fipps.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    What an absolutely freaking adorable graphic memoir about Yehudi Mercado's childhood as a fat kid with only one lung and no coordination trying out various sports to please his parents while really just wanting to be the funny kid he was clearly always meant to be. And because this is Mercado, it isn't a straight memoir. Instead, there's an excellent fantastical twist in the form of an imaginary mascot cheering him on even as he fails spectacularly at pretty much every sport he tries. It also re What an absolutely freaking adorable graphic memoir about Yehudi Mercado's childhood as a fat kid with only one lung and no coordination trying out various sports to please his parents while really just wanting to be the funny kid he was clearly always meant to be. And because this is Mercado, it isn't a straight memoir. Instead, there's an excellent fantastical twist in the form of an imaginary mascot cheering him on even as he fails spectacularly at pretty much every sport he tries. It also really drives home the ways in which little Yehudi nearly loses himself in the process of trying to fit in. Ultimately about being true to yourself no matter who that is. And just adorably illustrated and narrated, with sports commentator-like addresses to the audience and all. Highly recommend.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Norton

    An enjoyable and relatable graphic novel for school-aged kids. I was shocked by how much I related to the main character/author. We have very different families and upbringings but being a fat kid who suffered repeated injuries in sports and tries to lose themselves in comedy and drama... that hit pretty close to home.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shaunna

    3.5 stars

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nay Keppler

    Points for representation. Really unfunny and didn’t like the art.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Meh. It didn't really deal with issues... Meh. It didn't really deal with issues...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cassie GAPLD

    Hudi is a sweet and funny boy navigating health problems. When his doctor encourages him to play sports to improve his health, he decides to take a stab at a variety of activities with sometimes disastrous results. He has a built-in imaginary hype man, Chunky, to help keep his spirits up, though he finds himself increasingly drawn towards theater. Fans of Raina Telgemeier and Shannon Hale's Real Friends books will find a lot to love in this semi-autobiographical story Hudi is a sweet and funny boy navigating health problems. When his doctor encourages him to play sports to improve his health, he decides to take a stab at a variety of activities with sometimes disastrous results. He has a built-in imaginary hype man, Chunky, to help keep his spirits up, though he finds himself increasingly drawn towards theater. Fans of Raina Telgemeier and Shannon Hale's Real Friends books will find a lot to love in this semi-autobiographical story

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Heidrich

    3.5

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Netgalley Hudi's doctors want him to lose weight, especially since he had a lung removed after an infection at the age of five. His mother is always giving him a hard time about what he is eating, and his father, who is very athletic, wants him to try to find a sport he enjoys so he can get more exercise. In his mind, he has an imaginary friend he calls Chunky who cheers him on in everything he does. While sports are not Hudi's passion (he would rather make people laugh by telli E ARC provided by Netgalley Hudi's doctors want him to lose weight, especially since he had a lung removed after an infection at the age of five. His mother is always giving him a hard time about what he is eating, and his father, who is very athletic, wants him to try to find a sport he enjoys so he can get more exercise. In his mind, he has an imaginary friend he calls Chunky who cheers him on in everything he does. While sports are not Hudi's passion (he would rather make people laugh by telling jokes, and has his eye on the theater program), he tries soccer, swimming, and tennis, always managing to get injured enough to end up in the emergency room. This is a hardship for his parents, who struggle to make ends meet but always make sure that Hudi and his sisters have what they need. When his father loses his job, his sister's bat mitzvah is in jeopardy until grandparents step in to help. His father finds work out of town, and Hudi is approached by the football coach to be on the team, because of his large size instead of in spite of it. For a while, Hudi throws himself into the violence of football, but doesn't really enjoy it. Will his parents ever realize that Hudi's strength lies in his ability to make other's laugh? Strengths: There are not enough middle grade books about personal identity. This is such a huge concern for so many tween and teen readers, who dwell so much on what other people think about them. Seeing memoirs or stories about other kids trying to figure out who they are is interesting and somewhat helpful for them. Developing a passion for something, exploring different activities, and coming to terms with immutable facts about one's body and appearance takes up so much middle grade brain space that it is amazing that any school work ever gets done! Mercado does a great job of exploring all of these facets with humor and a fairly healthy level of self acceptance. He seems to be a bit younger than I am, but doctors were definitely putting children on diets when I was young! The inclusion of the author's Jewish and Latinx background, as well as the depiction of economic difficulties with his family, give a much needed bit of diversity to the body of graphic novel memoirs. This book will never get back to the shelves! Weaknesses: The appearance of Chunky makes this seem a bit younger, but this is a solidly middle grade book. The story would have been successful without him, but his inclusion does make for an intriguing cover. What I really think: Graphic novel memoirs like Tatulli's Short and Skinny and Copeland's Cub are some of my favorites because they are humorous while delivering more serious messages about personal identity. There are certainly other graphic novels that are autobiographical, but it's the humor that appeals most to my readers. Definitely purchasing this one, and have just the readers in mind for it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn Hillis

    Chunky is a graphic memoir by Yehudi Mercado. He draws inspiration from his childhood from his struggle with his weight to his friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working class Mexican-Jewish family in Texas. 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 various sports. Hudi would rather do anything else, but then he meets Chunky. As the only Chunky is a graphic memoir by Yehudi Mercado. He draws inspiration from his childhood from his struggle with his weight to his friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working class Mexican-Jewish family in Texas. 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 various sports. Hudi would rather do anything else, but then he meets Chunky. As the only Mexican and Jewish kid in his neighborhood, Hudi has found the cheerleader he never had. I loved the format of this graphic novel. Each sport Hudi tries gets its own chapter, and we even get sports commentary at the end of each. Hudi really makes light of each situation and you can’t help but laugh with him. If you’re a football fan, you know how seriously Texans are when it comes to the sport, and I like how it was realistically depicted in the story. Hudi was recruited because of his size, and he did pretty well considering, but his father realized it wasn’t the sport for Hudi. All of the themes covered in this graphic novel are perfect for a middle grade read — personal identity, exploring different activities and finding your passion, self and body acceptance.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    It's hard to rate this knowing it's a graphic memoir. Who am I to say how one person tells their own story? However, as a middle school educator, there were many aspects to this story which gave me pause. The biggest being how Hudi's parents and siblings treated him. Although the author's note mentions that his parents didn't really push him THAT hard, it bothered me that there was no empathy for Hudi by his own family. He had horrible health issues, he didn't fit in, but they made fun of him an It's hard to rate this knowing it's a graphic memoir. Who am I to say how one person tells their own story? However, as a middle school educator, there were many aspects to this story which gave me pause. The biggest being how Hudi's parents and siblings treated him. Although the author's note mentions that his parents didn't really push him THAT hard, it bothered me that there was no empathy for Hudi by his own family. He had horrible health issues, he didn't fit in, but they made fun of him and pushed him to do things he didn't want to do. His coaches were overbearing, his teammates were bullies. Yet there were no apologies, no reconciliations at the end? Dad sure was proud his son finally got a trophy but was he proud that his son finally found his place with the drama club instead of the athletic field? But maybe that's how his life really was? I guess I would have liked more closure with that part of the story, even if through the author's note, since it's threaded throughout the entire book. So many mixed messages here for impressionable middle grade readers. And let's not skim over the fact that a character is described as just out of juvie and there are several pages of gun obsession with video gaming. So much so that Hudi gets the nickname Shooter. I've seen so much praise for this graphic novel but it fell very short for me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elia

    A fun. light-hearted middle grade graphic memoir about a boy who is torn between pleasing his dad (who was quite the jock in his day) and following his dreams of being a comedian on SNL. Half-Mexican, half-Jewish Yehudi, who has lung troubles and is obese, gets enrolled in a bunch of sports by his parents, hoping he will lose some weight and get healthier. Yehudi sucks at almost every sport though, and in order to cope, he develops an imaginary friend, Chunky, who encourages his comedic dreams. A fun. light-hearted middle grade graphic memoir about a boy who is torn between pleasing his dad (who was quite the jock in his day) and following his dreams of being a comedian on SNL. Half-Mexican, half-Jewish Yehudi, who has lung troubles and is obese, gets enrolled in a bunch of sports by his parents, hoping he will lose some weight and get healthier. Yehudi sucks at almost every sport though, and in order to cope, he develops an imaginary friend, Chunky, who encourages his comedic dreams. Add the financial hardships caused by Yehudi's penchant for getting hurt and landing in the ER coupled with his dad being laid off, and things are hard for the kid, until he and his dad find a way to come to terms with who Yehudi really is deep down.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beautiful Words

    Chunky by Yehudi Mercado is a delightfully funny and poignant middle grade graphic novel (grades 3-6) with a dash of magical realism that my kids & I devoured in one sitting! Based on the author’s childhood, Chunky is a semi-autobiographical graphic memoir describing the trials and tribulations of Hudi, a boy struggling with his health and weight in a Mexican-Jewish family in Houston, Texas in the 1980’s. With pressure from doctors and family, Hudi, built more for comedy and arts than athletics, Chunky by Yehudi Mercado is a delightfully funny and poignant middle grade graphic novel (grades 3-6) with a dash of magical realism that my kids & I devoured in one sitting! Based on the author’s childhood, Chunky is a semi-autobiographical graphic memoir describing the trials and tribulations of Hudi, a boy struggling with his health and weight in a Mexican-Jewish family in Houston, Texas in the 1980’s. With pressure from doctors and family, Hudi, built more for comedy and arts than athletics, tries out for a variety of sports trying to find one that sticks. ⚾️⚽️🏊🎾🏈 From pre-game through five different sports, on to post-season, we watch Chunky, Hudi’s imaginary comedic friend and #1 fan, boost Hudi’s self esteem and cheer Hudi on each step (& missteps 😳) along the way. This tale of self-acceptance, fitting in, and finding your passion will be sure to win the hearts of kids and adults alike. It definitely won ours! ❤️ Things we loved: 😂 Zingy one-liners 💥 Colourful digital graphics that pop and add to the comedic effect (Mercado is an art director for Disney Interactive!) 📢 Inclusion of a sportscaster narrator 🎤Postgame Wrap-Up interviews at the end of the chapters where each sport debacle is analyzed! 🤩 SNL references! (Well…maybe I laughed at these more than the kids 😉) Here is what the boys had to say when we discussed using the Kids’ Book Banter bookmark: Q: Which character would you like as a friend? Why? Xander: “I would love to have Chunky as a friend because he always cheers for Hudi and encourages him to have a good time.” Q: Do you feel empathy for a character? Why? Victor: “I feel empathy for Hudi struggling to play sports especially when his dad is a super athlete.” This is a 2021 graphic novel for young readers that I expect will fly off the library shelves! 📚 Thank you to @readwithsprout for this wonderful ARC. We loved this endearing novel!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alisa

    I am so so so happy that this book exists! As a parent and as a teacher I think this book provides so many opportunities for engaging conversation, breaking barriers and biases, and introspection. Firstly, the character is diverse (yay representation) as well as of a blended heritage, which is something that we don't see so often for main characters. This is either a mirror to children balancing two cultures/heritages reflecting their lived experiences or a window into both cultures and what it I am so so so happy that this book exists! As a parent and as a teacher I think this book provides so many opportunities for engaging conversation, breaking barriers and biases, and introspection. Firstly, the character is diverse (yay representation) as well as of a blended heritage, which is something that we don't see so often for main characters. This is either a mirror to children balancing two cultures/heritages reflecting their lived experiences or a window into both cultures and what it is like to combine two. This is extremely important for all children to have exposure to. Secondly, this talks about body image. Children today receive so many toxic messages about what their body should look like. In most children's literature female characters talk about body image and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is very rare to find a male character who is thinking about this in a healthy way like in this book. [As an aside, I'm not a huge fan on the name Chunky, but it is something I will discuss with my students as they read the book.] This is a must-have conversation to make sure children stay healthy and safe and this book can help facilitate that. Lastly, the coming of age story and finding what you're passionate about never gets old. Kudos to Yehudi Mercado for an amazing book and I hope he comes out with more books reflective of his life experiences because I know my students will want to hear more! I got this book from Goodreads First Reads.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Read more graphic novel reviews at The Graphic Library. Hudi's always had health problems, stemming from the removal of a lung when he was really young. His health concerns are compounded by his weight, and his doctor advices his parents to get him into sports. But, Hudi would much rather tell jokes and make people laugh than run or diet. Enter Chunky, Hudi’s imaginary mascot, here to cheer on Hudi as he tries out several sports: baseball, where he can only get on base if he's struck by the ball Read more graphic novel reviews at The Graphic Library. Hudi's always had health problems, stemming from the removal of a lung when he was really young. His health concerns are compounded by his weight, and his doctor advices his parents to get him into sports. But, Hudi would much rather tell jokes and make people laugh than run or diet. Enter Chunky, Hudi’s imaginary mascot, here to cheer on Hudi as he tries out several sports: baseball, where he can only get on base if he's struck by the ball; soccer, where he has some success using his large stature in the role of goalie; swimming, which he really enjoyed until he hurt his thumb and can't get it wet; and football, where the agression of the sport clashes with Hudi's jovial nature. Complicating things is a strained relationship with his father, who is extremely athletic. While Hudi grapples with some real-life health and body image issues, the humor Mercado brings to this semi-autobiographical graphic novel is genuine and wonderful. Hudi's struggle to find a sport he's good at mirrors what many people his age go through, whether it's with sports or a hobby or activity of any kind. His discovery of what's going to make him happy at the end of the story is heartwarming, and I truly felt Hudi's happiness as if it was my own. I am eager to read more from Mercado after this story, as I found his narrative voice authentic and pleasant. Mercado's illustrations are super fun with chibi-like proportions for many of his characters. Only the first few chapters were in color, but I enjoyed what was fully colored and expect the rest of the book will be similarly pleasing. This book is billed as a middle grade title, which is perfectly appropriate. Mercado and Hudi's unique experience of growing up a Jewish Mexican-American kid in Texas is a necessary add to a well-rounded collection. Sara's Rating: 8/10 Suitability Level: Grades 6-8

  28. 4 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    This graphic novel is based on the author's childhood, and is very entertaining. I laughed out loud multiple times, and even though the advance copy that I read was mostly still in black-and-white, the first few chapters were already in color, and the coloring was AMAZING. The art is great, and the colors are vibrant and fun, with a great use of light. The story revolves around a Mexican-Jewish kid who is pushed into sports as a way to lose weight. The book involves issues related to his size and This graphic novel is based on the author's childhood, and is very entertaining. I laughed out loud multiple times, and even though the advance copy that I read was mostly still in black-and-white, the first few chapters were already in color, and the coloring was AMAZING. The art is great, and the colors are vibrant and fun, with a great use of light. The story revolves around a Mexican-Jewish kid who is pushed into sports as a way to lose weight. The book involves issues related to his size and to his physical challenges related to lung issues, but will also be relatable to any kid who has ever been expected to do an activity that they have no interest in. I found this hilarious, and Hudi's imaginary mascot, who is pictured on the cover, added even more energy and humor to an already great story. I would recommend this to both children and adults. People who share the author's ethnic background or experiences with weight will find this book especially appealing and relatable, but it's fun for anyone, and is a really clever story. I want to read this again when it's published, and it's a must-buy for public and school libraries. I received a temporary digital copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    This is a charming semi-autobiographical graphic novel about an overweight kid whose parents are trying to find a sport to help him get healthier - but Hudi is not an athlete, he's a comedian. With support from his imaginary mascot, Chunky, he makes the most of his athletic pursuits and finds his place along the way. Hudi is a genuinely amusing character and this is a fun book to read. To be clear, this isn't a book about a kid being fat. Hudi has only one lung following a childhood illness, and This is a charming semi-autobiographical graphic novel about an overweight kid whose parents are trying to find a sport to help him get healthier - but Hudi is not an athlete, he's a comedian. With support from his imaginary mascot, Chunky, he makes the most of his athletic pursuits and finds his place along the way. Hudi is a genuinely amusing character and this is a fun book to read. To be clear, this isn't a book about a kid being fat. Hudi has only one lung following a childhood illness, and I think it's clear from the way his parents are written than their attempts to get Hudi into sports comes from a place of wanting him to be as healthy as possible. We avoid the trope of the dad who can't relate to his kid at all because he's not into sports. There's also a diversity of representation here; the Mercados are a Jewish-Mexican family, Hudi's sister is preparing for a Bat Mitzvah, some Spanish and Hebrew are included in the text. The style - the inclusion of a sportscaster narrator-type, the postgame interviews at the ends of chapters - is a really fun touch. Recommended for upper elementary and up. I'll be adding it to my classroom library. ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for review via NetGalley.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sally Kruger

    Yehudi "Hudi" Mercado shares stories from his younger years in hopes that readers will "find their chunky. " Growing up in Texas as a Mexican Jewish kid definitely provided some challenges. The story begins when his parents began nagging him about his weight, claiming that lung surgery when he was only six years old required that he work toward a healthier body. Hudi tells the tales of his less than successful athletic pursuits resulting in reaffirming his love of art. Fortunately, for readers t Yehudi "Hudi" Mercado shares stories from his younger years in hopes that readers will "find their chunky. " Growing up in Texas as a Mexican Jewish kid definitely provided some challenges. The story begins when his parents began nagging him about his weight, claiming that lung surgery when he was only six years old required that he work toward a healthier body. Hudi tells the tales of his less than successful athletic pursuits resulting in reaffirming his love of art. Fortunately, for readers that art talent fills this graphic novel with colorful versions of Hudi's escapades. Baseball, soccer, swimming, tennis, and finally football prove to be mostly beyond Hudi's skill level. With the help of Chunky, his imaginary cheerleader, Hudi manages to survive with only a few trips to the hospital and numerous frustrated teammates and coaches. Hudi faces other challenges as his family deals with financial issues and his father's layoff and work requiring travel across the country. All the while Hudi maintains his sense of humor, although his jokes aren't everyone's cup of tea. Readers will enjoy Hudi's love of Saturday Night Live, his crazy art, and his never-ending determination to find his place in life.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

hi
Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.