Chunky: In this full-color middle grade graphic memoir for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jerry Craft, 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.
As the only Mexican and Jewish kid in his neighborhood, Hudi has found the cheerleader he never had. 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 Hudi, 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?
About the Author/Illustrator:
Yehudi Mercado is a former pizza delivery driver and art director for Disney Interactive. He is currently a writer-artist-animator living in Los Angeles. His books include Sci-Fu, Hero Hotel, Rocket Salvage, and Fun Fun Fun World. He is currently show running the Hero Hotel podcast and writing and directing an original animated short for Nickelodeon. You can find him at www.supermercado.pizza.
“In “Chunky,” the writer-artist-animator and former Disney art director Yehudi Mercado turns to graphic memoir, and writes in a funny and endearing way about being a fat kid in Texas. The story is brought to life with illustrations that are vivid and often poignant.” -New York Times Book Review
“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.” -School Library Journal (starred review)