Header image with four cats and the text: Pussreboots, a book review nearly every day. Online since 1997
Now 2024 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA+ Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Al Capone Shines My Shoes (audio) by Gennifer Choldenko
Alameda County Breeding Bird Atlas by Bob Richmond
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Born on a Blue Day (audio) by Daniel Tammet
Croak by Gina Damico
Dr. Seuss: The Cat Behind the Hat by Caroline W. Smith
Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russell Rich
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Glorious Adventures of the Sunshine Queen by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Googlization of Everything by Siva Vaidhyanathan
Ida B. (audio) by Katherine Hannigan
In Memory of the Map by Christopher Norment
The Legend of the Ghost Dog by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Lost Cities by Dale Peck
The Lowdown on Denim by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
The Mermaid's Mirror by LK Madigan
The Moffats by Eleanor Estes
101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic ... but Didn't! by Tim Maltin
Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder
The Pirate's Daughter by Robert Girardi
Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean
Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoonmaker
Stitches by David Small
Swahili for the Broken-Hearted by Peter Moore
Swish by Joel Derfner
Twin Spica 07 by Kou Yaginuma
Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2024

Ozathon: 12/2023-01/2025

Canadian Book Challenge: 2023-2024

Chicken Prints
Paintings and Postcards

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

Stitches: 11/12/12

cover art

David Small is a children's book illustrator. His memoir, Stitches, is presented as a graphic novel. It covers his traumatic childhood, surgery and recovery.

David introduces his family at the dinner table, explaining their silent way of communicating with each other. For his mother, it was slamming the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. For his brother, it was beating the drums. For David, it was getting sick.

With showing, rather than telling, Small goes back in time to his infancy, a time when he had respiratory problems. His radiologist father gave young David numerous treatments, as I guess was one of the acceptable treatments of the time.

Later, of course, he had to have an operation for a growth in his neck. That by itself would be traumatic enough, except that he lived in a family who always bickered about money and would rather spent the money they had on new cars, furniture and jewelry. Much of that spending by the father was to placate the increasingly unhappy mother.

David draws his mother perpetually angry. She is always scowling down her hawklike nose. If his mother is difficult, his grandmother is worse. But all of this comes out first through the artwork and the mostly silent, passive aggressiveness of the family dynamics. Small winds up the tension from the very first page and does't let any of it go until nearly the end, making for a compelling, sometimes horrifying, read.

The book ends with an explanation of the events of the author's life and a summary of what happened after what's depicted in the book.

Five stars

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2024 Sarah Sammis