Self-Imposed Summer Reading Book #4: Stitches by David Small
Welcome to a very candid look at David Small’s not-so-uplifting childhood. It is illustrated and written in a manner that makes it incredibly easy to read, but not so easy to digest. The washed out grays and the soft lines contrast harshly with Small’s childhood, which was not full of love or happiness. The text here is not quite sparsely written–there’s more of it than would qualify as “sparse”–but there isn’t tons of text. There is just enough to tell the story. This is where the power of what happened to Small comes in. Even though I was not totally taken by the book, weeks after I read it I can remember the emotion that Small brings to the table. The dream sequences he draws pull you in rather than pushing you away. I have very little patience for dream sequences mostly, although since these are “true,” I might have upped my tolerance. They also move the story along in a way that isn’t gimmicky.
Probably the best thing I can say about this book is that it will stay with you. I read it quickly and am actually astonished at how much of the feeling that Small puts into his text and his pictures has stayed with me. It only took me an hour to read but it took much more than an hour to work through the book. No matter what indignities Small suffered as a child, growing up the way he did, his story will be noticed and remembered by others. (Many besides me, not least the National Book Award committee. Even the love on Goodreads is amazing!)
Bottom line: Well-written, beautifully drawn and a National Book Award finalist means this book is definitely worth a read. Maybe it will resonate with you more than it did with me.