Gene Luen Yang's comic storybook Prime Baby
is a delight: Thaddeus is the older sibling to an adorable toddler, and he hates it. What's more, he's sure something's up with his sister -- after all, what kind of normal
child coos in prime numbers?
Thaddeus gets all the proof he needs when his sister Maddie starts to cough up space-vessels bearing slimy, happy aliens who are bent on improving the world (they fix his dad's car so that it emits tulips instead of CO2). Finally, he's got the chance to send his troublesome sib to an isolation ward and enjoy life!
But life's not so enjoyable. Thaddeus starts to realize that his self-centeredness has isolated him from his friends and family, and he has to change himself, not the world around him.
Thaddeus is a delightfully sociopathic adolescent narrator, and the story is so weird and fun that you can't help but smile. The last Yang book I read was the stellar graphic novel American Born Chinese, and while Prime Baby is a departure from the earlier work, it's every bit as delightful.
The book was serialized on the New York Times, so you can read it all there, too.
(Thanks to FirstSecond books for sending me a review copy of Prime Baby!)
“Quid pro quo – I tell you things, you tell me things.” Edited by Jon Tomlinson; Narration: Andy Geller; Executive Producer: Dustin McLean (CineFix)
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