Craig Thompson’s graphic novel Blankets caught my eye at the public library a few weeks ago. It was in the Staff Picks section, and it had a yellow, foot-shaped post-it note on the front. On the foot was a glowing handwritten review about how beautiful the story and illustrations of Blankets are. And a plus: the story is set in Wisconsin and Michigan! So I picked it up.
The staff member who wrote the mini-review was right: this book is gorgeous. Thompson’s black-and-white illustrations are lovely, but the most beautiful thing about the book is the author (and main character’s) sensitivity. Thompson’s story is about growing up: as a rural Wisconsinite, an older brother, and a devout (but questioning) Christian. It’s also about falling in love, “broken” families, and heartache. Thompson represents all of his experiences with thoughtfulness and grace. It’s a story of growth and coming to terms with hardships and difficult belief systems.
If you’re a sensitive, observant type, or if you’ve ever been interested in art, or fallen in love, or tried so hard to figure out what you believe and how your belief system has affected you, this book is for you. Craig is a very relatable character and an excellent storyteller.