Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley was not what I expected. Instead of getting a strong female voice, telling her story about miscarriages, pregnancy and the after-pregnancy issues, I expected something a bit more “introspective” and “flowery.” I expected a long explanation of how the author went through a spiritual journey to deal with her traumatic loss.
What Knisley gives us is a funny, realistic, informative graphic novel. Knisley does not hold back. She talks about her childhood obsession with pregnancy, the myths we are faced with and how she thought it was going to be the easiest thing she could do Her excitement pops out of the page. She talks about how she chalked up much of her fears to “first time pregnancy” and listened to Dr. Fonzi a bit too much.
She talks about the history of women’s health. The history of birthing. The folklore, mythology and downright dangerous situations woman have dealt with over the years. She holds no love for the men who invented the forceps because they kept their invention secret for over 200 years. She has no love over the fact our president has made the environment he has. She realized how, even today, much of pregnancy healthcare is focused on the child and not the mother, causing the United States to have one of the highest maternal morality rates in the Western world.
Her illustrations are quirky, fun and realistic, but soften the serious issues presented. See cute uteruses, Pal floating in Mama Space (and after), and even the after-pregnancy when Knisley’s life was seriously in danger. The colors are muted but not dull. They flow with the text, neither overshadowing the other.
These facts and comments and so much more, fill the pages of Kid Gloves. While this book is aimed at adults, this should be something you read and give to your 14-year-old and up daughter. It covers things that our health teachers never did.
This is on the Great Graphic Novels (released in) 2019 on Goodreads.