There is No Shrimp…And Other Lies My Mother Told Me by Kenny Loui was a fun, humorous manga novel. A sequel to his first Manga, “Life Lessons from a UFO Catcher,” the story picks up from where it left off – with Kenny in jail. After throwing punches at Killian, the other boy at the claw machine, Kenny is awaiting his charges at the police station. While he awaits his fate, Kenny finds himself talking to the pink plush toy that he had won, specifically about funny stories from his childhood.
My favorite episode in this prequel was titled, “Goodnight, Little T.V. People,” where Kenny recounts his childhood love for media. He prefaces this story by admitting that in his youth, television was not yet aired 24 hours a day and as many children do, he always wanted to stay up past his bedtime. He believed that the characters he was watching on television were “little people”, who got to stay up into the early hours of the morning whereas he had to go to bed early. Presenting his mom with the case that the “People on the T.V. are still awake”, his mom reminds him that these characters do not need as much sleep as big boys such as himself and promptly ushers him to bed.
This particular episode definitely put a smile on my face. Revealing much of Kenny’s personality and temperament, I found it a sweet ode to his childhood. Likewise, the rest of his childhood stories which make up the bulk of this novel were sentimental, funny, and enjoyable to read.
Having read and reviewed, “Life Lessons from a UFO Catcher,” prior to this manga, I have to once again compliment the art by Yamawe. Gorgeous illustrations, exceptional attention to detail, vibrancy of color, and general design make this read something special. I love the way she is able to take simple, fun stories and add elements to make them life-like from the pages. As done previously, she did a fantastic job with her part of making There is No Shrimp…And Other Lies My Mother Told Me is creative and amusing for the reader.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this manga novel. However, I did find it a little less applicable to the general reader than its prequel. Given that the stories are specific childhood stories of Loui’s life, it’s entertaining but not necessarily something every reader would pick off the shelf. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed reading this story!