NOT the Eve 6 song

Why I Love Inside Out’s Take on Depression

[Disclaimer: the author’s opinions do not necessarily represent the views of ThunderStone Books. The author reserves the right to change his opinion for reasons up to and including further discussion, indigestion, or abduction of a loved one.]

NOT the Eve 6 song

Sadness and Joy in Pixar’s Inside Out

Everyone has been talking about the new Pixar film, Inside Out, so I’m going to add my own thoughts to this discussion. The opinions and insights are my own, and I welcome dialogue and debate regarding what you thought of the film.

Rachel and I recently saw Inside Out and though I went into the theatre expecting a few hours of fun, entertaining fluff, I came out amazed by how the film affected me.

Let me start by saying that not everything in the movie struck me like it did others (here’s looking at you, Bing Bong.) I loved most of it, thought a few things were weird, but as it ended, I kept thinking of one core idea, and probably my favorite thing about the film — how it shows depression.

We tend to think of depression as sadness. That’s not entirely inaccurate, but there’s a bit more to it. Remember, Joy and Sadness are both missing from headquarters when Riley falls into a slump. Traditional wisdom might tell us that depression occurs when Sadness is in charge, or outnumbers the other emotions somehow. But depression isn’t simply a lack of happiness, but a lack of sadness as well: the lack of emotion is exactly what makes depression so hard to escape from. As we see in the film, sadness can lead to actions that create joy. But when we quit feeling, we lose motivation to pull ourselves out. Everyone gets sad, but it’s not usually a problem when we can see a way out. But sometimes we can’t recognize an escape, and worse, don’t even care.

That’s why I love Inside Out. Sadness isn’t something to be feared or unduly avoided; it’s an essential part of the human experience. Apathy is the enemy.

Front Cover blackless

Meh by Deborah Malcolm

It’s tough to talk about depression without feeling preachy. In our latest book, Meh, author/illustrator Deborah Malcolm avoided this issue by not using words at all—showing, not telling, a story of a journey through depression. In a similar way, Inside Out succeeds where so many other attempts fall flat, by not telling us how to fix depression, but by showing us that there is a way out, and the importance of just feeling.

Let us know what you thought of the film below!

Ebooks available now!

We’ve taken our print books and finagled them into these fancy “electronic books” all the kids are talking about these days. That’s right–ThunderStone Books has gone digital.


The newly released e-books are available on our website and on Amazon. And now until Chinese New Year on February 19, the e-book versions of Picturing Chinese and Monkey Gains His Powers are only $2.99 each!



Happy New Year,


ThunderStone Books

Do You Like Science? Secret Codes? Prizes?

We’ve released a short teaser trailer for a new project we’re just starting to work on, complete with secret code! Watch the video below:

Can you crack the code?!? If so, send the decoded message to for a chance to win a science-related prize! We’ll randomly select at least one winner from all entires received by January 31, 2015. We’d love to give away even more prizes if we have enough people respond, so tell your friends!

A few quick terms & conditions:

1) Anyone working with/for ThunderStone Books on this project is not eligible for the prize.

3) Winners will be chosen randomly from all valid entries after January 31, 2015, and will be notified via email.

Our First Book Trailer!

We’re pleased to announce our very first book trailer, for Monkey Gains His Powers! We’re quite pleased with how it turned out, and hope you are too. If you enjoy it, Monkey Gains His Powers is available for purchase on our site here or on at this link. It’s also available at a variety of other sites around the world, check our post here for details.

Tell all your friends, and we hope they love it as much as we do!

Thank you for all the support.

Monkey Gains His Powers is Available!

10610879_737061339686076_1621096461199493816_nMonkey Gains His Powers is available for purchase! We’re excited to release this book into the wild to see how it fends for itself in its natural habitat.

Of course, we’d love it if you left a review at whatever site it was purchased from and help spread the word! Feel free to check out our other title, Picturing Chinese as well.

The book is available in the US from the following locations:

It is available in the UK from:

And worldwide from our site or your local Amazon store.

NOTE: Free shipping is available from our site only on orders of $15 dollars or more. Contact us directly if interested in large orders.


The Death of Publishing

closed_signTime after time, we hear of the death of publishing. Newspapers go out of business, magazine subscriptions plummet, and no one buys books anymore. The idea of starting a publishing company often elicits both surprise and confusion from those unable to understand why we would jump into a dying industry.

But I don’t believe industries die. Companies fail, new industries arise, but old industries simply change. Books may be digitized and websites may replace newspapers and magazines, but the base content remains. (I do think there’s still a huge market for print media, but that’s a post for another day.) Books will survive.

Look around you. People are reading more than ever. This is an amazing time to be in publishing. Each alleged death blow dealt is only a new opportunity for those who can see the way forward.

I don’t claim to know all the answers, much less how the future will turn out. But I refuse to accept that publishing is dead.