Beatrice Alemagna turns imperfections into special qualities and proves that birds of a feather flock together

Beatrice Alemagna, The 5 Misfits

First published in English in 2015 by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 40p

I love Beatrice Alemagna’s ingenuity when she explores the world; her representations are original, unconventional and address to all ages. After having read What is a Child? I knew I would look for all her books.

The 5 Misfits were odd creatures that lived together in a lopsided house which was on the brink of falling down at any moment. The first had big holes in his tummy, the second was folded like a letter, the third was always tired, the fourth was upside down and the fifth was the strangest of all, a catastrophe. Despite their flaws, the five misfits were living happily together, amusing themselves because of their imperfections.

Alemagna defies the standardization of people’s lives. She plays with the aesthetic of ugliness and proves that behind monstrosity and hybrid shapes there is innocence and authenticity.

When out of nowhere the perfect fellow arrives, the five misfits need to reconsider their purpose in life.

Then you are good for nothing! You are real nobodies! said the Perfect One with an air of disgust.

But their self-esteem is higher than they have assumed. The Punctured One has the anger pass through his tummy holes, the Upside Down One has a special perception of the world while the Wrong One is special by being totally different.

There is humour in the story, as well as wit and notably resourcefulness; that is why I am looking forward to reading more books by Beatrice Alemagna.

Complement your reading with a similar story that praises individuality or discover little Frida Kahlo who was special since her childhood.

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