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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Five Misfits (The)
by Beatrice Alemagna
Age Range: Under_5
The 5 Misfits is a delightfully quirky tale from Beatrice Alemagna. Five Misfits live together in a lopsided house; they never feel like doing anything, nor do they amount to much in life.
The Misfits are known as: the Punctured One, because he is punctured with four big holes in the middle of his tummy; the Folded One, who is folded in half, like a letter ready to be sent; the Feeble One, is feeble, tired and sleepy; the Upside Down One, is always upside down and the Wrong One is all wrong from head to toe – a complete bundle of oddities.
One day the Misfits are visited by a strange character that appears to them to be handsome and perfect. He has a nose in the place where a nose should go, a nice straight body, not one hole in his tummy and to crown it all, he has a beautiful full head of hair. The 'Perfect One' wants to find the Misfits a purpose in life, a plan, an idea, but the five Misfits acknowledge that ideas are no good for any of them. This disgusts the 'Perfect One' who declares haughtily that they are 'Real Nobodies'. But do the Misfits have the last laugh?
Award-winning Italian author and illustrator Beatrice Alemagna has used her unique trade mark collage artwork to capture the individuality of the characters beautifully. As with many of Alemagna's books the story has a message about difference, tolerance and identity. She always approaches this theme in a manner that is both simple and funny making the story so accessible for young children.
Other Alemagna titles translated into English are: My Friend (2005, North South), The 'Bug' series from Phaidon – Bugs in a Blanket (2009), Bugs in the Garden (2011), The Bug Next Door (2012), Bugs at Christmas (2013); A Lion in Paris (2014, Tate), Little Big Boubo (2014, Tate); The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty (2015, Thames & Hudson) and What is a Child? (2016, Tate) – all reviewed on the Outside In World website.