What will happen when five bizarre creatures, all cohabiting an equally topsy-turvy house, are visited by the Perfect One?
The lightly self-deprecating misfits all have unique peculiarities: “four big holes in the middle of his tummy,” “folded in half,” “feeble, always tired and sleepy,” “upside down,” and “all wrong, from head to toe. A bundle of oddities.” The sophisticated, whimsical, mixed-media art renders all the characters benign and lovable: the tummy-holed one smiles as he munches an apple (where will it go?); a collage of folded newspaper is clothing for the apparently female, folded-in-half misfit; the rotund, all-wrong misfit rides, absurdly, a tiny red bicycle. Both art and text continue to enchant and amuse, as a character described as extraordinary and perfect—but equally ridiculous in appearance, with his long orange tresses and antiquated bloomers—suddenly shows up to visit the misfits. This “Perfect One”—who is actually perfectly vain and condescending—temporarily deflates the egos of the misfits by challenging them to come up with solid, purposeful ideas. However, they readily and nonaggressively push back against the Perfect One’s accusation that they are therefore good for nothing. The anti-bullying and pro-individuality messages are cloaked in art and text that promise smiles, if not laughter, from readers of all ages.
The concept of multiple intelligences takes a joy ride. (Picture book. 4-10)