Award-Winning Books International It's Monday What Are You Reading Mentally Yours Picture Books Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] Of Misfits And Different Ways Of Seeing And Being


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.


These two picturebooks demonstrate what it’s like to perceive the world just a bit differently – to be considered outcasts or misfits because you are not entirely what others expect you to be.

fullsizerender-30Luke’s Way Of Looking

Written by: Nadia Wheatley Illustrated by: Matt Ottley
Published by: Walker Books, 2012 ISBN: 978-1-921977-72-5 Literary Award: Children’s Book Council of Australia Honor Book
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me. 

Luke sees the world very differently. As he expressed this vision through his art, his teacher Mr. Barraclough goes ballistic, berates him, and asks him disparagingly exactly what is wrong with him:


While most teachers are now advised not to insult their students and to treat them with dignity, I believe there are still quite a number of Mr. Barraclough who are frightened by the things that they do not know and often lash out in aggression when they don’t know how to deal with anything unfamiliar.


And then, Luke found his way to this “ancient palace” that holds immense treasures which provided validation to the way he perceives the world around him. This chance encounter gave him a clear-sighted ideation of who he is – that even Mr. Barraclough could not take away from him, rendering the teacher’s words mute and powerless over this kind of certainty and clarity of being. This book is an ode to creativity, to visual art, to “seeing the familiar with strange eyes.” It is truly a beauty.

The 5 Misfitsfullsizerender-28

Written and Illustrated by: Beatrice Alemagna
Published by: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2014 ISBN: 1847806376 (ISBN13: 9781847806376)
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me. 

I don’t think there is anything that Beatrice Alemagna has created that I don’t love. Plus, I’ve always had a special affinity with oddballs – in fact, I dubbed myself at one point the Mistress of Deviants and Misfits. In this book, there is not just one, but five misfits, each with their own peculiarities.


There is one with four holes in place of a tummy, another was folded in half, yet another was constantly feeble and sleepy, the fourth was constantly upside down, and the last one was simply put, “a bundle of oddities. A catastrophe!”


They all live together in an equally lopsided home, and they would often make self-disparaging remarks, competing on who is the oddest of them all. Until an extraordinarily perfect fellow arrived on the scene, disrupting the peace:


He was convinced that these five misfits needed to find a purpose, some sense of direction to their collective existence, otherwise “ are good for nothing! You are real nobodies!”


It was precisely what the five misfits needed to find the good behind all their oddities, the silver lining to their peculiarities – what that is, I shall leave for you to discover. This is a celebration of simple ways of being that do not necessarily conform to people’s ideations of perfection – and how withholding judgment can blessedly provide different ways of seeing and being.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

15 comments on “[Monday Reading] Of Misfits And Different Ways Of Seeing And Being

  1. lindabaie

    These sound wonderful, Myra.I have a few stories from my own children’s experiences in school that your first book reminded me of. Sad they were, but I’m grateful there were few. You will like to know that my daughter is the programming director at the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Denver, but they call it “Chief of Fictions”. It’s a wide and wild world & we all need to open ourselves to those wonderful people who show us “different”. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pussreboots

    The 5 Misfits looks good. I’m posting while on my road trip, thanks to my trusty smart phone. It’s Monday! What are your reading?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The 5 Misfits sounds quite unique and interesting. It sounds like it has a wonderful message, too!


  4. There are so many books coming out about anxiety and all sorts of mental illness. Not sure how helpful they really are to anyone.


  5. I just requested both of these from interlibrary loan. Thanks for sharing!


  6. The Beatrice Alemagna book sounds interesting. I love this theme and the name you gave yourself. 😀


  7. I hadn’t heard of either of these books, but they’re both stunning celebrations of children who march to the beat of their own drummers, as so many of society’s greatest visionaries did!


  8. I’m not sure which of these I most want to read first Myra. Unfortunately The 5 Misfits isn’t available in my library system, but I have put a hold on Luke’s Way Of Looking. I think many of us think we are oddballs for all kinds of reasons, especially when we are younger.


  9. I hadn’t hear of either and I am so intrigued. Thank you, as always, for highlighting diverse texts.

    Happy reading this week 🙂


  10. As Kellee wrote, two very diverse books that are certainly worth a look. Thanks for bringing those into our community.


  11. Beautiful illustrations.

    ENJOY your week.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My It’s Monday, What Are You Reading


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