May 23, 2011
My Friend (Mon Amour) by Beatrice Alemagna
Illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna
"I am a most unusual animal. I have fur like a dog and I'm shaped like a sheep. But no one seems to know just what I am." It doesn't know what it is, but it knows what it isn't. Everybody tries to figure out what kind of animal it is, but they never get it right. It isn't a cat, nor a monkey, nor a rat, nor a pigeon. Some thought he might be a lion, but again no. It isn't a dog, a beaver, or a hippo either. The problem is that it can only define itself by saying what it isn't but it truly does not know what it actually is. One day, another strange looking animal approaches him and asks if he would like to play with him? "Don't you want to know what I am?" says our it. To which the other animal replies: "I know what you are. You are my friend."
The idea behind My Friend is very sweet. It's a book for all the kids that have ever felt different, like they didn't quite fit in, to show them that true friends will find them and love them regardless. The illustrations are mixed media and the animals are made up of fabric scraps, buttons and thread. They are very interesting to look at, but I thought they were a bit confusing as well; since the fabric used to "draw" the main character doesn't remain consistent, it's hard to keep track of whether we are looking at the same character or at a new one. Sweet story nevertheless.