Imperfectly Perfect: A story that cherishes beauty in imperfection

Imperfectly Perfect: A story that cherishes beauty in imperfection
Age Range
Release Date
March 19, 2024
A thought-provoking picture book inspired by the idea that there is beauty to be cherished in imperfection.

When Maria rips her brother Robbie’s favorite book, she’s worried that they might never be friends again. But with encouragement and wise words from family friend Ms. Bea, Maria learns to embrace the beauty of broken things and seize the opportunity they offer for healing and reconciliation. A heartfelt celebration of the perfect imperfections that surround us in our everyday lives.

Editor review

1 review
Brand New vs. Wabi Sabi
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Maria has an accident with her older brother Robbie's favorite books, and many of the pages get torn out. He is upset when he finds this out, and Maria is worried that he won't read to her again. She goes to Ms. Bea (perhaps a sitter?) for comfort, Ms. Bea shows her a bowl that was broken but fixed with golden glue. It's not perfect, but it's imperfectly perfect because it has been used and loved. Ms. Bea shows Maria other things that are more beautiful because of imperfections, such as a crack in the sidewalk where a glower grows and even Ms. Bea's own wrinkles. The two decide to repair Robbie's book, and use golden tape. Maria apologizes to her brother, and show him how she fixed the book. He thinks it looks cool, and the two read the improved book together.

Good Points
Giang's softly colored illustrations do a good job at pointing out the beauty in everyday items that show a little wear, and Maria's emotions show clearly on her face. There is a floral theme that threads through the book in the pattern on the bowl, the plants outside, and the endpapers that is quite nice.

Ms. Bea is a great character who comforts Maria in a productive manner and helps her find a way to apologize to her brother, but also appreciate when things are not brand new. It was interesting to have a caregiver rather than a grandparent in this role.

While I am a big fan of things that show age (the rounded corners on some of the older books in my school library give me great joy!), Maria should have been given some better guidance on how to carefully read books! I've seen enough tape put on the pages of books to know that if that golden tape isn't acid free, it's going to dry up and fall off in about ten years. I appreciate the point the author is trying to make, but it's hard to take off my "librarian hat" when dealing with damaged books!

I'm a huge fan of books about repairing and reusing items instead of buying new ones, and even though I only read Reibstein and Young's Wabi Sabi (2008) once, it has stuck with me for a long time! Pair this book with Del Rizzo and Sato's Golden Threads, Oh's Soomi's Sweater, Durango and Diaz's The One Day House and George's The Doll Hospital to encourage young readers to be better stewards of their possessions.
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