With surrealist pictures and a slightly tense story, this is a charming picture book.
Hurricane, the cat, follows the Wrong Thing through the house, trying to protect his family who are sleeping. Until he realises that the Wrong Thing is a Lost Thing.
The Wrong Thing just needed its own place and family.
This is one of my favourite stories about things that seem Wrong being simply out of place.
Hurricane worries that 'the big ones would not see it. And the small ones might want to catch it'.
There are hints of prejudice being overcome—of big ones failing to see something out of place, and small ones wanting to fit it into their own world while Hurricane wants to banish it.
Eventually, after chasing it through the house, Hurricane realises that it simply belongs elsewhere—a place where it is valued and loved.
And gradually Hurricane sees the Wrong Thing for what it is—different but delightful, unfamiliar but sweet, welcome but not part of the family.
The illustrations are beautiful and worthy of time spent examining them carefully to catch their nuance. But, for a little one, they are appealing in a very simple way—the Wrong Thing is cute and mythical and the sleeping children are peaceful and feel like home.
Written by Isobelle Carmody, illustrated by Declan Lee for ages 4 to 12-years, the book is sadly out of print. Hopefully that will change, so here's the link to Book Depository. Meantime, it's likely to be in the library or you might come across it at thrift book sales.