A misfit is a great subject for literature, because the character’s life story creates inbuilt dramatic tension before the plot even begins.
And what a misfit we meet in Limpy the cane toad!
He lives in Queensland, Australia, where introduced cane toads are an ecological disaster and Australians are attempting to exterminate them. As a misfit Limpy not only is a member of a hated species, he also has a “crook leg” that was run over on purpose by a truck, which makes him hop around in circles when he gets excited.
At first Limpy doesn’t believe that humans hate cane toads and it takes numerous attempts on his life before he believes it. He notices that humans do love some animals, especially the three Olympic mascots: the platypus, the echidna, and the kookaburra. To further his ambition of cane toad/human harmony Limpy and his cousin, Goliath, go on a madcap adventure to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, to try and become mascots as well. Along the way they meet many quirky characters, from talking mosquitoes and rats to a kind human athlete (who, unfortunately, doesn’t understand what they say).
The humor is exaggerated and slapstick, but Limpy is an anti-hero that many people will be able to relate to. He is basically a decent person (cane toad?) in a world that doesn’t appreciate his inner beauty.
Since I come from down under, I especially enjoyed “having a squiz” at the glossary of Australian words. I can attest that the words are accurate as my grandmother used to say many of them (dubious looks from my American colleagues notwithstanding).
Although it is a children’s book, Toad rage is a quick and funny read for adults. And you never know, you may just learn some bonza new words!
Check the WRL catalog for Toad Rage.