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Perfectly Imperfect Stories

Written by Leo Potion

Illustrated by Ana Strumpf

Key Stage 2 Key Stage 3 Non-Fiction People / Places Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE)

LoveReading View on Perfectly Imperfect Stories

An inspiring look at well-known people who live with mental health issues and find a way to live their lives

Meet 29 inspiring people and discover their mental health stories

The book is a bright and, at first glance, light-hearted look at mental health issues and some of the famous people who live with them and overcome them in various ways. But, as Professor Peter Fonagy states in the introduction, the graphics are intended as a ‘help to see the lighter side of ourselves’. Twenty-nine differing famous people – from current singers and songwriters to famous historical figures are all examined - with a double page spread each - giving a brief outline of their issue and how they, as individuals, found ways to deal with it. Each spread has a number of related quotations from the individual picked out and emphasized – helping readers pinpoint the issues being discussed. 


The problems cover a huge range of problems - PTSD, Anxiety, OCD, Panic Attacks, Sexuality issues - to name a very few. Many have some form of depression as a symptom or result – but as something like 350 million people suffer with depression worldwide it is not as surprising as you might think. The fact that all the illness details are taken from publicly available sources just shows how much better we are becoming at talking about mental health issues generally. 


There are some straightforward messages that come from all the cases – that talking helps, that taking time for oneself is vital and that coping skills will be different for different people.  The main message I took from the book is that it is important to be honest about your condition and that it’s OK not to be OK! This last phrase is actually the heading for the list of useful and important organisations – vital in a book of this sort as young people may well browse the title, recognise their own feelings and want to get some help.  


An ideal book to have in classrooms and libraries, very accessible and browsable.

Tricia Adams

Perfectly Imperfect Stories Synopsis

Meet 29 icons, from pop stars to sporting heroes, and discover how they overcame a range of mental health issues, from anorexia to depression, to live inspiring lives. At a time when kids' mental health is under more pressure than ever, this book celebrates the message that it's ok not to be ok.

Features famous people from the past and present, and a range of backgrounds: sport, politics, music, film, literature, art, science and royalty, including the life stories of Prince Harry, Ariana Grande, Frida Kahlo, The Rock and John Green.


Book Information

ISBN: 9781916180536
Publication date: 14th May 2020
Author: Leo Potion
Illustrator: Ana Strumpf
Publisher: Magic Cat Publishing
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 64 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3
Topics: Body / Health, Non-Fiction, People / Places, Personal Social Health Economic

About Leo Potion

Leo Potion has been working as an editor and editor of children's books for 15 years. He lives and works in London, with his cat, Magic.

More About Leo Potion

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