There’s something incredibly bittersweet and adorable about the story told in My Bright Friend by Simon Boulerice and illustrated by Marilyn Faucher. On the one hand, there is so much to the adorable main character, Ludo, that leaves you wanting to give him a great big hug. On the other, you cannot help feeling as though that hug is partially because a small part of you wants to cry for him. You see, Ludo is dealing with the aftermath of his parents’ separation and divorce, his father having moved from the country to the city. Not only is the transition difficult enough with both of his parents living in separate homes, but Ludo finds the differences of the city of completely disrupted his ability to sleep at night.
And so he soon finds himself developing a fascination with the streetlights he sees out side his window. He wonders how they work and soon enough his dad tells him a story about the little man who runs the traffic lights. As Ludo continues to watch the traffic lights, he begins to feel bad for the little man in the light post who must stay awake all night and all day to run the lights and is quickly bringing out snacks for the man in the streetlight.
Now, while I would never condone the message that suggests a child should go out at night without his or her parents, I do appreciate the overall message that this book sends about dealing with the separation and divorce of one’s parents. I was really glad to see a children’s book that addresses this often devastating event in a kid’s life for all the children who do have to go through it.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.