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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Who Left the Light On?
by Richard Marnier
Age Range: Under_5
In a boring, uniform, ‘same-old, same-old,’ town where everyone closes their shutters at sundown and opens them again at daybreak, someone breaks the mould by leaving the lights on at night and the shutters sealed tight in the morning. The inhabitant of the house goes off on his travels but when he returns he finds his house, which had fallen into a sorry state of disrepair, has been demolished. Deciding to rebuild a brand new abode using all the beautiful things he’s collected throughout his journeys – full of vibrancy and colour that stands out from the crowd against the dull grey-shuttered red-brick houses and the neighbours are horrified! “Did you see those colours? What awfully poor taste!” However, only a day passes before one of them decides he might just follow suit, seeing as blue shutters actually look quite nice ….
This offbeat picture book written in rhyme by French author Richard Marnier with a seamless translation into English by Emma Ramadan, deals with being different and going against the grain. By the end of the story everything has been turned upside down with the town becoming creative and diverse; suddenly there are a variety of houses of all shapes, colours and sizes and this is all because someone broke the rules and left the light on! Delightfully simple artwork by French illustrator Aude Maurel chart the change from monotonous uniformity to a hotchpotch of different styles and colour.