In a neighborhood where all the houses are exactly the same, differences slowly creep in. At first, no one knows who left the light on. But, by the end the neighborhood has embraced the many ways to be. A deceptively simple look at diversity and self-expression.— From What Christopher is reading
From French author-illustrator duo Richard Marnier and Aude Maurel comes a captivating picture book about creativity, diversity, and self-expression.
This is my town,
simple and typical.
Each house has a door,
two windows, a red roof
—all so predictable
But then one night… someone leaves on their light!
And in the morning, what a shock!
The shutters are sealed tight!
Who is that who lives next door?
We’ve never seen anything like this before!
In a town where everyone follows the rules, one neighbor’s decision to leave the light on at night completely disrupts the neighborhood, sparking a creative revolution. Vibrant, poetic, and fun, Who Left the Light On? playfully teaches the powerful lesson that diversity, creativity, and individuality should be celebrated.
About the Author
A former student of visual arts, Richard Marnier is a writer and an artist. In his work, he mixes sculptures, drawings, and design with the conventions of writing and visual arts. Adept at children’s stories, he has published several books with the Seuil Jeunesse publisher, Les P’tits Bérets Édition, Frimousse Edition, and Edition du Rouergue.
Emma Ramadan is a literary translator based in Providence, RI where she is the co-owner of Riffraff bookstore and bar. She is the recipient of a PEN/Heim grant, an NEA translation grant, and a Fulbright fellowship for her translation work.
A former student of the prestigious Ecole des Arts Appliqués and the Ecoles des Arts Décoratifs of Strasbourg, Aude Maurel has collaborated with Franco-German TV channel Arte. From animated film to still images and illustrations, she now creates her own children books, sometimes collaborating with her partner, author Richard Marnier. Aude likes to assemble words together, end to end, turning them into necklaces. She has thousands of stories to tell, some of which will become illustrated books.
“My three-year-old daughter loves flipping back in the book to trace how the neighborhood changes in Aude Maurel’s whimsical illustrations. This captivating technique—focusing on a single setting that slowly transforms over the course of the story—recalls books by Mitsumasa Anno, another favorite in our house. And thanks to Emma Ramadan’s translation from the French, which maintains a nice rhythm and rhyme, this is a fun book to read aloud. Who Left the Light On? joins a growing collection of (much-needed) kids literature that portrays diversity as a source of inspiration and strength. This is Yonder Books’s first picture book, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next.”
— Karen Philips, Executive Editor
“In a neighborhood where all the houses are exactly the same, differences slowly creep in. At first, no one knows who left the light on. But, by the end the neighborhood has embraced the many ways to be. A deceptively simple look at diversity and self-expression.”
— Christopher Green
“A beautiful book .... characterized by respect and tolerance for difference and creativity.”
“The text, short and accurate, just hits the mark. The final conclusion is like a cherry on top of the cake. To savor!”