The Pharmacist tackles polarization in a new children's book
Science popularizer and pharmacist Olivier Bernard, better known under the pseudonym Le Pharmacien, is launching a second children's book. After the themes of critical thought and the scientific method in his first book aimed at this audience, he now tackles the issue of polarization in The mystery of the pyramid >.
Inspired by the discovery of mysterious metal monoliths in Utah, California and Europe at the end of 2020, the story revolves around the discovery of a pyramid in a clearing. Access to the latter is blocked by a team of police officers, which arouses curiosity in the community. Groups with all kinds of theories about the origin of the monument are formed, then some individuals believe that the truth is hidden from them.
“When I published my first children's book in 2018, I met a lot of parents in the living rooms and among the comments that came back was that they found it difficult to discuss with their children delicate things that are happening. pass through the world as polarizing subjects, demonstrations, violence or mass movements. During the pandemic, it escalated. So I tried to create a story that would create a pretext to initiate a dialogue between parents and children,” explains the man who is also behind all the illustrations in the book.
This book, Olivier Bernard wrote it hoping that an audience of all ages can enjoy it. “I write for both adults and children. I try to arrange for there to be different levels of interpretation. There are subtleties for adults and this is entirely intentional. There are things that I know are just the parents who will figure it out. This is also why at the end of the book, there is a guide for parents to start the discussion,” he says.
Beyond the story and the issues addressed therein, Le Pharmacien has set himself a personal challenge. Almost all of the sentences in the book include rhymes. “It happened a bit by chance. At one point, I wrote three pages in a row where there were rhymes when it was not intentional. So I wondered if I was capable of doing the whole book like that,” he reveals, recounting that he sought to make his work “less ordinary and funnier” at a certain point in his creative process.