In nearly all the books in the Ainsi va la vie
series, the advice is stunningly well thought-out and responsible. Ask what to do if your mother is drinking or your father has lost his job, if you're being bullied at school, if your best friend has cancer, if your older cousin is doing drugs - and you'll get a wise, sensible answer. Dominique de Saint-Mars knows French-speaking children trust her, and she does her best to live up to that.
But every now and then you get a startling exception to the rule. Max, about seven, has just moved to a new part of town. He doesn't know anyone. He's too frightened and shy to talk to any of his new neighbors. He'd love to get to know them, but he doesn't even dare say hello. The reader can see how difficult it is for him. Most of the time, he can barely hold back the tears. The kids on the block completely misinterpret his silence. They think he's a snob and won't talk to them because they aren't in the same social class. Things get worse.
What's Max going to do? He has to break the deadlock somehow, but then he gets an idea! He scribbles a little note, "This cat belongs to...", and ties it to Pluche's collar. Then he takes her out in the street. Pluche doesn't like it much, but Max tells her to beat it. After twenty minutes, he starts going around asking if anyone's seen his cat. No one has, and Max feels pretty worried. But then a boy his own age turns up with the conveniently lost animal. Max is genuinely happy! And within half an hour, he's made his first friend in the neighborhood.
Well... it worked. ButKIDS, DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!!