This book is told from the perspective of Buddo, the imaginary friend of nine year old Max. As long as Max believes in Buddo, he exists. And because Max has imagined that Buddo is mobile, he can go out into the world while Max is asleep and have adventures of his own. Buddo can also speak to other imaginary friends and forms relationships with a cast of characters shaped like popsicle sticks and paper dolls. Max also needs Buddo because he is autistic and finds people very confusing. Max does not like to be touched, even by his mother and he has Buddo watch at night to make sure she does not kiss him for too long when he is sleeping. One day, Buddo sees Max getting into a teacher’s car and must use all of his resources to help Max rescue himself from a terrible situation.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
We enjoyed the book although we felt that it started out at a very slow pace. We liked understanding a little more about autism. How heartbreaking it must be to have a child who cannot show any affection. Some of the Critics remembered having imaginary friends of their own. We found the descriptions of the various imaginary friends very amusing – from three inches tall to a spot on the wall! The end was a bit ambiguous – we weren’t sure why Buddo disappeared and that Max was ready to cope without him. We found the author had good insights into teachers (eg: when Mrs. Gosse was pretending to be Mrs. Gosse in order to keep up the children’s spirits.)