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The Dark (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards)) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Series: Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316187488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316187480
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 7.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* What if the dark meant more than the absence of light? What if the dark were someone? Laszlo, dressed in blue footie jams, his hair precisely parted, is afraid of the dark. Mostly, the dark lives in the basement, but one night, when his night-light fails, it arrives in Laszlo’s room. The dark leads Laszlo through the rickety house and down to the basement, and bids him to open the bottom drawer of an old dresser, where he finds night-light bulbs. Laszlo is emboldened, peace is restored, and Laszlo and the dark, presumably, live happily ever after. Snicket’s atmospheric narrative personifies the dark with indelible character, its voice as creaky as the roof of the house, and as smooth and cold as the windows. Klassen renders the expansive, ramshackle house in mottled sepia tones, visible in the sharp beam of Laszlo’s flashlight as it interrupts the flat, inky black. Even the dialogue respects the delineation, with Laszlo’s words set in the swaths of light and the dark’s written in the dark. But just as important are the things Klassen omits: rooms are empty of furniture and people. Laszlo feels alone. In its willingness to acknowledge the darkness, and the elegant art of that acknowledgment, The Dark pays profound respect to the immediacy of childhood experiences. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Snicket and Klassen? This’ll be huge. Preschool-Grade 2. --Thom Barthelmess

Review

A 2014 Charlotte Zolotow Award Winner
A New York Times Best Illustrated
ALSC Notable Books for Children
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year



* "An offbeat -- and spookily atmospheric -- approach to fear of the dark, with a creative story and high-impact artwork...an enjoyable thrill."—The Bulletin, starred review

* "Readers are going to want to read this one over and over."—Library Media Connection, starred review

More About the Author

Lemony Snicket claims he was nowhere near the scene of the crime. He is the author of several other unpleasant stories, including those in the bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Lump of Coal.

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Customer Reviews

My grandson received this book by mail.
John Ghertner
The illustrations are great and work incredibly well with the story.
jsteininger
I'm afraid of the dark to so I am like Lazlo.
S,mzi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Dickens on April 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Laszlo, a young boy, is afraid of the dark. Seems like a pretty simple premise, but in the hands of Snicket (The Complete Wreck (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-13)) the reader should expect the unexpected. And he delivers by making The Dark an actual character - speaking lines and all - thus giving the staid "I'm afraid of the dark" story a fresh, unique spin. The ending is brilliant - literally. Klassen's illustrations are a perfect match to the tone of Snicket's text. The perspective that he uses when drawing Laszlo's flashlight beam is visually engaging and invites conversation with young readers.

And speaking of young readers, don't worry that this is too scary for them. My 3&5 year olds listened with quiet interest to the story with no qualms, then promptly put it on their favorite bookshelf.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joseph S. Ivey on June 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of "unconventional" kids books. Think John Klassen and Oliver Jeffers and you get the idea. I love the fact that these authors don't talk down to kids in a condescending way. They tell them that, "Yes, there are scary things out in the world. Here is how to deal with them."

The Dark by Lemony Snicket does the same thing. It tells the story of a kid that is scared of the dark. Like all children do, he pushes himself just to the point of comfort when he says hello to the dark every morning when it has retreated to the corner of the basement. Then one night, the dark pays the boy a visit in his room.

I won't spoil the rest of the book, but it really is a great read. My (almost) six year old daughter has chanted "The Dark, The Dark" every night since I bought the book. I personally think it's because this book teaches kids that somethings that are scary looking can be quite harmless, once you get to know it better.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Labare on April 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'll start out by saying i've read other reviews of this book, both here and on another site, and a common trend for those marking it with a 2 or 3 star rating is a lack of understanding in regards to the ending. Perhaps a lack of "closure" to the story, or an ending that people felt wasn't in keeping with the foreboding that the rest of the tale instilled. I, on the other hand, loved both the beginning, middle and end of this book and bought it immediately after reading it (yes, it is short...it's a bedtime story for children). I picked it up after noting Klassen's name directly below Snicket's and was not disappointed at all. The storytelling was easy to follow and very effective and the illustrations were outstanding in their simplicity. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a child, of any age, that loves a good bedtime story. You can read other reviews to tell you what the story is about, I will leave that to them, I would like only to say that the book was genuinely clever and worth every penny I paid to bring it home and read it to my child. She has already asked me to read it again tomorrow night.

Well done to both the author and illustrator. Excellent pairing and an excellent read.
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34 of 47 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
You do not know the temptation I am fighting right now to begin this review with some grandiose statement equating a fear of the dark with a fear of death itself. You have my full permission to slap me upside the head if I start off my children's books reviews with something that bigheaded. The whole reason I was going to do it at all is that after reading a book like Lemony Snicket's The Dark I find myself wondering about kids and their fears. Most childhood fears tap into the weird id (see, here I go) part of our brains where the unknown takes on greater and grander evils than could possibly occur in the real world. So we get fears of dogs, the color mauve, certain dead-eyed paintings, fruit, and water going down the drain (or so Mr. Rogers claimed, though I've never met a kid that went that route), etc. In the light of those others, a healthy fear of the dark makes perfect sense. The dark is where you cannot see and what you cannot see cannot possibly do you any good. That said, there are surprisingly few picture books out there that tackle this very specific fear. Picture books love to tackle a fear of monsters, but the idea of handling something as ephemeral as a fear of the dark is much much harder. It takes a certain kind of writer and a certain kind of illustrator to grasp this fear by the throat and throttle it good and sound. Behold the pairing of Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen. You'll ne'er see the like again (unless they do another picture book together, in which case, scratch that).

"You might be afraid of the dark, but the dark is not afraid of you." Laszlo is afraid but there's not much he can do about it. Seems as though the dark is everywhere you look sometimes. Generally speaking it lives in the basement, and every morning Laszlo would open the door and say, "Hi . . .
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By eebees on July 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have a very verbal 2-year old and I am always trying to find new material to stimulate him. Since he seemed to be developing a fear of the dark, I thought I would give this book a try. He loves it. In an effort to reenact the story, he runs around the house opening bottom drawers (in an attempt to find light bulbs) and seeking out the dark ("Hi Dark!"). Now when when the sun goes down, he talks excitedly about how the dark is coming . I don't know if it will last but it is nice to see the reading material resonate with him in a way that shows that he understands the story.

On my part, the book unfolds kind of like a horror movie. So it is a little unsettling for me. But the sweet ending saves the day.
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