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There's a Nightmare in My Closet Paperback – May 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Series: There's A…
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reissue edition (May 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140547126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140547122
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.1 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mercer Mayer is the award-winning author and illustrator of over 300 books for children. He lives in Roxbury, Connecticut.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

MERCER MAYER began writing and illustrating children's books in 1966, and since that time, he has published over 300 titles. Open almost any of the award-winning author/illustrator's books, and out may pop dragons, cuddly monsters, wonderful creatures, and endearing critters.

"Most of my books are about things that happened to me when I was a little kid," says Mercer. "Now that I'm a big kid, I write about things that happen now, especially with my own children. They always help remind me of what it was like."

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Mercer Mayer spent his childhood hunting lizards and snakes in the swamps near his home. During his teenage years, he attended the Honolulu Academy of Arts. He later received additional training at the Art Students League in New York City. Upon completion of his studies, he set out with pen and ink to write and illustrate a collection of children's books, reflecting many of the adventures he experienced as a child.

In 2007, Mr. Mayer was commissioned by Laura Bush to create the artwork used for the National Book Festival held on September 29 on the National Mall. He was an honored guest to the event, giving a demonstration and autographing hundreds of books for fans who attended.

Customer Reviews

Great story and illustrations.
me2013
My 4 year old was read this book in pre-school and fell in love with it!
Timothy Holm
I recommend it to anyone with young children.
Guinevere Cuthbert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It's "Patton" for children. No really, it is! Having just finished reviewing "Swimmy", the 1963 predecessor to "Finding Nemo", it seems fitting that I should also review "There's a Nightmare In My Closet", the 1968 predecessor to "Monsters, Inc." Looking like nothing so much as an alternative, "Where the Wild Things Are", Mercer Mayer's late 60s concoction is a tale of how a small boy stands up to his fears and finds them not to be as scary as he had thought.
Told in the first person, the story tells how a young boy, outfitted in those cute footie pajamas with the flap in the back, used to be scared of the nightmare in his closet before going to bed. Each night the boy would close the closet door then hide under his sheets. That all changes the night the boy pops on his general's helmet and outfits himself with a toy canon, toy soldiers, and a pop gun to rid himself of his nightmare once and for all. Sure enough, when the lights are out the monster comes creeping and perches on the foot of the bed but the boy is ready. He threatens it to leave and when he shoots his pop gun the nightmare bursts into tears. It's really a pitiful sight. Relenting, the boy tucks the monster in his bed, closes the closet door, and snuggles down to share the bed with his nightmare. As the boy ends the tale with, "I suppose there's another nightmare in my closet, but my bed's not big enough for three", sure enough, another monster sticks out his head and smiles winningly at the reader whilst the two others sleep blissfully.
When you think of all the mediocre monster books out there, this story really is remarkable. Compare this book to "Go Away, Big Green Monster", for example. There's just no comparison. And for its 1968 publication date, the story really feels very contemporary.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Guinevere Cuthbert on February 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I was a young child, I remember my mother reading this book to me, and when my oldest daughter, then age 2 1/2, started having nightmares about "dragons" coming into her room and scaring her, I bought this book for her. "There's a nightmare in my closet" quickly became her favorite bedtime story, which was requested at least once a day, for well over a year. Now that I have another 3 yr old, she too loves the story, and is learning to "read" it from memory.

"There's a nightmare in my closet" tells a story, from the perspective of a young boy, of how a child confronts his fears and learns that they might not be as scary as he once thought. After reading this book to my daughter a few times, her nightmares became much less frequent, and she seemed much more able to handle the few she got.
Since young children always have, and always will be, afraid of something in the night, this book will never become old fashioned. I recommend it to anyone with young children.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
I loved this book so much, because there were scary monsters in this book. It made me change the way I feel about nightmares. Now I'm not afraid. This is the first book I've read by myself. Zane age 5
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
My child absolutely loves this book! I have never been more pleased with a children's bedtime story. The illustrations are fantastic as well as the little boys approach to nightmares. I highly recommend "There's a Nightmare in My Closet," to parents that have a little one with night-time worries. Don't let this jewel of a story pass you by!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. L. Dawson on November 15, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
And I love it too. My children have no concept of what a nightmare or a monster is and this has made the word "nightmare", nothing to be afraid of. She actually loves going to the closet to look for a "nightmare" to put in bed with her. And, as far as the concept of dealing with scary things....the little boy only says "I'm going to get you!", which is something that is said by our family a lot...while playing. It is sooo non-threatening! The child is only dressed in "little boy" dress up clothes! Don't let that keep you from this charming book! HBO even did an animated movie of it...its darling!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "storypage" on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book deals with young children's fears in a way few do. Mayer displays an understanding of children that is remarkable, especially here. While I realize it is popular now days to pan any reference to weapons or violence, such references in this particular book are purely metaphorical, and it isn't all that difficult to explain that to children. Attacking your fears is a positive thing, not negative. As a children's librarian who has used this book for hundreds and hundreds of young children who consistently find it delightful, I highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 1998
Format: Paperback
Take Joy in Your Monsters! They are colorful and unique! That is the message I got from this book when I was young, and now when I babysit, I take this book with me and the kids love it! The ending is a beautiful surprise. It helped me value nightmares everywhere.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. G. Ishimoto on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a children's librarian, I find this book touches my young patrons deeply, and I have shared it often. A Jungian therapist recommended it for me to read! The book can be an effective tool to deal with the subject of fear, whether we are young or old.
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