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A Dark, Dark Cave Hardcover – May 24, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A boy, girl, and dog enter a cave with a flashlight. They see bats, stalactites, stalagmites, lizards, large yellow eyes, giant paws, and then a large, human shadow; they "Roooaaaar!" On the next spread, their father lifts the blanket of their "cave" and tells them to "find a quiet game. The baby's sleeping." The siblings devise a plan to pretend to be two horses running "to a blanket barn/wearing manes of yarn/playing happily/in what used to be/a dark, dark cave." The story relies on digitally assembled illustrations created with watercolor, pencil, and colored pencil, as the most text on any spread is 13 words, providing scant description. The dark cave scenes are appropriately abstract but may be difficult for younger readers to follow. The horse-riding scenes are bright, sunny, and detailed. Pretend play is more satisfyingly conveyed in Michael Rosen's We're Going on a Bear Hunt and David Axtell's We're Going on a Lion Hunt. Suggest Lemony Snicket's The Dark to readers who wish to shiver with expert pacing in text and atmospheric illustrations. VERDICT A serviceable addition for fans of imaginative play.—Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI
Corey Tabor's offbeat, expressive illustrations work wonderfully to support Hoffman's text."--New York Times Book Reviews
One of the "16 Awesome Picture Books to Read in 2016"--readbrightly.com
"A Dark, Dark Cave . . . has the feel of an instant classic."--books4yourkids.com
"This joyful, timeless exploration of play is sure to be an inspirational spark to young readers, who will then embark on their own imaginary games. Readers young and old will find much to appreciate in this celebration of the imagination."
"Wonderfully expressive multimedia illustrations add depth and vitality to the suspenseful text… Build your own fort in which to enjoy this imaginative portrayal of a sweet sibling adventure."
"For fans of imaginative play."
—School Library Journal
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Top customer reviews
Readers are taken on an adventure with two young siblings who explore the depths of a dark, dark cave created out of blankets and other items in their room. I loved that this story celebrates the joys of that make up young children's worlds of imaginative play. As I read this book with my daughter, it reminded me of the fun I had growing up with my siblings building forts, and the imaginative adventures we would go on.
Targeted for ages 4-6, this is a picture book for all ages. With it's captivating watercolor illustrations, it's simple wording, rhyming, and repetition, make this a book that will engage even the youngest of readers. It's a book that will be enjoyed over and over again. We really enjoyed it, and would recommend picking it up.
This is a story about imagination. The kids are playing in some sort of blanket/pillow fort that they built in a room in the house. For this story it is a cave, but it really could have been anything.
I don't really like that the parental figure had to show up and ruin the imaginary play. I would have preferred it much more if the story told us it was an imaginary cave in a different manner that didn't make it appear as if us adults are imagination killers (I admit that I could very well be reading way too much into that part of the story).
Otherwise it was a cute story and the illustrations were nice. What you see on the cover is pretty much how all the illustrations look within. It just depends on what is going on in the story on what and how much illustration you get.
This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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