A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Dark is a fun picture book about a universal childhood fear: fear of the dark. What's unusual here is that author Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events) and Caldecott-winning author-illustrator Jon Klassen (This Is Not My Hat) have personified the dark. It lives in Lazlo's basement, and he talks to it and it talks back. Lazlo just wants it to stay where it belongs and not come into his room. The two eventually come to terms -- the dark is actully quite friendly and helpful -- and it never bothers Lazlo again. The Dark is not only highly entertaining, with its wonderfully understated tone and dramatic use of light and dark in the illustrations, but it also should provide a great way for kids and parents to open up about their own fears. It's very empowering to see Lazlo conquer one of his.
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What's the story?
Lazlo is a afraid of the dark. He sleeps with a night light on and caries a flashlight places where the dark is, like his basement. He personifies the dark, thinking it hides in the closet or behind the shower curtain or washing machine, but goes back to the basement, where it lives, in the morning. He'll open the basement door and greet it: \"'Hi, he would say. 'Hi, dark.'\" Then one night the dark talks back to Lazlo and shows him something that relieves his fear.
Is it any good?
THE DARK is a clever treatment of one of kids' most universal fears. Author Lemony Snicket and illustrator Jon Klassen do a fantastic job of building suspense and creating a deadpan character with a problem to solve: Lazlo knows that the dark lives in his house and is concerned that it will come into it bedroom rather than stay where it belongs. Lazlo is curious and methodical, and in the end empowered by having mastered the situation.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their fears. Parents can tell kids what they are -- or used to be -- afraid of and how they deal -- or have dealt with -- that fear.
How does the illustrator's use of light and dark affect the mood on different pages?
Take a flashlight and go on a journey in your house. Does it make you less scared of dark corners?
- Author: Lemony Snicket
- Illustrator: Jon Klassen
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Great Boy Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: April 2, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 3 - 6
- Number of pages: 40
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, Kindle
- Award: ALA Best and Notable Books
- Last updated: March 4, 2020
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