Book of the Week: The Dark

Book of the Week, Children's

The Dark by Lemony Snicket Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Published: 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Children

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:

It’s a Lemony Snicket book — enough said.

I love how this book focuses on something that a lot of children are fearful of: the dark.

With that, I love how this book shows young readers that the dark isn’t anything to be afraid of.

The little boy (who readers later find out is named Laszlo), on the first page is shown with a flashlight, alone in the dark, and shining his light on the title page. Very clever!

I love how this book portrays the dark, not only a character, but an actual entity.

The dark lives with Laszlo.

They live in a house that is big. It’s roof often creaks. And there are many, many stairs to climb.

It takes the dark a while to reach Laszlo and his room late at night.

The dark is a bit of a trickster – sometimes it hides deep within the closet. Other times it shields itself behind the shower curtain. But mostly, the dark was in the basement.

As the story progresses, the dark creeps more and more onto the pages.

This book, without relying on time, shows the different between night and day. Day is often bright, while night is not.

The dark speaks. Reading this book I imagined that his tone of voice was deep and booming.

But in reality, the dark sounded as creaky as the old roof, as smooth and cool as the window, and even though the dark whispered in little Laszlo’s ear, it sounded far off.

Laszlo believes if he visits the dark in his room, maybe the dark wouldn’t visit him in his.

When the dark does visit Laszlo in his room he visits because he wants something. The dark wants to show Laszlo something.

I love how Laszlo sleeps with his flashlight instead of a teddy bear or some other stuffed animal.

Laszlo searches all over for the dark. But it’s not until he reaches the top of the basement stairs that he finds him.

I’ll admit: when reading this part – when the dark was loring Laszlo into the basement late at night – I was a bit scared.

Laszlo is brave. He shows readers that facing fears is a natural part of life and part of growing up.

In the basement, the dark asks Laszlo to step in, come closer. But to what?

To a small dresser situated in the middle of the dark room.

I love how this book offers an explanation of why people are afraid of the dark, and why the dark is the way it is. What are some explanations: “[…]The dark is always close by.” “Without a creaky roof the rain would fall on your bed, and without a smooth, cold window, you could never see outside.” But most of all, without the dark “you would never know if you needed a lightbulb.”

The dark asks Laszlo to open the bottom draw.

What’s in the bottom draw? It’s a mystery for all readers.

Inside the bottom drawer are lightbulbs. Lightbulbs fit for a nightlight.

Thanks to the dark Laszlo isn’t afraid anymore. In fact, the next day he visits the dark in the basement.

This is such a great book for everyone and anyone. Why? Because we all know what it’s like to be fearful of something.

Laszlo is a great character. He’s smart and easy for young readers to relate to.

The dark too is a great character. I love how he’s portrayed as being something foreboding. Even though, as it turns out the dark is a big ol’ softy!

This was a book that I was looking forward to for a while, has high expectations of. And it filled all those expectations!