Words & Pictures: The Dark by Lemony Snicket

The DarkTitle: The Dark by Lemony Snicket
Genre: Children's Fiction, Picture Book
Pages: 40
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Publication Date: 2nd April 2013
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Rating: ★★★★★

This is the story of Laszlo and how he stopped being afraid of the dark.

Being familiar only with Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, I was intrigued and, I’ll admit, a little skeptical at the idea of him writing a picture book.

Now, after reading it, I would say that I would be reluctant to read this to any very young child.  However, for those slightly older readers, this could be an exciting story to share with an adult, who would no doubt also gain something from the eeriness and dry humour so typical of Snicket’s work.

Sometimes the dark hid in the cupboard.  Sometimes it sat behind the shower curtain.

I really like how the dark was personified.  At first, this makes it frightening, but ultimately it is these qualities that allow it to help Laszlo.  Therein lies the moral of the story: do not fear the dark for it is our friend.

Jon Klassen does an excellent job of illustrating the book. Colour schemes are kept simple – mostly black, oranges and browns – which adds to the nighttime atmosphere; though I’m sure it would make the book all the more suspenseful if read as a bedtime story.

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