Thursday, 8 May 2014

Picture Books

USA Writer & Canadian Illustrator
Lemony Snicket (pseud of Daniel Handler) and Jon Klassen

The Dark
Orchard Books 2014   $19.99pb    40pp
ISBN 978 1 4083 3003 6
Themes: Fear of the dark/ Overcoming fears

There are only two players in this story - a small boy called Laszlo and The Dark. There are no monsters, no creaky doors, no frightening images but Laszlo is afraid of The Dark that seems to lurk around even during the day in cupboards, behind the shower curtain and in the basement. Then one night, Laszlo, resolute in blue pj’s, goes down to the basement. Here The Dark alerts him to something in a squat, magenta coloured chest and – after that, although The Dark goes on living with Laszl, he is never frightened of it again. A brilliant story with equally brilliant illustrations and do Google both the writer and illustrator for more information.
It will, of course, depend on the reader aloud and the conversations it generates for its success with the children.
(In my opinion there is one page that is really not needed (you’ll recognise it when you come to it) where a whole long paragraph is given up to the reasons why we need the dark. It holds up all the drama of the story and you may choose to just leave it out.)
It is also a great story for the children who have never even thought of being afraid of the dark because it is simply a ‘tool’ for dealing with fear – any fear.

Preschool up/ Age 4 up

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