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Author: Snicket, Lemony
Laszlo is afraid of the dark which lives in the same big, creaky house as him, until one night the dark pays him a visit.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.10
Points: .5 Quiz: 157787
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 2.80
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 60296
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/13)
School Library Journal (02/01/17)
Booklist (+) (03/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (06/13)
The Hornbook (+) (00/03/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2013 *Starred Review* What if the dark meant more than the absence of light? What if the dark were someone? Laszlo, dressed in blue footie jams, his hair precisely parted, is afraid of the dark. Mostly, the dark lives in the basement, but one night, when his night-light fails, it arrives in Laszlo’s room. The dark leads Laszlo through the rickety house and down to the basement, and bids him to open the bottom drawer of an old dresser, where he finds night-light bulbs. Laszlo is emboldened, peace is restored, and Laszlo and the dark, presumably, live happily ever after. Snicket’s atmospheric narrative personifies the dark with indelible character, its voice as creaky as the roof of the house, and as smooth and cold as the windows. Klassen renders the expansive, ramshackle house in mottled sepia tones, visible in the sharp beam of Laszlo’s flashlight as it interrupts the flat, inky black. Even the dialogue respects the delineation, with Laszlo’s words set in the swaths of light and the dark’s written in the dark. But just as important are the things Klassen omits: rooms are empty of furniture and people. Laszlo feels alone. In its willingness to acknowledge the darkness, and the elegant art of that acknowledgment, The Dark pays profound respect to the immediacy of childhood experiences. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Snicket and Klassen? This’ll be huge. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2013 PreS-Gr 2—Snicket and Klassen present a picture book that tackles a basic childhood worry with suspense, a dash of humor, and a satisfying resolution. Laszlo, clad in pajamas, is afraid of the dark, which spends most of the day in the basement but spreads itself throughout the boy's rambling home at night. Every morning, he opens the basement door, peeks down, and calls out, "Hi, dark," hoping that if he visits the dark in its room, it will not return the favor. However, when Laszlo's night-light burns out one evening, the dark does come to call, declaring in a voice as creaky as the house's roof, "I want to show you something." The youngster, who bravely shines his flashlight into the inky night, is slowly coaxed down to the basement and a forgotten-about chest of drawers ("Come closer… Even closer"). Here, Snicket keeps readers teetering on the edges of their seats, taunting them with a lengthy and convoluted aside. Finally, the boy is instructed to open the bottom drawer, where he finds… a supply of light bulbs. There's a sense of closure, as Laszlo comes to terms with the dark, which still lives in his home but never bothers him again. The understated illustrations keep the focus on the emotional context, showing a serious-faced protagonist, a stark setting, and shadow-filled corners. Faded hues contrast with the ominous blackness, providing visual punch and adding credence to the boy's fears. Fresh, kid-savvy, and ultimately reassuring.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2013 The dark that fills the shadowy corners and the pitch-black basement of Laszlo’s old creaky house pays a visit to the boy in his bedroom one night. A nervous Laszlo asks what the dark wants, and it replies, “I want to show you something.” Laszlo checks the closet and behind the shower curtain, but it’s the basement where the dark wants him to go. Summoning his courage, Laszlo descends the stairs as the dark beckons him to come closer to a chest of drawers, where the boy finds a stash of glowing light bulbs the same size as the burnt-out one in his nightlight. Laszlo thanks the dark and returns to bed, visiting the basement next morning to say “Hi” to the dark; while the dark doesn’t answer, the still-open bottom drawer looks like a smile, and the dark “never bothered him again.” This is an offbeat-and spookily atmospheric-approach to fear of the dark, with a creative story and high-impact artwork The limited perspective of Laszlo’s flashlight beam, shrouded around the edges in opaque blackness, allows for a pleasantly creepy build-up of suspense that is then cheerily deflated by the surprise benevolence of the dark. Klassen’s slightly retro gouache and digital art in attractive, muted tones is a perfect match for the text, with the diminutive Laszlo, clad in blue footie pajamas, a fine foil for all the matte black space lurking in doorways and behind curtains; sharp-eyed viewers will note the absence of Laszlo’s ever-present flashlight at book’s end, once he’s made peace with the dark. Kids comfortable with delicious shivers will find this an enjoyable thrill. JH - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.