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The Dark

The Dark

Book - 2013 | First edition
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Laszlo is afraid of the dark. the dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn't come into Lazslo's room. But one night, it does. This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark. With emotional insight and poetic economy, two award-winning talents team up to conquer a universal childhood fear. -- From
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown & Co., 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316187480
Call Number: jE SNICKET 2013
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Additional Contributors: Klassen, Jon - Illustrator


From Library Staff

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.

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Jun 25, 2020

Beautiful. Text and art make for a classic children's book. Highly recommended.

Feb 05, 2019

I probably should have read this book before reading it to my 3 and a half year old. Luckily, she's not really afraid of the dark, but I could tell while reading the book that she was a little worried about the dark being very insistent that Laszlo continue "following" it downstairs. Like, she knew she didn't want for him to go downstairs, but didn't really know why. I would recommend this book for an older child, 4 or 5 and up. I LOVED the illustrations, and the ending to the book was enjoyable; it was just getting to the end that made us hesitant; wondering what was going to be presented on the next page.

Feb 22, 2018

This was a marriage waiting to happen. Lemony Snicket's writing paired with Jon Klassen's illustrations make a perfect book about a child who must brave the dark despite his fear of it.

The atmosphere is tense if you share some of the same fears as this small boy. Darkness is depicted as being something huge and engulfing. It can be overwhelming. But it is only darkness and nothing more. It's an intriguing book for children, but I would suggest reading it with the lights on.

Two of my favorites in children's lit; Lemony Snicket & Jon Klassen pair up for this evocative picture book. Snicket's spare but insightful text pair beautifully with Klassen's black-saturated pages. His simple ink line drawings are beautiful. A great book for adults and kids a like.

CRRL_CraigG Jun 25, 2015

Snicket keeps his text to couple of sentences per page with one exception. Klassen gets to explore the power of negative space as the dark envelops everything except for little Laszlo and his flashlight.

Mar 25, 2015

Lazlo is a boy who was afraid of the dark. The dark lived in many places in Lazlo's house. Lazlo would visit the dark in the basement every day. He would say hello to the dark there. His hope was that if he visited the dark, it would not come to visit him. But one night Lazlo's night light went out. The dark came and told Lazlo to come to him. Lazlo followed the voice until he reached the basement and with his flashlight found the dresser drawer where the extra light bulbs were kept. Lazlo was never afraid of the dark again.

The illustrations are done in gouache and digitally rendered. They are for the most part very dark, as seen on the cover, with bits of light. Even though they are dark, they have a vintage feel to them and are nicely done.

I had mixed feelings while reading this story. On one hand, the story is creepy. The dark is a living thing, kept in the basement, that speaks to Lazlo. On the other hand, the story explains that dark is necessary because without it you cannot see the stars and without a dark closet, there would be nowhere to put your shoes. And the story is well written. But it is written on a very deep level that not all children will understand.

I think this book should be given a pass for the little ones, especially if they are afraid of the dark. If they are not afraid of the dark, they might find this story interesting. But I would rather recommend this for the slightly older crowd--kindergarten or first grade and up. If you are looking for a book to help your child not be afraid of the dark, this one is a 50/50 toss up. It could go either way based on your child's personality. So with that being said, this is an interesting book, but I would read it first before reading it to your child to judge whether it would be appropriate.

kimrae Aug 22, 2014

Not what I expected at all. At first I didn't know if I was going to like the book but by the end I did. Encourages readers not to be afraid of the dark.

Cleveland Youth Services Recommends May 25, 2014

Are you afraid of the dark? Read this book and learn to embrace what's behind the dark.

JewelMcLatchy Oct 22, 2013

Not at all what I had expected from Lemony Snicket after the Series of Unfortunate Events. However, it's a really great book to use in demonstrating to your young child or a group of children how it's possible to get along with the Dark instead of being scared. Definitely one to read multiple times.

Oct 16, 2013

great book!

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Add Age Suitability
Jun 26, 2015

black_jellyfish_11 thinks this title is suitable for 2 years and over

Mar 25, 2015

mmcbeth29 thinks this title is suitable for 5 years and over

taracrean Mar 26, 2013

taracrean thinks this title is suitable for 4 years and over


ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 8


Add a Summary

“You might be afraid of the dark, but the dark is not afraid of you.” Laszlo is afraid but there’s not much he can do about it. Seems as though the dark is everywhere you look sometimes. Generally speaking it lives in the basement, and every morning Laszlo would open the door and say, “Hi . . . Hi, dark.” He wouldn’t get a reply. Then, one night, the dark does something unprecedented. It comes into Laszlo’s room and though he has a flashlight, it seems to be everywhere. It says it wants to show him something. Something in the basement. Something in the bottom drawer of an old dresser. Something that helps Laszlo just when he needs it. The dark still visits Laszlo now. It just doesn’t bother him.


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“You might be afraid of the dark, but the dark is not afraid of you.”


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