Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a great book about being afraid of the dark!

the darkThe Dark

By Lemony Snicket

Illustrated by Jon Klassen

40 pages – ages 3 – 6 years

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (April 2, 2013)

Theme/Topic – Being afraid of the dark/fears

Opening and Synopsis – Taken from the inside jacket

“Laszlo is afraid of the dark.

The dark is not afraid of Laszlo.

Laszlo lives in a house.

The dark lives in the basement.

One night the dark comes

upstairs to Laszlo’s room,

and Laszlo goes down to

the basement.

This is a story of how Laszlo

stops being afraid of the dark.”

I thought the jacket quote summarized the book much better than I could. 🙂

Why I liked this book – I really like the illustrations. They remind me of older cartoons. I love the sketchy look to them.


This is a pretty unusual book. The dark is actually a character and it talks to Laszlo. The book gets a little creepy because the dark wants Laszlo to go to the basement but it turns around very fast and you see the dark only wants to help him. I love the voice Lemony Snicket gives this story! I like Lazslo a lot. He represents every young child, boy or girl, afraid of the dark. I also like that he is in a one-piece pajama suit. 🙂 I think kids 3+ and Lemony Snicket fans would LOVE this book!

Activities and Resources –

Show kids that if there is no dark – you can’t have a shadow by making a silhouette! That’s a fun thing you need the dark for. I found instructions for making silhouettes at the Kaboose website HERE.


Silhouette (Photo credit: Stantio)

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE!

Categories: Perfect Picture Book Friday

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34 replies

  1. That sounds a bit scary but if it helps kids not to be scared – great. They go down in the basement in my PPBF today too. Basement day lol.

  2. I always love new twists on dealing with childhood fears, so I’m glad to be adding this to our list! And I know Lemony Snicket has a great sense of humor, so I’d be interested to read this book! Thanks for sharing, Erik!

  3. Another excellent review, Erik. You have a gift for explaining the your pleasure in the book. Thank you.

  4. I have been waiting to see this book! What an incredible pairing of talent – Snicket and Klassen. I am still scared of the dark sometimes, so I am sure I will want to check this one out.

  5. Like the simplicity of this book for kids. Love, love, love this book. I imagine Lemony Snicket adds humor and a new twist to this subject. Sounds like a wonderful read for kids!Great choice. Love Klassen’s cover and illustration.

  6. Thanks for introducing me to a lemony snicket picture book! The illustrations look fabulous!

  7. I’m afraid of the dark. I’m also afraid of the sounds in the trailer. Mom should buy me this book. She should get one for herself, too. She’s afraid of the dark.

    Love and licks,

  8. I’m anxious to see this one! LOVE Lemony Snicket! And I’m with you on liking those footie pjs :).

  9. I’ve never been a Lemony Snicket fan, and I’m not even a huge picture book reader, but this one tickles my fancy. I’ll have to get it from the library.

  10. This really looks fabulous! Great subject, great opening, great illustrations.

  11. I LOVE! Lemony Snicket. You snagged a great book to review. This one I must get. What a great topic and such a strange vision Snicket has. This is a nice review Erik.

  12. I’m eager to see this book – thanks for the review! I’m curious how little kids will react and I imagine things will be all a-twitter on the interwebs if parents develop strong opinions about it!

  13. Wanna hear something funny – while re-reading I realized that I had forgotten what happens in the end – and got scared all over again! Glad you liked it too!

  14. Thank you Erik for introducing me to this story. The dark can be quite scary for some people. Glad this helps…. Thanks for sharing on PPBF!

  15. I’ve got this book on my wish list. I’m not afraid of the dark, but my Mom Person is. So silly. I like the combination of Mr Snicket and Mr Klassen. Two very quirky gentlemen! Thanks for the review!

  16. My son really wants a copy of this book. It looks wonderful! Thanks for your great review!

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