Reader Reviewed The Dark by Lemony Snicket

The Dark

Written by Lemony Snicket
Illustrated by Jon Klassen

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 - One of our Books of the Year 2013

Possibly destined to be THE TOP PICTURE BOOK of 2013. Bestselling Lemony Snicket gives an original, delightful and empowering take on the familiar theme of being scared of the dark. Laszlo is afraid of the dark. He knows that the dark lives in the same house as him but luckily they don’t usually share the same space in the house. One day, Laszlo goes looking for the dark. It’s a scary journey of discovery. Down in the basement he and the Dark have an interesting conversation; the Dark explains why he is so necessary. It is a great explanation and Laszlo finds he never has to be frightened again. Jon Klassen’s illustrations are a perfect match for this outstanding picture book. This is a stand-out picture book unlike any other this year.


reader reviewsIn addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Dark a small number of parents and their children were lucky enough to be invited to read and review this title. Here's a taster....'I liked everything in the book. I want to read it again after lunch!'.... Scroll down to read more reviews...


The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo but mostly it spends its time in the basement.

It doesn't visit Laszlo in his room. Until one night it does. With emotional insight and poetic economy, Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen bring to light a universal and empowering story about conquering fear. Join a brave boy on his journey to meet the dark, and see why it will never bother him again.


A really special book. Beautiful pictures and a strong message that the dark is nothing to be afraid of. Both Theo 8 and Mimosa 4 have been talking about Lazlo (the hero) ever since and how brave he is looking for the dark and how lovely it is when he realises that there is nothing to be afraid of. One of those books that you will read over and over again - Mimosa has asked for it again tonight (having had it twice yesterday). A real quality story in same vein as We're Going on a Bear Hunt and Where the Wild Things Are.
Portia Barker on behalf of Theo (aged 8) and Mimosa (aged 4)

It was so brilliant, I can’t believe it. Click here to read the full review.
Reviewed by Richie Upchurch (age 6)

I liked the book because I like the dark and the pictures are good and colourful. Click here to read the full review.. Reviewed by Daniel (age 5)

I read The Dark to Lauren tonight. She really enjoyed it and wanted to read it again straight away. She said Laszlo was just like her as she is also scared of the dark. She thought the pictures of the dark and the torch beam were "really cool". Click here to read the full review.. Caroline Randall on behalf of Lauren (age 5)

I liked everything in the book. I want to read it again after lunch! Click here to read the full review.. Tracey Chorley on behalf of Robyn (age 4)

..everyone will enjoy reading it again and finding more details in the great pictures. Nicola, and James (age 4) Click here to read the full review.



The originality of The Dark is breathtaking, as are the pictures and prose. Klassen and Snicket play to their combined strengths. This elegant, vividly written tale should win some shuteye for all - and prizes for its creators. Amanda Craig, The Times

Lemony Snicket plays masterfully with the picture book genre in The Dark. Jon Klassen's Seventies-style illustrations are a perfect match for Snicket's wit and virtuosity. Dinah Hall, The Telegraph

Snicket and Klassen are an inspired pairing in this suspenseful take on childhood fear... a memorable ride on the emotional roller coaster that great storytelling creates. Ages 3-6. -- Publishers Weekly

Highly original and visually stunning. * * * * * -- Bookbag

A powerhouse. -- School Library Journal

A familiar fear is given a new lease of life... serious, clever and intensely illustrated. -- The Guardian

He eloquently reminds us what it is to be afraid of the dark and also, with Jon Klassen's simple, illuminating drawings, guarantees that readers see the light. -- The Observer

A picturebook not to miss. (Children's Book of the Week) -- Sunday Times

Simply told and evocatively drawn, this is an ideal book to read with young children. -- The Scotsman

A reassuring story for any children who may be afraid of the dark. -- Sunday Express

If ever there was a perfect creative pairing of words and pictures, surely this is it. --

Thoughtful, perceptive and very reassuring. -- Parents In Touch

Captivating picture book for younger children that is sure to become a library essential in no time. A powerful narrative... evocatively illustrated. There's really no good reason not to have this on your shelves. -- Teach Nursery

Brilliant. -- Little Fiction Fascination

A powerful and moving tale which will entertain and encourage others to fight their fear of the dark. -- Bury Free Press

Any child afraid of the dark will find solace in this elegant fable about everyday bravery. Beautiful images... charming text... a story as simple as it is timeless. -- Financial Times

About the Author

Lemony Snicket

Image © Meredith Heuer

Lemony Snicket had an unusual education and a perplexing youth, and now endures a despondent adulthood. His previous published works include the thirteen volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Composer Is Dead, and 13 Words. His forthcoming book, “Who Could That Be at This Hour?”, which is the first question in a series of All The Wrong Questions, will be made available only to the general public on October 23, 2012. He is represented in all matters literary, legal, and social by Daniel Handler, author of the Printz Honor-award winning Why We Broke Up.

Click here to read a Q&A with the author from top children's publisher Egmont or read on at your own risk...

Lemony Snicket was born before you were, and is likely to die before you as well. His family has roots in a part of the country which is now underwater, and his childhood was spent in the relative splendor of the Snicket Villa which has since become a factory, a fortress and a pharmacy and is now, alas, someone else's villa. To the untrained eye, Mr. Snicket's hometown would not appear to be filled with secrets. Untrained eyes have been wrong before.

Though his formal training was chiefly in rhetorical analysis, he has spent the last several eras researching the travails of the Baudelaire orphans. This project, being published serially by HarperCollins, takes him to the scenes of numerous crimes, often during the offseason. Eternally pursued and insatiably inquisitive, a hermit and a nomad, Mr. Snicket wishes you nothing but the best.

Due to the world-wide web of conspiracy which surrounds him, Mr. Snicket often communicates with the general public through his representative, Daniel Handler. Mr. Handler has had a relatively uneventful life, and is the author of three books for adults, The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs, none of which are anywhere near as dreadful as Mr. Snicket's. Like Mr. Snicket, Mr. Handler wishes you nothing but the best.

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Book Info


40 pages


Lemony Snicket
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Orchard Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Books

Publication date

3rd April 2014




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