Picture Book of the Day, The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Monsters In the Closet Picture Books: The Dark

I started haunting our local bookstore to read picture books but I always feel guilty using it like a library so I make sure to buy a small stack. When it comes to picture books, I am the pickiest purchaser ever because I am buying for myself! The Dark made my purchase pile. I had heard wonderful reviews about it and I have long admired Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen.

Other Monsters In the Closet Picture Books also delight us:

There’s  Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Myer

We love this sweet monster picture book in which a little boy bravely confronts his “nightmare in his closet.” It turns out that his nightmare is a good snuggler! I love the reading by Billy Crystal too! In fact, I always picture him reading it to my kids, even as I read it.

The Monstore by Tara Lazar

Monsters seem like a good strategy to keep out pesky little sisters. Only Zack’s little sister is terrified of something else! I review it here as another Picture Book of the Week. I guess we really do love monster picture books!

And now … my selection for The Picture Book of the Day!

The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen

I like monster picture books that feel cozy and this one addresses the biggest fears my kids have. (No, not spiders but they are indeed freaked out by creepy crawlers). The Dark! Lazlo is afraid of the dark but the dark is not afraid of Lazlo. In fact, the dark co-habitates with Lazlo hanging out in corners and the closet but mostly in the basement. And it has a surprise for Lazlo, but it’s a very thoughtful and kind one! [picture book for anyone afraid of the dark from age 1 to 99+]

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Picture Book of the Day, The Dark by Lemony Snicket

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I am curious about reading The Dark after reading your review, it didn’t really appeal to me before 🙂 Adding it to my wishlist – thank you!
    Catherine recently posted…On The Way Home by Jill MurphyMy Profile

  2. My 5 year old is always begging for a scary story! thanks for the recommendations.
    Jackie Higgins recently posted…What is word work?My Profile

  3. I liked The Dark when I read it. I was lucky enough to see Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen, along with Neil Gaiman who did the audiobook, when they were promoting this book at Bank Street School and it really made me want to read it. It is a good book for kids who are afraid of the dark. Glad it is your picture book of the day.
    Alex Baugh recently posted…The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul CurtisMy Profile

    • Hi Alex,
      Love meeting authors at their book signings. What a treat to meet Lemony, Jon AND Neil!! Great lineup! Is that his/her real name? I always thought it was a perfect pen name – Lemony Snicket!

      My kids are afraid of the dark so I totally agree with you. We read There’s a Nightmare in My Closet A LOT!! I love that picture book too! Especially read by Billy Crystal! They are afraid of spiders too, LOL, so I need books for that too!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Monsters In the Closet Picture Books: The DarkMy Profile

  4. This book does have very interesting pacing – a clever device. I’m really curious to learn how kids respond to it!
    Cathy Ballou Mealey recently posted…An Artist Date with Milo and ThackeryMy Profile

  5. The Dark sounds like a great book! I may have to get a copy.
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  6. Ann

    I love this book too but won’t read it to my kids who are NOT afraid of the dark (power of suggestion).
    Ann recently posted…Red Light, Green Light, Go!My Profile

  7. The Dark was a winner with my kids. I thought it was very a different approach that works. One of the books coincidentally I read to them this evening – again – was There’s Something in the Attic by Mercer Mayer which had them laughing and narrating some of the story to me before I even turned the pages, so I’ll have to read them There’s Nightmare in the Closet too.
    Kriss MacDonald recently posted…A walk with kids in the garden of good and evil – Savannah Part 1.My Profile

  8. My kids were petrified of many of sendaks books. The nightmare in my closet was one &my son who is 22 recently told me he was petrified of Pierre which I always loved
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    • Hi Faigie,
      I wonder if it was the illustrations? Did you son like Where The Wild Things Are or Chicken Soup with Rice? I remember one of the Sendak books, which won tons of awards, being a little out there — a little strange. (I just looked it up). It was In the Night Kitchen. We just didn’t know what to make of it. I can see how your son would be petrified of it!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Reading for Banned Book WeekMy Profile

  9. I heard good things about this book, but I am with Ann on power of suggestion – I’d rather not give daughter any new ideas 🙂
    Natalie recently posted…Discover Chemistry–Self-Led InvestigationMy Profile

    • Hi Natalie,
      Good point! I wonder if my kids were always afraid of the dark. I think only two of them were (and continue to be) but I know I read some of those books to all of them. I’ll have to ask PickyKidPix if she is afraid of the dark. She didn’t used to be as a toddler. She is afraid of lightening, thunder, shark attacks and spiders. The shark attacks is the direct result of watching Shark Week on TV so you are so right about the power of suggestion!!
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