There's a Nightmare in...
Mercer Mayer
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There's a Nightmare in My Closet

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  9,432 ratings  ·  196 reviews
At bedtime a boy confronts the nightmare in his closet and finds him not so terrifying after all.
Turtleback, 32 pages
Published May 1992 by Turtleback Books (first published 1968)
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Cindy Benabderrahman
Apr 20, 2009 Cindy Benabderrahman rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: my nephew, who is three years old
Oh! to be four years old again!

This is the story of a little boy who just knows he has a monster in his closet. The monster is a Nightmare, and when the little boy has had enough, he wages war with him, donning his soldier hat and a cork pop gun for protection. When he turns out the light, he is prepared for battle, but when he turns on the light to find the Nightmare sitting at the foot of his bed, something unexpected happens. Instead of running away when he's shot with the cork pop gun, the m...more
Macy Tone
"There's A Nightmare In My Closet" by Mercer Mayer is a book that is close to my heart. As soon as I saw this book in the library I immediately picked it up because I remember my mom reading it to me. My brother and I would love reading this book because it secured us that all monsters are babies and there is nothing to be scared of. The story is very short but cute. The illustrations are very well done with lots of detail in them. The main character, is a brave young boy determined to not be fr...more
"Go away nightmare or I'll shoot you!"

"I shot him anyway..."

Love it. Read it and be five again, if only for a brief moment.
OK, I'll admit it. I think what made me like the book so much was the toy cannon. So cute and tiny next to this boy ready to wage war on the nightmare. Something tells me this is another book I read somewhere in the past. But as I could not remember it thoroughly, it was like reading it for the first time. And I enjoyed it. Not too much text. Pictures that aren't too scary, considering it's talking about a nightmare. And I liked the twist in the ending, too. Definitely one I can see kids enjoyin...more
Maria Reyes
This book is about a boy being afraid of a nightmare living in his bedroom closet. Before going to sleep he would make sure his closet door was closed and was even afraid to turn around to see if it was tight closed. One night he decided to be brave and get through his fear and leave the door open. The images show step by step what the boys does and how he gets through his fear of the nightmare when his scary night is standing right next to his bed. The author tries to show kids being af...more
“There’s a Nightmare in my Closet” is a children’s book from Mercer Mayer, author of the popular “Little Critter” books and it is about how a small boy overcomes his fear of a nightmare in his closet. “There’s a Nightmare in my Closet” may be a cute story about conquering your fears, but the story is a bit dull for some children.

Mercer Mayer’s illustrations are creative and colorful as he illustrates the nightmare as being extremely huge but seems to look a bit goofy as it has two big front teet...more
Comfort Olajide

I read this book it is about a young boy who knows that there is a big, scary nightmare living in his bedroom closet. Each night, before he goes to bed, the boy makes sure that the closet door is shut tight, because if he left it open, the nightmare will emerge to torment him as soon as he turns off the lights. However, one night the boy decides he's tired of hiding under his sheets, and so he sets out to rid his closet of the nightmare once and for all. The book is very colorful and simple to r...more
The young boy in this picture book knows that there is a big, scary nightmare living in his bedroom closet. Each night, before he goes to bed, the boy makes sure that the closet door is shut tight, because if he left it open, the nightmare will emerge to torment him as soon as he turns off the lights. However, one night the boy decides he's tired of cowering under his sheets, and so he sets out to rid his closet of the nightmare once and for all. Almost every child can provide an account of a ni...more
Daniella Variale
This story is about a young boy who knows he has “nightmares” in his closet. Fear of the dark is something many kids can relate to, and this story addresses the fear in a nonthreatening way. By reading about the boy’s courageous actions to confront his fears and finding in the end he is able to sleep peacefully, kids can see they really have nothing to fear at night.
I think the message of the story is thoroughly told in symbols. Even though children may not pick up on these, they can still take...more
I remember reading this story years ago and just recently picked it up again for another view. It hasn't lost any of its 'umph' over the years. I LOVE that the nightmare monster from the closet turns out to just be a scared monster that wants to hide under the boy's covers with him :) And again, Mercer Mayer - what more needs to be said. You can't ever go wrong with his illustrations.
Cheryl in CC NV
I don't remember this well, I just remember making a note of it in case my children ever needed to conquer their fear.
José García
Todas las noches hay una pesadilla en mi armario, cierro la puerta cuidadosamente y me meto en la cama sin mirar atrás. Todas las noches la misma pesadilla, hasta que un día le tiendo una trampa y la pillo a los pies de mi cama y le disparo, la pesadilla se muere de miedo y la tengo que meter en mi cama para que no arme jaleo. Seguro que hay mas pesadillas pero en la cama no cabemos más.
Ideal para niños con pesadillas y para disfrutar sin mas de una historia bien contada y llevada a la m...more
There’s A Nightmare In My Closet would be a great book to do a picture read with kindergarteners or with first graders. The illustrations are so detailed and yet simple that the characters come to life on the page. A teacher could use this book to build their students vocabulary by having the students tell what is happening in the story based only on the pictures and not on the words in the book. This book could also be a good book to help the students build their prediction skills. The teacher...more
I liked this book because I enjoyed it in a new way. I know that I would have loved this book as a kid. It made me remember the exact night I was scared of my own closet! I wish I would have read it back then! It's a perfect book to read to kids who are scared of the dark/closet/ or just have nightmares. It does an awesome job being relating to kids and it belittles the fears that are so very common. Not to mention it was super cute and fun to read! I would definitely recommend this book!

The cover art of this book shows a picture of a scared-looking little boy looking at his closet, while a very large monster-like creature peaks out of the closet at him. The color pallet throughout this book is very muted and calm, yet somehow created a weird tension as I looked at it. Maybe the tension came from the use of the lines that showed shadow all over the room, except where the little boy’s lamp is shining. Some of the illustrations are full-bleed, while others only utilize a small por...more
Melissa Long
This fun Mercer Mayer book is laid out in portrait/vertical format. The illustrations are somewhat darker, including colors like gray, blue, dark blue,white, and some yellow, since the story takes place at night/bedtime. The illustrations also contain cross-hatching, which gives the images the feeling of energy that stems from a child's imagination. The text of the story is formal and is separated from the images by a white border. This allows for the reader to focus on the illustrations and the...more
Shelby Fungone
This is a sweet book intended for a young audience. At first, I was hesitant to pick up this book and read it because the cover of the book looked like it wouldn't be happy or cute. Because everyone hates nightmares and scary things! But, I read it actually three times because once I got to the end of the book I couldn't believe how sweet and touching the book was. The little boy talks about how there is a nightmare in his closet that he doesn't like. Then, the nightmare comes out of the closet...more
This is a touching story about a little boy who is scared of the nightmare that is hiding in his closet. Night after night he remains scared of the nightmare in his closet and closes the closet door each night before he goes to bed. One night the little boy gets the courage to get rid of the monster on his own. He gets dressed into his soldier and general clothing and weapons, preparing to fight off the nightmare to get read of him forever. Just as the boy suspected, the monster comes out of the...more
Sarah Sammis
Mostly it's Harriet who likes Mercer Mayer's books but There's a Nightmare in My Closet has a monster and a happy ending, two things that make for a perfect book for him.

There's a Nightmare in My Closet reminds me of Monsters Inc. if it were told from Boo's point of view. The setting is a boy's room at night. He's convinced there's a monster in his closet who wants to scare him. Just like Boo, he decides to confront his fear.

Rather than entering the monster's world, this boy turns the tables and...more
Sierra Murdoch
Definitely my favorite of the three I read today! It was catchy and relate-able for children. The theme would be to face your fears, because they may not end up being so scary. The book was horizontal to fit the image of the bedroom being in that direction. And every picture was full bleed, with a never changing setting of the bedroom. I enjoyed the ending and surely recommend it!
This book is endearing and would be perfect for young children. In this story a young boy is getting ready for bed but he is afraid of the nightmare that lurks in his closet. The boy devises a plan to scare away the nightmare in his closet. However, the nightmare gets so scared that he begins crying loudly. The boy is afraid that the nightmare’s crying will wake his mom and dad and so he takes the nightmare by the hand, leads it to his bed, and tucks it in. This book is a cute story for young ch...more
There's A Nightmare In My Closet by Mercer Mayer is a story about a boy who knows there is a monster in his closet. He becomes brave enough to shoot the monster with his toy gun and quickly realizes as the monster starts crying that the monster is just like him. He tucks the monster into bed and falls asleep with him. However, he declares that the third monster in his closet will just not fit into his bed like the second one. This book brought me back to my childhood memories of being frightened...more
A young boy is afraid of the monster in his closet. He always closes the closet door before climbing into bed. One night, he decides that he has to get over this fear of the monsters in his closet. He closes the closet door, grabs his pop-cap gun, turns out the lights and jumps into bed. It's not very long before he hears that monster creeping towards him. He turns on the light and surprises the monster. He tells the monster to go away or he'll shoot him. But he shoots the monster anyway. The mo...more
Ashley Cousin
The main thing I noticed is that the colors all seem to consist of forms of pastel blues, pinks, browns, and whites. The illustrations are also created from a technique, I beleive would be, cross hatching. The objects in teh story are detailed, especially the "nightmares." The type face is classic black that is placed on either the right side or throught the bottome of both double page spreads. Both the illustrations and the storyline went hand in hand and you could get the story if you didn't h...more
Jun 15, 2008 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: 2-8 year olds
Recommended to Jen by: Tattered Cover
This classic tries to get kids to realize that if they face their fears, they'll learn there wasn't anything to worry about. A little boy has a monster, a.k.a. nightmare, living in his closet. He decides to get rid of it, and scares the nightmare so badly that it won't stop crying. So he tucks it in his bed and they become friends (with a funny joke at the end).

I've read this to a lot of children, and nine times out of ten they LOVE it and I have to read it repeatedly. But occasionally there's a...more
Steven Strader
Making sure the closet door is shut. Barricading my self behind toy weapons. Pulling the covers over my head. I remember these. What makes Mayer's story There's A Nightmare In My Closet so great is how pertinent it is to children who know all to well the daunting task of falling asleep when there is bound to be a who-knows-what just waiting in that bedroom closet. What is truly terrific about the read is the way Mayer turns the very scary into a not so scary... really sort of pitiful... not out...more
Megan Drees
Mercer Mayer's picture book describes a child's fear of a nightmare in his closet. When he decides to face his fear he ends up comforting his nightmare and inviting him back to bed, only for the reader to find out there is another nightmare waiting there still. Crosshatching is a prominent feature of each illustration and the colors of the book stay in the red and blue hues. Mayer uses a combination of framed, cut-out and full-bleed images. The nightmare is a large, monster-like creature with po...more
There's A Nightmare in My Closet is book about a little boy who has a monster in his closet. He usually hides under his covers from it, but one night he decides to face it. He shoots at the monster with his toy gun and the monster starts crying. He comforts the monster and tucks him into bed with him and they go to sleep. The little boy supposes there is another nightmare in his closet, but he doesn't think there is room for three in his bed.
The illustrations in this book are very plain and don...more
Nicole Fellows
This is an adorable story about a little boy who conquers his fears of the dark and the monster (nightmare) in his closet. When the nightmare comes out of the closet, he confronts him and he begins to cry. Then the two become friends.
I think a lot of kids could relate to this book because of the boy's fear of the dark. It might help to reassure the kids and help them realize that they too can conquer their fears. I also liked that it is a pretty funny story that would entertain children if no...more
Natalie was having some trouble with crying in her sleep and she was saying she was scared of the dark. We weren't sure how much of it was her torticollis at night and her experimenting with the new concept of fear during the day. But, my solution is always biblotherapy, so I found books about nightmares. I had high hopes since we really like Critter, but this book just wasn't right for our problem. Its much better for combating a clear fear of monsters. Where Natalie is still so young, she does...more
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MCC Children's Li...: There's a nightmare in my closet - Challice 1 1 Apr 04, 2012 07:09PM  
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I began illustrating books in 1966. Since that time I have published over 300 books. Most of my books are about things that happened to me when I was a little kid. Now I'm a big kid and I write about things that happen now, especially with my own children. They always remind me of what it was like.

I was born in Arkansas in 1943. Boy, that was a long time ago! It's real fun to be an old kid. Then m...more
More about Mercer Mayer...
Just Go to Bed Just for You (Little Critter) Just Me and My Dad (Little Critter) I Was So Mad Just a Mess (Little Critter)

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