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Dark At The Top Of The Stairs
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Dark At The Top Of The Stairs

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  70 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Is it true that a monster lives at the top of the stairs? Three young mice decide they must see for themselves and ask a wise old mouse to take them there. He warns them of the danger--yet they still insist on going. So, step by step, the mice climb the creaky stairs, growing ever closer to the dark shadows--until they are whisker to whisker with the creature who lives at ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 7th 1996 by Candlewick Press
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Michael
Lovely little book, kind of a monster book, but easier on little readers because it is from mice's perspective, so what is scary to them is not necessarily scary to humans. Very short and efficient, but the buildup is still very atmospheric and memorable, and a good counterpoint to the quick conclusion.

Update: Six weeks after my five year old and I read this and we got out a cat book - now she is scared of cats. Hmm, I guess this story isn't as mild as I thought!
Zackery Busse
The Dark at The top of The Stairs has many wonderful full bleed one page and two page spreads. The color scheme contains mostly dark colors with the exception of one page that contains bright colors. Throughout the story the mice are building their way up to the dark at the top of the stairs so everything is shadowy and mysterious, but once they reach the top of the stairs and venture further, the darkess dissipates and bright colors emerge. The point of view of the illustrations for almost oall ...more
Danae
This book was interesting mostly due to it's illustrations. The images of the stairs made you feel as if you were climbing them. The illustrator did a wonderful job representing the eerieness of the journey.
S.K.
Written very well with fun, descriptive language paired with brilliant illustrations. Really set a mood. What's up there? The ending was quite satisfying and looped around nicely.

Highly recommend.
Vanessa Arredondo
This book has been one of my favorite children books that I have read so far. One every page there is a different color that stands out from the rest. The color blue was the one seen more throughout the book. It is in a horizontal position which makes better since the illustrations cover the entire page. The point of view is from a worm’s eye view since the mice are looking up at the door. The texture made me want to touch the pages. This book did not have any border and the text it’s mostly on ...more
Christen
Great spooky story that forgoes the supernatural. Also a gentle lesson about risk taking and testing boundaries.
Analissa Cox
The Dark At the Top of the Stairs was a funny book about four mice, one old and three young, who were curious about a darkness that lingered at the top of the stairs in the attic where they live. The older mouse took the three younger mice to the top after they begged him to take them. When they reached the top they run into a cat who they believe is a monster and never want to return again. So in the story curiosity did not kill the cat, but the cat frightened curiosity! The images in this stor ...more
Hayley
Author: Sam McBratney
Illustrator: Ivan Bates
Genre: Mystery
Grade Level: 4.2
Lexile: 650L

Summary: In this mystery, three young mice want to find out if there is a monster living at the top of the cellar stairs. They ask an older and wiser mouse for advice and he warns them of danger. They decide to go any way and find adventures along the way. This is a little bit of a scary story. Might be a good Halloween/adventure story. I want to read holiday books to my class...this would be a good one.
Melanie
Four young mice are quite curious to know what's at the top of the creaky old staircase. The wise old mouse tells them they are better off not knowing, but they will not be put off. So the wise mouse tells them they are welcome to investigate. So the next morning after breakfast all four mice start for the top of the stairs. After surviving all of the creaks and groans put off by the stairs, they finally make it to the top...only to discover that there is a cat at the top of the stairs!
Guadalupe Ramirez
I think this is a great book to assess students in reading comprehension as students can make a lot of predictions, for example they can make predictions about "what is in the dark?" There are also a lot of opportunities for questioning. The book also teaches children to listen to their parents or guardian.
Kitty
Beautiful book! Simply written with a wonderful message, but the real winning feature of this book is the illustrations. They are absolutely captivating, dark, with stunning shading yet kid-friendly with the adorable features of the mice. Highly recommend for all ages!
Darlene Wilson
Another for the PCH -- they loved it! Enjoyed the illustrations -- a perfect little Hallowe'en story -- we then talked about the mice at the farms where they used to live -- laughed together of scary and funny stories from their years passed. Worked out well!
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
What really makes this story are the wonderful illustrations of Ivan Bates, who gives readers a mouse's eye view of the cellar and those tall, dark stairs. Sometimes curiosity just has to be satisfied. Cute!
Betsy Kimes
The illustrations are brilliant including looking up a staircase from a mouse's perspective. Has anticipation. Another fun book to read with animation to my kids.
Jennifer
So suspenseful! Would work with cat/mouse, monster, or maybe even nighttime storytimes
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25838
The Northern Ireland native started writing children's books when he was a teacher in his thirties, with the aim of helping out students who had trouble reading. But he continued writing for a more-personal reason: "the act of imagining simply makes me feel good," he says. The fifty-seventh book of Sam McBratney's career, and his first book with Candlewick Press, was the much-loved GUESS HOW MUCH ...more
More about Sam McBratney...
Guess How Much I Love You You're All My Favorites I Love It When You Smile Yes We Can! When I'm Big: A Guess How Much I Love You Storybook

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