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There's a Nightmare in My Closet

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,988 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
"Childhood fear of the dark and the resulting exercise in imaginative exaggeration are given that special Mercer Mayer treatment in this dryly humorous fantasy."
-School Library Journal
Paperback, 32 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Puffin Books (first published 1968)
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise BrownThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Best Picture Books
174th out of 1,927 books — 1,258 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakLeonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo WillemsThe Monster at the End of this Book by Jon StoneGo Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed EmberleyThere's a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer
Picture Books with Monsters
5th out of 138 books — 39 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Cindy Benabderrahman
Apr 20, 2009 Cindy Benabderrahman rated it liked it
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
Jeff
Sep 04, 2007 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kiddos
"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.
Nicole
Oct 27, 2011 Nicole rated it it was amazing
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.
Julia Brumfield
Jun 30, 2016 Julia Brumfield rated it liked it
Alright I cave-in and gave this book an extra star due to the nightmare. He was kind of ugly yet cute enough while completely pitiful towards the end. As the little boy comes to the conclusion - how can you be scared of something that you can make cry.

By this point in re-reading old childhood favorite stories I have noticed that a bunch of the books are from the same author. What a change from authors found in this time while I can understand why it may be hard for parents to find good healthy
...more
Heidi
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
Oct 23, 2012 Maria Reyes rated it it was amazing
Summary
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
Ronyell
“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
Holly
Feb 15, 2012 Holly rated it really liked it
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
Ilse Espino
Mar 27, 2016 Ilse Espino rated it it was amazing
The story takes place inside a little boy’s bedroom at night as he is getting ready to go to sleep. He says that there used to be a nightmare in his closet and then proceeds to tell the story of how he got rid of it. One day he decided to set a trap for the nightmare, and when he caught it, the monster began to cry because it was frightened by the little boy. The boy decided to tuck the nightmare in to calm it down, and eventually he fell asleep next to it. The themes of this story are that conf ...more
Emily Egbers
Feb 07, 2016 Emily Egbers rated it it was amazing
I can remember reading this book with my mother as a child! There's a Nightmare in My Closet is a fanciful picture storybook about a young boy who is determined to not be afraid of his nightmare. Each night before he goes to bed, he makes sure the closet door is shut tightly because if he doesn't the nightmare will torment him at night. The little boy is determined to get ride of his nightmare so he shoots the monster with his toy gun. The monster starts to cry and the boy realizes how much the ...more
Kathryn Anne
There’s a Nightmare in my Closet by Mercer Mayer is about a young boy going to sleep at night and the monster in his closet. The boy always checks the closet before he goes to sleep at night and he closes the door. The boy is afraid of the monster until one night when he decides to get rid of the monster once and for all. When it gets dark at night and the monster is creeping toward the boy, the boy turns on the light and threatens the monster with his toy gun. The monster starts to cry and the ...more
Katelyn Mendoza-Weiss
"There's a Nightmare in My Closet", is a story about a little boy who overcomes his fear of the monster in his closet. He knows there is a monster in his closet. For the little boy, he shows a lot of courage. The toys he has in his room, such as toy guy, his soldiers, and his cannon become his defense. Once the monster comes out of the closet and the boy turns on the light, the real nature of the monster is revealed. The roles of the boy and the monster switch, and now the boy is the tough guy w ...more
Mickey Malmgren
Sep 02, 2015 Mickey Malmgren rated it it was amazing
In Mercer Mayer's There's a Nightmare in My Closet, a young boy relays the tale of how he conquered his bedtime fears. In a whispery tone of trepidation and fear that I can resonate with even as an adult trying to go to sleep in a creaky house, he describes his bedtime ritual of closing the closet door and peeking from under his covers. Then, in a remarkable show of bravery, he leaps from his bed with toy gun in hand to face his monster head on. Dark and terrible the monster creeps from the clos ...more
Sarah DeWalt
Feb 15, 2015 Sarah DeWalt rated it really liked it
"There's a Nightmare in my Closet" is about a boy who is afraid of the monster in his closet. His mother reassures him that theres nothing there. Just to be sure every night before bed he closes the closet door gets his toy gun and hides under the covers. Every now an then he peeks out from the covers to check if he's not there. One night he flips his light on really fast and see's the nightmare! He shoots him with his toy gun and the monster starts crying, so to calm him down the little boy let ...more
Nathaniel Mccombs
Sep 25, 2014 Nathaniel Mccombs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-picture-story
There’s a Nightmare in My Closet is a iconic Picture story book that was first published in 1968. This book is written and illustrated by Mercer Mayer. The book is about a young boy who overcomes his fear of a monster hiding in his closet when he stays up all night to catch the monster that roams his room while he is asleep. Ironically when the boy encounters and defeats the shy monster, he recognizes the monster is terrified of the little boy. After the boy’s realization of the monster’s fright ...more
Kaitlin
Sep 01, 2014 Kaitlin rated it it was amazing
The story begins with a young man’s tale of how he is scared of a Nightmare in his closet. He is afraid and hides under the overs, as many kids do, but he decides to take action and catch this no good Nightmare himself. He turns off the lights one night and waits for the door to creep open. When it does he turns on the light and shoots the Nightmare with his toy gun. The Nightmare stops and begins to cry because the little boy has scared him and doesn't know why. The boy tries to shush the Night ...more
Bonnieyayaleyyy
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
Feb 22, 2014 Daniella Variale rated it it was amazing
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
Jenny Wu
Sep 01, 2015 Jenny Wu rated it it was amazing
In this book, one little boy talks about the monster hiding away in his closet. Every night, before going to bed, he makes sure to close the closet door to keep the nightmare away. The monster is scary, and the little boy is only sometimes tempted to peek at the closed door. Then one night he decides to confront the monster, only to realize that not all are as they seem.

I thought this was a great book! The story is very relatable. The main character is a little boy is admirable in his decision t
...more
Kristina Whitt
Jun 11, 2014 Kristina Whitt rated it liked it
Shelves: elementary-555
There's a Nightmare in My Closet (1968) is a short story about a little boy overcoming his fear of a monster being in his closet when he is sleeping. He decides one night to stay up and confront the monster when it sneaks out of his closet. He scares the monster who ends up crying and then is forced to comfort him instead.

I can't say that I loved the book but it could be used for emergent to early readers since it was a short text with few words per page and large pictures. It could encourage c
...more
Demilyn Odango
Jun 11, 2014 Demilyn Odango rated it liked it
Shelves: literacy
(1968)
Summary: The story begins with the little boy scared of his closet. He did not want to go to bed because he knew that once it was dark the nightmare would come out of the closet. He tried to show he was brave when the nightmare came out, but the nightmare was just as scared as he was. The boy realized that the nightmare wasn't bad and decided to comfort it. By the end of the story, the boy is able to go to sleep.

Evaluation: This book is directed more towards late emergent to beginning earl
...more
Alayna Pope
Feb 20, 2016 Alayna Pope rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
I really enjoyed this short and simple book! I really like Mercer Mayer and this is one of his first books to ever write. A little boy knows there is a nightmare in his closet, so he decides to be brave and let him come out. The nightmare is actually the frightened one, so the little boy tucks him into his bed. The boy overcomes his fear and has a new friend. It's relatable to children who have that same fear of monsters or nightmares in their closets or under their beds. I like the simple wordi ...more
Katie Hanrahan
Sep 10, 2014 Katie Hanrahan rated it really liked it
In the story, There's a Nightmare in My Closet, Mercer Mayer takes readers through the nighttime adventures of a young boy and makes them realize everyone is afraid of something. The story is told from the point-of-view of a little boy who has a nightmare in his closet. One night, he decides to deal with his "nightmare". He confronts the "nightmare" and scares him. The boy tries to console the "nightmare" and tucks him in.

The title of this book makes readers want to read it. When you look at it,
...more
Kathryn Anne Russell
There’s a Nightmare in my Closet by Mercer Mayer is about a young boy going to sleep at night and the monster in his closet. The boy always checks the closet before he goes to sleep at night and he closes the door. The boy is afraid of the monster until one night when he decides to get rid of the monster once and for all. When it gets dark at night and the monster is creeping toward the boy, the boy turns on the light and threatens the monster with his toy gun. The monster starts to cry and the ...more
Ianthe Raya
Feb 03, 2016 Ianthe Raya rated it really liked it
A young boy one night decides to defeat the nightmare that is in his closet. The nightmare in his closet turns out to be scared of the boy. The boy then comforts the nightmare that was in the closet. Eventually to comfort the nightmare, they share the bed that night. Towards the en the another nightmare peeks out the door.

The theme in this book is courage.

I enjoyed this book, it was quick and to the point.

I recommend this book because it can help children understand that sometimes things they
...more
Briana Nelson
Apr 29, 2014 Briana Nelson rated it really liked it
As soon as I saw this book in my early literacy classroom I immediately picked it up because I remember my mom reading it to me when I was little! My younger sister and I would love reading this book because it secured us that all monsters are 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 frightened by his nightmare. He likes to sleep with his toy gun and ...more
Steven
One of the books from my childhood, recently rediscovered! Hello, old friend.
Rosa Cline
Oct 29, 2015 Rosa Cline rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, halloween, bedtime
My 3 year old granddaughter and I enjoyed reading this book. There were times for just a moment where she seemed like she was gonna be scared but the story would change and she would giggle. This story is a nice way of teaching children how to take control of their own situations. And how to make bad situation into a good one. Really neat story...

I have tagged this as a Halloween book, but it's not necessarily a Halloween book. But just the subject matter would be fitting to be read during Hallo
...more
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MCC Children's Li...: There's a nightmare in my closet - Challice 1 1 Apr 05, 2012 04:09AM  
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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
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