Melissa's Reviews > A Dark, Dark Tale

A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown
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Sep 11, 12

bookshelves: picture-book-types-pattern-predict

This fun and spooky tale would make a great Halloween time (or anytime!) read-aloud for young classrooms everywhere. The dark, muted colors used in the cover illustration are the perfect way to set the musty, eerie tone that is carried very well throughout the book. From the very first page the reader is pulled in to this suspenseful story, slowly following the narrator on to each page. This story uses repetition from beginning to end with the words “dark, dark,” which are used on every page to describe each new setting and piece of the journey. This repetition is a nice touch because it gives the book a sort of rhythm which, when read aloud, helps build suspense and emphasize the spookiness of the story. From a dark and mysterious moor, through the creepy woods, on to the porch of an old house, through a creaky door and more, readers are taken on an exciting journey that will leave them anxiously and nervously flipping the pages. This would be a fantastic book to present to young children around Halloween time, perhaps adding a scary voice for effect. This seems to be the kind of book that a reader would rather have read to them than to read themselves, because there is so much that could be done theatrically to present this story to a listener. The house in the story looks like it could be haunted, complete with cobwebs, black cats and all, so there are a lot of activities that could go along with this theme around that time of year. The detailed illustrations throughout the book only contribute to the telling of the story and the emphasis of darkness and spookiness, and they are beautiful in and of themselves. The large amount of suspense leading up to the ending may scare young children, but finding a mouse in his cute little box house on the last page will add just the right touch of light and humor. This book falls under the category of “predictable book,” but it proves to have quite the unpredictable ending. I would recommend A Dark, Dark Tale to young readers as a first dose of suspense and mystery, and to teachers as a great presentation tool to use in a classroom for Halloween specifically.
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