Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” as Want to Read:
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  255 ratings  ·  27 reviews
A small boy who has been kidnapped by brigands, passes a dark and stormy night in their cave weaving for them incredible stories of their own exploits. Through the stories he solves his own problem and manages to escape.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published July 30th 1998 by Puffin (first published February 1st 1994)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  255 ratings  ·  27 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
Sue Read
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
As soon as I read the word 'brigands' in the first sentence, I knew I was going to love this book. Who else writes about brigands and uses the phrase 'right-o' and manages to convey so much humour but the wonderful Ahlbergs? I was laughing out loud as I read this. I love its pace, the ridiculous Chief, the clever Antonio, the story Antonio tried to tell, mirroring the real story we find him in...he was kidnapped by the brigands.

The brigands like Antonio's story, but ask for hilarious changes, fo
Savannah-Alicia Lloyd
Found this book hard to get into at first but eventually found myself smiling as I turned the pages. Antonio is a cheeky main character that brings the story to life with amusement. Illustrations are great and capture what the text says perfectly. I definitely think primary school aged children would enjoy this book!
Jon Saunders
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Christou
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Summary *no spoilers*:

It was a dark and stormy night, the rain came down in torrents, there were brigands on the mountains, and wolves, and the chief of the brigands said to Antonio, “I’m bored – tell us a story”.

Antonio, a master storyteller and cheeky so-and-so from Southern Italy has been kidnapped by a bickering band of unbathed brigands. While his parents anxiously search for him around the mountains and valleys, he entertains the hideout with his improvised stories of killer parrots, haun
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my review of 'It Was a Dark and Stormy Night'.

One of my favourite childhood books. the story features an eight year old boy Antonio, who is kidnapped by pirates who demand a story from him. Antonio the eight year old simply begins with "it was a dark and stormy night...". This caption was the platform for a variety of endless adventures that Antonio told them. For children it inspires them to think creatively and 'out of the box', as anything can be made possible through story telling.
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was by no means the first book I ever read but I remember it unequivocally as the first book I ever enjoyed reading.

We were allowed to pick our own book from my primary school’s small library on reading week and this was mine.

Curled up on the beanbag chair I experienced for the first time what it was like swept away with a tale, building a world within your imagination and becoming immersed within it.

Before this reading had merely been a chore, something I did as part of English lessons a
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A wonderful read from my childhood, one I’d certainly suggest for other youngsters. Whilst it is not my all-time favourite childhood read I can still recall all the details of this one meaning it certainly left a lasting impression upon my young mind.

And isn’t that what we want with children’s books, for them to leave a positive lasting impression?
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a brilliant book. The funniest bit when the captain told the boy to tell a story and he told the story of what was happening right then at that moment, even when the captain blew his nose. And he still continued even when the captain said stop it. I wish I could give it infinity stars. Ivor aged 5 and a half
Duane Miller
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wow, postmodernism meets children's lit! How fun, Derrida would be proud.
Ideal hook for a story telling topic; each story beginning by Antonio can be provided and then completed by the children in your class. Additionally, looking at the story as complete, different elements of speech and language can be explored as well as changing moods of the other characters. A fun read to share with any class.
Tina Hoggatt
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rare is the book for young children that takes this many words and makes them work. Filled with invention, adventure, and humor in words and pictures that work together perfectly. I much admire the cover lettering. Huzzah!
Emily Holmes
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great story with an abundance of teaching opportunities. I have used this on my second school placement in a year 3 class. We used it mainly in our English lessons. The children created a wide variety of writing all based on this boo. The children really engaged in the book too.
Robbie Burns
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amy Aldridge
Aug 23, 2018 added it
Shelves: novels
Although difficult to get into an interesting story that could be used in class to encourage children to write their own story like Antonio has done in this book.
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great to read out aloud and do funny voices. Funny and imaginative. Lovely illustrations too.
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I remember laughing a lot at this book as a child
Lovely little book by two absolute legends.
Robert Beveridge
Janet and Allan Ahlberg, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (Viking, 1993)

Somewhat wordy for a preschool-set book, but an amusing story nonetheless; a kidnapped boy escapes from a band of pirates by telling them a scary story. As the story progresses, the pirates modify it and add to it, thus contributing to their own fates. I'd think this one would probably go over better in a classroom than a home setting, but it's certainly worth checking out and seeing how the kids react. ***

May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is my favorite children's book of all time, which is pretty hard to say- but it is just delightful. I have a lot of favorites, but this one is always the one I read on rainy days with a mug of hot chocolate.
May 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Eh. Kind of long for a children's book as it didn't hold Robby's (or my) attention.
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Story-telling meta for kids! What's not to love.
(Ahlberg books are how you raise a lit geek - case in point)
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent childhood classic
Jul 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture, weather, crime
Fun. Talk your way out...
Louise F
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Didn't keep my attention during the main part of the story, but a great, unexpected, ending. Worth a read, but give it time.
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
Dreadful. Circuitous. Repetitive. How on earth can you use the word brigand at least 48 times in a book like this? And then need to use brigandry? Ugh. Really seriously awful. Don't bother.
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Simply a fun-filled book! My children loved it almost as much as I did! If you want to read it before bedtime, get an early is lengthy.
Claire Louise
rated it really liked it
Dec 15, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2016
rated it it was ok
Aug 31, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Pirates 'n' Pistols
  • Percy and the Haunted Mine (Thomas and Friends Series 6, Episode 13)
  • Letters from the Lighthouse
  • Pig-Heart Boy
  • My First MOG 123
  • Five Go Parenting (Enid Blyton for Grown Ups)
  • The 1,000-year-old Boy
  • The Wool-Pack
  • Five Go Gluten Free (Enid Blyton for Grown-ups)
  • Fright in the Night (The Ghastly McNastys)
  • You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Soap! (You Wouldn't Want to Live Without…)
  • The Chalet School 2-in-1: The School at the Chalet & Jo of the Chalet School
  • Happy Mouseday
  • The Dragon's Pearl
  • Take Your Last Breath (Ruby Redfort #2)
  • Look Into My Eyes (Ruby Redfort, #1)
  • Ten Nasty Little Toads
  • The Club of Queer Trades
See similar books…
Janet Ahlberg (1944-1994) was a British children's book illustrator, and the co-creator, together with her husband Allan Ahlberg, of the best-selling Jolly Postman series. Born as Janet Hall in Yorkshire in 1944, she studied at Sunderland Technical College, where she met Ahlberg. The two married in 1969, and began to work together, publishing their first co-venture - The Old Joke Book - in 1976. ...more

Related Articles

Children's books featuring bold and brave girls are both becoming easier for parents to find, and also cover a large range of ...
129 likes · 44 comments