Phil Ford's Reviews > The Dark
Phil Ford's review
Jun 21, 2013
I first saw this book displayed in a local book shop right before I was to guest teach a youth writing class (8-12 years). I was teaching horror writing; you know, zombies, vampires -- fun imaginative stuff like that. But the focus of my subject for the kids was to be environment, and how when writing horror fiction, environment is just as important as character, even in the sense that it really IS a character. Anyway, this children's book absolutely put me in the right mindset for the class. The story is the basic premise of a child being afraid of the dark and how he addresses the fear. The prose is written in that deadpan Snicket way and illustrated masterfully by Jon Klassen (I want my hat back). The line delivery and art meet in such a way that the fun scary moments are deliciously unsettling if you want them to be. For an adult to read the story, it is a rejuvenating diversion to be in the same fearful boat as Laszlo, and be a part of his journey to overcome it. The use of "dark" in the illustrations and as a character in the story is scary, humourous and even beautiful. A joy to read.
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June 21, 2013 – Shelved