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The Dark by Lemony Snicket – Book Review


From the Cover of The Dark by Lemony Snicket:

“Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark is not afraid of Laszlo.
Laszlo lives in a house. The dark lives in the basement.
One night, the dark comes upstairs to Laszlo’s room, and Laszlo goes down to the basement.
This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark.”



Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What Our Family Thought:

The target audience for this book appears to be a general audience and children around ages 4 -7. While this book is not directly written for a foster or adoptive audience, it deals with a topic that many kids from trauma backgrounds struggle with – the fear of the dark.

The illustrations are executed by Jon Klassen. The images themselves appear to have a very unique stylistic approach with a monochromatic use of colors that adds to the emotions Laszlo is having while being in the dark.

The story itself simply contains two characters – the little boy, Laszlo, and a personification of the dark. The tale appears to offer a great conversation starter of why a child might be scared of the dark, the light conversation about the purpose of the dark, and a fictional, fun way of showing the personification of the dark being helpful.

Overall, this book appears to be a good resource for starting a conversation with your child about the dark and their fears.

On a personal note, I wish I had owned this book to read with my now adopted children when they were younger and concerned about sleeping in their bedrooms at nighttime.

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It’s Your Turn:

  1. Where was the dark in Laszlo’s house?
  2. What places are the dark at in your house?
  3. What did the dark do for Laszlo?
  4. Why do you think Laszlo had a nightlight in his bedroom?
  5. Does the dark ever scare you like Laszlo? Why or why not?
  6. Laszlo had a nightlight. What is something that helps you feel fine in the dark at night?


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