Jacey’s Epic Love of Picture Books: #6!


The Dark, by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen.

If Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen don’t make a damn fine dream team, I honestly don’t know who would. This books gets automatic Jacey-points for those two alone; I love them both to bits.

And together, they detail how the dark lives in the same house as Laszlo, “a big place with a creaky roof, smooth, cold windows, and several sets of stairs.” Sometimes the dark hides in the closet, or behind the shower curtain. “But mostly, it stays in the basement, and doesn’t come into Lazslo’s room. But one night, it does.”

Klassen’s simplistic art never disappoints, here a mix of blacks and warm yellows simultaneously evoking a sense of both unease and safety, and it matches the feel of Snicket’s prose perfectly:

You might be afraid of the dark, but the dark is not afraid of you. That’s why the dark is always close by.

The dark peeks around the corner and waits behind the door, and you can see the dark up in the sky almost every night, gazing down at you as you gaze up at the stars.

Without a creaky roof, the rain would fall on your bed and without a smooth, cold window you could never see outside, and without a set of stairs, you could never go into the basement, where the dark spends its time.

Without a closet, you would have nowhere to put your shoes, and without a shower curtain, you would splash water all over the bathroom, and without the dark, everything would be light, and you would never know if you needed a lightbulb.

And as W.H. Auden once said, “There are good books which are only for adults. There are no good books which are only for children.”

And this book rather neatly proves his point.


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