The Dark

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Snicket, L. (2013). The Dark. Toronto, Ontario: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Laszlo is afraid of the dark. We see Laszlo clad in his blue jammies, playing on the hardwood floor of an empty room, with his torch tucked safely by his side. He appears ill at ease as he monitors the setting sun. The deadpan Lemony Snicket teams up with illustrator Jon Klassen to create a charming but haunting story where dark is personified to play out the classic battle between light and dark. “Hi Dark”, Laszlo would say to it everyday, until one day it responded, “Come closer.”

Snicket’s descriptive and powerful language pairs seamlessly with Klassen’s illustrations which evoke such an ominous yet sympathetic mood. The pictures are done in gouache and digitally to create a darling main character juxtaposed with a brilliant use of black space. The tension is palpable throughout, as we follow Laszlo around his large, creaky house, and allow our eyes to wander all over the matte black contrasted with the pale yellows and blues. Just scary enough!

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