A Dark, Dark Tale
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It may prove a little scary for very young children though - after all, this is a story all about the dark and the tricks it plays on us. The illustrations are wonderful, and just a little unusual for a picture book, especially one that might be enjoyed by the very young. There is also scope for some class discussion on guessing what is inside the box, but apart from that I think the book is a bit limited in its uses. The pictures are dark and creepy and fun, and my 5 yr old got to learn some new words like "moor" and "passage".The twist at the end (there's an adorable mouse in the box) always makes my boys erupt into fits of giggles. The dark, muted colors used in the cover illustration are the perfect way to set the musty, eerie tone that is carried very well throughout the book. I really liked the way the text and images worked together, in this one, and the way that Brown sets up her readers' expectations, only to pull the rug out from under them! There are also softening hints throughout like the teddy bear, the bicycle with a bell, and even the pink toenails that make this monster more friendly than frightening.
The book is like a gothic Russian nesting doll, opening on a dark moor and slowly zooming in to a creepy house, exploring it almost cautiously, until arriving at a mysterious wooden box in a dark and dusty cupboard.Es gibt einem das Gefühl von Abenteuerlust die Bilder zu durchforsten und darin die Tiere zu suchen und (Allerleis) zu entdecken. This is a tale which begins out on a 'dark dark moor' and follows a sequence moving from the moor, to a wood, to a house, to a door, to the inside of the house etc. I would definitely read this aloud to a younger class and see how easily and fast they will catch onto the flow of the book. The simplicity of the text and the expressive beauty of the illustrations build up the tension to culminate in a surprising ending in this stunning picture book by Ruth Brown.
The illustrations are superb, it doesn’t just feel like a book but like you’re being transported into another world. I give this picture book 4 stars; although it is a patterned book, the readers can not predict who will be in the box!Personally, I think children would love the continuous repetition of the words "dark, dark" that appear on each page. Ruth Brown's spooky read-aloud book pretends to be scarier than it is: even the youngest listener should be delighted by the punch line.
No, despite the title of the book, the big reveal isn’t some ghoul munching on a freshly murdered corpse – this is a children’s book – but it is designed to build up the tension as we explore the woods, and then the abandoned house, until we get to those last couple of pages. The review above is part of a longer blog post about this book and four other books perfect for the Halloween season: http://www.
Well, this book is a particularly simple book, and a part of me feels that it may be aimed at really young children, and is probably one of those books that is meant to be read aloud, and quite possibly in a mysterious and creepy voice as well. It's great for a experiencing print: have your child spot the black cat in every page and guess where he's going next.