Written by Lemony Snicket
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Little, Brown & Co., 2013. Unpaged picture book.
Laszlo is afraid of the dark, which lives in the basement of his creaky house. When the sun sets, the dark slowly spreads through the house, and when the sun rises, he returns to the basement. Laszlo sleeps with a flashlight and a blazing nightlight, hoping that the dark won't appear. The dark comes to visit him anyway, and shows Laszlo that there is nothing to be afraid of. This is a unique and comforting story of darkness personified and a boy conquering the unknown. Snicket's words are wonderful, carefully-chosen and descriptive. Klassen's artwork never disappoints, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him considered for another Caldecott. The contrast between light and dark, with colorful gouache, creates incredible depth and dimension.