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Friday, 14 November 2014

Dark, Stuck, Wherever

November 14 2014

We read The Dark on the way home yesterday and it kicked off story time tonight. It isn't a typical picture book. Written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen it has the kind of quirkiness that anyone familiar with either of those two would expect. It's a tale of a boy called Laszlo who has fears of the dark. Laszlo not only confronts the dark, he follows it and talks to it. The first time I read it the character of the Dark was a bit sinister, when I worked out it could be a friendly character the book takes on a different meaning. I think this is the first book I've ever read that the reading of it can make the difference between your child having a good sleep or never closing his/her eyes again. That Vincent Price impression will have to wait a few years! Linus seemed to grasp it quite well, the dark is not something he's had a problem with and perhaps if he ever does he'll think of this book and it will help.

Stuck was the first Oliver Jeffers book we read and we've only just got around to acquiring our own copy. Checking the Amazon reviews I see that some people don't get this book which is slightly disturbing. I've previously called Jeffers' writing "Milliganesque" and this book shows that very well, you could almost see this as being a Goon Show plot. It's the story of a boy who gets his kite stuck in a tree and his endeavours to get it down again.  Linus loves it, even if he doesn't get all the humour of it. I did ask him if he'd ever got anything stuck in a tree, he rattled off a list that included at least two lots of socks, none of which were true. He does blather on some times, it's wonderful.

Wherever You are, My Love Will Find You is another book we've had since Linus was born. Nancy Tillman's books include the more famous On The Night You Were Born, which we also have. I prefer this one, I think it's a little more real. They're both about the love a parent has for a child. The words are as charming as the pictures. It's a lovely short, calming bedtime book.  This book has one of my favourite lines in any kids' book: "So hold your head high, don't be afraid to march to the front of your own parade".

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