Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

A Dark, Dark Tale

Brown, Ruth (Author/Illustrator)
Andersen Press 2012. 32 pages
First published: 1981
ISBN: 9781842709894 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

recurring patterns, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This story plays on the old campfire tradition of telling ghost and horror stories. By increasingly intimidating degrees, young readers are lead inexorably toward what promises to be a shocking reveal: “Behind the door there was a dark, dark hall. In the hall there were some dark, dark stairs.”

Sombre and detailed, the realistic illustrations depict a setting worthy of the most sinister gothic novel. Starting from the bleak moor, through misty woods, up to the great, cobwebbed door with the lion’s head knocker, readers are both tempted and challenged to keep turning pages. The images grow more intimate, and settings close in around the viewer.

An excellent read aloud book, the repetition of “dark, dark” within each simple sentence lends itself to call-and-response interplay between reader and audience. The potential for dramatic reading and suspense is enormous with this fun book. The fact that the creature at the end is only a gentle mouse, makes it suitable reading for even very young children.

  •  

    Discuss how the dark and mysterious illlustrations make you feel. Who do you think would live in such a house?

  •  Learn the recurring rhyme (perhaps ahead of time) and join in with the reading.
  •  Create an alternate story and ending using the format of the book. Write a few sentences to describe the story for the back cover.
  •  

    Compile a list of cats from different stories such as The Cat in the Hat, Pete the Cat, Chester, Dick Wittington and his Cat, Puss in Boots, The Lighthouse Cat, The Mousehole Cat and Three by the Sea. Use a graphic organizer to explore their differences and similarities. 

  •  

    Discuss how the dark and mysterious illustrations make you feel. Who do you think would live in such a house?

  •  

    Learn the recurring rhyme (perhaps ahead of time) and join in with the reading. You may even read it in the dark.

  •  Create an alternate story and ending using the format of the book. Write a few sentences to describe the story for the back cover.
  •  

    Compile a list of cats from different stories such as The Cat in the Hat, Pete the Cat, Chester, Dick Wittington and his Cat, Puss in Boots, The Lighthouse Cat, The Mousehole Cat and Three by the Sea. Use a graphic organizer to explore their differences and similarities.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Drama
  • Visual Arts