Posts Tagged With: Ruth Brown

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Ruth Brown’s A Dark, Dark Tale

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, and Halloween is coming! I’ve chosen one of my son’s favorite books, which he remembers as being “really, really scary.” We read it over and over and always had a good laugh at the end. He is 14 now and still remembers how he felt reading it… I think that’s a pretty strong recommendation!

Check out Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog feature Perfect Picture Book Fridays. She has compiled a complete list with links to resources for home and the classroom. It’s awesome!


Title: A Dark, Dark Tale

Author/Illustrator: Ruth Brown

First published by Anderson Press Ltd, 1981


Ages: 3-5 years

Theme: Halloween, bravery

Opening: “Once upon a time there was a dark, dark moor.”

Synopsis: Children will delight in following the black cat’s progress through the dark wood, into the dark house, and eventually to the surprise discovery at the back of the toy cupboard, in this mysterious, beautifully illustrated picture book.(from Goodreads)

Resources and ideas: Lesson plans at MyBookez. Game of I Spy, looking for all the animals, especially the cat; cutouts and collages of cats, owls, trees, spooky houses, bats, moon, etc.; layered collage with doors opening to reveal something beneath; create a new story following the pattern of repetition and rhythm in the text.

What I thought: I loved the atmosphere created by the illustrations and the repetition in the text and in the imagery. Even though a different spooky place is featured on each spread, the words “dark, dark” and the black cat lead the way through each page turn. The tension builds as the cat leads us to smaller and smaller places. What are we going to find? The anticipation reaches a climax and is delightfully resolved on the final page.


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Launch into the kidlitosphere!

Welcome to the first post of the blog For the love of kidlit!

I want to start by showing off the books that my kids and I loved reading the most when they were younger.


Some of these are award-winners, and some of these I never hear anyone talk about, like Lucy Cousins’s books. The one Maisy book in the photo represents the dozens that we read contantly. Both boys also loved the rhythm and lyricism in Jamberry, The Snowy Day, Chicken Soup with Riceand the poem that was written for A Magical Day with Matisse. My younger son Sam requested these all the way into elementary school.

That’s our second copy of Pat the Bunnyafter the first was maimed by all the baby fingers that found it so fascinating. The Tiger Has a Toothache is the only non-fiction selection, but the kids loved seeing all the different ways animals could be helped. Peppe the Lamplighter and A Dark, Dark Tale  (my older son Marty remembers this one as particularly scary!) were treasures I found at a library sale.

Missing from this photo are Sandra Boynton‘s books … I must have given them away! Also missing is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (I have an incredible video of Sam reciting this to himself before he was two, he couldn’t say some of the words… I’ll post it soon!) and The Caboose Who Got Looseone of my personal childhood favorites. I spent hours drawing Katy and the cabin in the trees. I was thrilled when I found it among the Bill Peet reprints in the store, along with reprints of Harry the Dirty Dog! I loved Harry and the bath and that sweater and the bird!

Does anyone else remember any of the other books? I have clear memories of reading Sylvester and the Magic Pebble when I was very little. The ending was thrilling every single time, and it thrilled me again when I read it to my boys.

What books did you love to read when you were little? What did you love to share with your kids?

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