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Summary: Remember to close your closet door before you turn off the lights. In this little boy's room, that's where the nightmare hides. One night, he decides that he's going to put an end to the nightmare. As soon as he could hear it, he turned on the light. But then something surprising happened. This is a story about about a boy who turns the tables on a scary monster.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 3 to 8
Reading Level: 1.6
Age of Child: Read by a 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter loves this book, and laughs every time the boy warns the monster NOT to wake up Mom and Dad. Even though we've read it a lot, she likes to check out the back of the book (to make sure she knows where the nightmare is) before starting at the beginning.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun story. This could be a great book for children who are afraid of the dark or who have bad dreams a lot. Even though this is packaged as a picture book, it is an excellent easy reader, as it has lots of repetition of common words.
Pros: Humor, great illustrations, and timeless story make this a book kids will turn to again and again. With just a few shared readings, younger children will be excited to read it themselves.
Cons: None. Note that the little boy shoots the nightmare with a cork, essentially unprovoked. if you are opposed to guns of all sorts, you may want to skip this book. This is a book probably better read in the family room during the day if you have a child who is afraid of the dark. This will give you a better sense of their reaction.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Some children will see the humor and understand that you can turn nightmares into good dreams, others will not. This should be screened before sharing with your child.
Educational Themes: This is a story about how our imagination can run away with us. Although it is meant to show how we can turn the tables on our nightmares, the idea that the nightmares are still around could be unsettling for some children.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, fantasy
Date(s) Reviewed: March 2009
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