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Dark at the Top of the Stairs

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An old wise mouse warns his three young mice of the danger that lurks at the top of the cellar stairs, yet they insist on seeing it for themselves. Step by step, they climb up to the dark shadows. . . . Sam McBratney's suspenseful tale will have children shrieking and grinning by turns. Full color. 32 pp. Ages 4-7. Pub: 1/98.

Knowing that he must satisfy their curiosity, an old mouse agrees to show three young mice the "monster" at ...

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1996 Hardcover Fair in fair dust jacket. This is a used book. It may contain highlighting/underlining or the book may show heavier signs of wear. It may also be ex-library or ... without dustjacket. All orders are shipped the same or the next day. Read more Show Less

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Illustrated by Bates, Ivan Cambridge MA 1996 Hardcover Third Printing Good in Very Good-dust jacket 156402640X. Hbdj, laminated DJ, light wear/soil, spine/front labels, DJ flaps ... taped, card pocket residue on inside cover, lower copyright pg taped at spine, libstamps on title pg, pgs clean/bright; Ex-Library; Illustrations; 4to 11"-13" tall; 32 pages. Read more Show Less

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1996 Hardcover Good Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not ... include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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Overview

An old wise mouse warns his three young mice of the danger that lurks at the top of the cellar stairs, yet they insist on seeing it for themselves. Step by step, they climb up to the dark shadows. . . . Sam McBratney's suspenseful tale will have children shrieking and grinning by turns. Full color. 32 pp. Ages 4-7. Pub: 1/98.

Knowing that he must satisfy their curiosity, an old mouse agrees to show three young mice the "monster" at the top of the stairs.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Three young mice brave the monster (that is, the cat) who lives in the dark at the top of the stairs. "Perfectly captur[es] the edgy glee and derring-do of a trip to dangerous territory," said PW. Ages 4-up. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-McBratney follows up his cozy, warm Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick, 1995) with a real change of mood. Though their wise old mentor tries to entice them outdoors to play, three young mice insist on seeing what lives behind the dark at the top of the stairs. Its single word-"MEOW"-sends them "bumpety-bump and slippity-slide and tumble-thump" all the way back down. Bates gives readers a mouse's-eye view of the adventure: topped by a towering door, the huge stairs loom above a shadowed, cobwebby, cluttered cellar lit in dim, ominous blues and grays. Like Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury's We're Going on a Bear Hunt (McElderry, 1989), this book invites youngsters to venture out into the unknown, offering the reassurance of a haven at the end, and the exhilaration of a mad scramble to get there.-John Peters, New York Public Library
Carolyn Phelan
A wise old mouse tucks his three little mice into bed and asks what they would like to do the next day. They insist that they want to go to the dark at the top of the stairs to see the monster there. Although the old mouse suggests a visit to the cornfield or a swing on the grass seed-heads, the little mice will not be dissuaded. The next morning they begin their trek up the cellar stairs, but one look at the monster and the sound of one soft "MEOW" send them bumping, thumping, and sliding back home. From the cozy scenes of the mice safe in bed to their dramatic climb up the steep stairs to the climactic moment when they see the cat (shown here only in shadow), the dramatically shaded full-color illustrations show a great sense of atmosphere, perspective, and humor. As appealing as the artwork is the simple text, which begs to be read aloud. Just scary enough to please the story hour crowd.
Kirkus Reviews
In this book, McBratney (Guess How Much I Love You, 1995, not reviewed, etc.) has crystallized every single detail into part of a winning formula. There is little story: Three mice—Cob, Hazel, and Berry-Berry—tell an older, wiser mouse that they would like to go see the monster at the top of the cellar stair. He is understanding and allows them to recover from their journey, during which they were terrified by the sight of the cat's shadow, without comment. The narrative is comic and catchy, with all the dialogue arranged with flawless symmetry. It is set against dramatic crayon pencil illustrations, in which everything is depicted from the perspective of the mice (a door looms like a skyscraper). In his first book, Bates chooses a palette of dark purples, browns, and ambers; the mice seem sculpted from the gloom of the cellar.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564026408
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/7/1996
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.57 (w) x 12.21 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2003

    Cute and catchy

    This is a cute and catchy book, and the students in my class love it. They will sit entranced as it is read, and always laugh as the little ones tumble back down the stairs! Beautiful art work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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