The Dark at The Top of The Stairs

The Dark at The Top of The Stairs

4.5 2
by Sam McBratney, Ivan Bates
     
 

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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. See more details below

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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.

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 - 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
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763604172
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
01/06/1998
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 11.84(h) x 0.16(d)
Lexile:
AD650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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