Lemony Snicket, The Dark and my irrational fear

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 4th April 2013

Lemony SnicketMost people have an irrational fear of some sort. A writer friend told me at the weekend that her husband has a fear of chutney and that she breaks into a cold sweat at the mention of a certain 80s rock star. She was horrified when I admitted that I’d once interviewed him on a bench near Hanover Square and that he was charm itself.

But I too have an irrational fear. Goodness knows what a psychoanalyst would make of it but mine is of being forced to eat an egg. Poached, scrambled, hard-boiled – the thought of them makes me feel quite ill.

I think it dates back to the age of seven, when I used to take a packed lunch to Halton Primary School. My mum had read somewhere that in order to be healthy children needed to eat lots of eggs (it was soon after Fay Weldon’s celebrated Go to work on an egg advertising slogan) and she duly put a hard-boiled egg in my lunch box every single day of the week. And of course the day came when I stared at the egg in horror and knew that I could never eat an egg again. Ever.

In his delightful new picture book for children Lemony Snicket (best-known for creating A Series of Unfortunate Events) highlights a different fear. But the childhood fear he writes about isn’t eggs. It’s a much more universal one. It’s the dark.

The Dark, written by Lemony Snicket and beautifully illustrated by Jon Klassen, is the enchanting story of a little boy called Laszlo who is afraid of the dark.

The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo but spends most of its time hiding away in the basement. But one day the dark appears and helps Laszlo to understand that there’s really no need to be afraid.

Hmmm. If only Lemony Snicket could do the same for my fear of eggs…

The Dark, written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Orchard Books, £11.99)

4 comments so far

  • You need to try one of my Farrow & Ball style blue-green eggs – so beautiful you would forget all fear and simply marvel. Laid by Imelda who was saved from the frying pan when just an egg herself and, once hatched (courtesy of Cinderella), has turned out to be a Superhen! No idea she would be possessed of such eggsellent laying powers. All the rest were cockerels…

  • It’s lovely to hear from you, Miranda! I like the idea of how your eggs look, especially the colours, but still feel a bit nervous of eggs! Mind you, Imelda sounds a real superhen! I love her story.

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