The Mysterious Bookshop

Liniers, What There Is Before There Is Anything There, A Scary Story

Every night when his parents turn off the light, strange creatures descend from the black space where the ceiling used to be . . . First comes one, then another, and then more and more. They stand all around him, staring, not saying a word. And then, worst of all, comes the dark, shapeless one that tells him, “I am what’s there before there is anything there . . .” Liniers’ art, reminiscent of Hergé and other great comic book artists, feelingly portrays the little boy’s growing terror and his frantic dash for his parents’ bedroom. Combined with hand-lettering, it creates the feeling of a graphic novel for very young readers. Destined to become a classic about nighttime fears (like Paul Galdone’s The Teeny-Tiny Woman), this story resonates with young children afraid of the dark. They're reassured to see that, although the little boy’s fears don’t go away, he does find a way to cope with them.


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