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Eric Hoffman picture books A Dark, Dark Cave

Winner of the 2017 Michigan Library Association's Mitten Award for best children's book of 2016

On a cold night, under a pale moon, a brother and sister explore a dark, dark cave. Bats fly overhead, and something crawls along the walls.  What else will they find? 

Published by Viking Books for Young Readers

available in hardcover and as an ebook

40 pages

4-6 year olds

Thanks to Corey Tabor for the beautiful illustrations!  To see more of his work, go to

"A Dark, Dark Cave captures the true flavor of that most wonderful element of childhood: make-believe -- and celebrates the power of imaginative play as two siblings explore a dark, dark cave. The cadence of the text invites readers to participate, both verbally and imaginatively, and the details in the illustrations, combined with the element of surprise, will have children wanting to reread the story to look for clues and relive the excitement of exploring a dark, dark cave -- each time with a greater sense of 'knowing' and comfort.”--Michigan Library Association 2017 Mitten Award announcement

“This joyful, timeless exploration of play is sure to be an inspirational spark to young readers, who will then embark on their own imaginary games. Readers young and old will find much to appreciate in this celebration of the imagination.”
—Kirkus Reviews

"A Dark, Dark Cave . . . has the feel of an instant classic.  I read hundreds of new picture books a year (and almost as many old ones) and it is truly rare to find a book of this kind!"


"Corey Tabor’s offbeat, expressive illustrations work wonderfully to support Hoffman’s text.”

—New York Times Book Reviews

“For fans of imaginative play.”
—School Library Journal

one of the "16 Awesome Picture Books to Read in 2016"


“Wonderfully expressive multimedia illustrations add depth and vitality to the suspenseful text… Build your own fort in which to enjoy this imaginative portrayal of a sweet sibling adventure.”

"An excellent story of how imagination can take you on the wildest of adventures. Perfect for a rainy day when your adventures can’t be outside."


Have you built a fun cave, fort, castle, or other hideout?  Send a picture to and I'll feature it on my website!

A Dark, Dark Cave

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