The House in the Night

( 31 )

Overview

A spare, patterned text and glowing pictures explore the origins of light that make a house a home in this bedtime book for young children. Naming nighttime things that are both comforting and intriguing to preschoolers-a key, a bed, the moon-this timeless book illuminates a reassuring order to the universe.

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Overview

A spare, patterned text and glowing pictures explore the origins of light that make a house a home in this bedtime book for young children. Naming nighttime things that are both comforting and intriguing to preschoolers-a key, a bed, the moon-this timeless book illuminates a reassuring order to the universe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Krommes’s widening perspective manages to exude both comfort and daring." -- New York Times Book Review

 
"Here the art is spectacular. Executed in scratchboard decorated in droplets of gold, Krommes’ illustrations expand on Swanson’s reassuring story (inspired by a nursury rhyme that begins, “This is the key of the kingdom”) to create a world as cozy inside a house as it is majestic outside."--Booklist, starred review
 
"Inspired by traditional cumulative poetry, Swanson weaves a soothing song that is as luminescent and soulful as the gorgeous illustrations that accompany her words. . . . It is a masterpiece that has all the hallmarks of a classic that will be loved for generations to come."--School Library Journal, starred review
 
"Krommes’s breathtaking scratchboard illustrations, in black and white with accents of yellow and gold, embody and enhance the text’s message that light and dark, like comfort and mystery, are not mutually exclusive, but integral parts of each other."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 
"This volume's artful simplicity, homely wisdom and quiet tone demonstrate the interconnected beauty and order of the world in a way that both children and adults will treasure."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
"...in another standout performance by an illustrator, Beth Krommes makes a case for The House in the Night with scratchboard images that are themselves a throwback, but with a welcome kind of familiarity... I can see a night-skittish child taking comfort in this story at bedtime."-- The Washington Post (online)
 
"[A] book of stunning visual simplicity . . . The pictures themselves seem to reach out from domesticity toward infinity."--Liz Rosenberg, Boston Sunday Globe
 
"It's Wanda Gag meets Virginia Lee Burton.  And gorgeous.  Did I mention gorgeous?  Gorgeous."-- Fuse 8 Production (online), by Betsy Bird
 
"[Swanson] has a lyrical style all her own, complemented by Krommes' starkly stunning scratchpaper drawings."-- StarTribune

Publishers Weekly

Using only a few graceful words per page to illuminate the dark, this bedtime gem shines its light clearly on things that matter-a home filled with books, art, music and ever-present love. Krommes's (The Lamp, the Ice, and a Boat Called Fish) astonishing illustrations are so closely intertwined with the meticulous text that neither can be isolated without a loss of meaning. The book begins, intriguingly, "Here is the key to the house./ In the house burns a light./ In that light rests a bed./ On that bed waits a book." That book takes the child reader up into the skies and back home again, to sleep ("dark in the song, song in the bird, / bird in the book, book on the bed"). Krommes's black-and-white scratchboard illustrations are as delicate and elegant as snowflakes, and she uses a single color, a marigold, to bring warmth to both home and stars. This volume's artful simplicity, homely wisdom and quiet tone demonstrate the interconnected beauty and order of the world in a way that both children and adults will treasure. Ages 3-6. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
As the sun sets, the tale of the house in the night begins with its golden key. In a progression of brief, simple statements in the cumulative pattern of "The green grass grew all around," we move from, "in the house burns a light," and "In that light rests a bed," through a book, a bird, a song, and the moon glowing in the dark. Then we progress back past the moon in the dark and the dark in the song, into the light in the house and the key to the "home full of light." The restful cadences wish us a good night. This old-fashioned story structure is pictured in scratchboard with touches of yellow watercolor to create the light. Detailed double-page scenes with shapes suggesting sculptured objects with play of black and white areas create inviting landscapes, peaceful undulating hills, and ribbons of roads making a community. Krommes uses her medium to produce a variety of textures that add design complexity as they enhance the spare tale. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1- Inspired by traditional cumulative poetry, Swanson weaves a soothing song that is as luminescent and soulful as the gorgeous illustrations that accompany her words. A journey both humble and epic begins with a key to a house. "Here is the key to the house./In the house burns a light./In that light rests a bed...." In the bedroom of the house, a girl reads a book in which a bird "breathes a song...all about the starry dark." Swanson's poem then takes readers on a flight across the night sky to the realm of the moon and sun, then back along the path to the key that marked the beginning of the journey. Krommes's folk-style black-and-white etchings with touches of yellow-orange make the world of the poem an enchanted place. Patches of light and shadow give shape to the darkness, while smiling celestial bodies populate the potentially lonely night with their friendly warmth. This picture book will make a strong impression on listeners making their first acquaintance with literature. It is a masterpiece that has all the hallmarks of a classic that will be loved for generations to come.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
Inspired by a traditional poem from The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, Swanson's cumulative tale begins, "Here is the key to the house." Readers are welcomed inside the house, where they find a light, a bed within the light, a book on that bed and a bird inside that book. The book opens to reveal a bird that sings a song about the dark, and within that song are the moon and the sun shining on the moon's face. And then, from deep in the night, the poem begins to climb back out of itself: "Sun in the moon, / moon in dark, / dark in the song, / song in the bird," and so forth, finally arriving back to "the house in the night" which is, indeed, a "home full of light." Krommes's breathtaking scratchboard illustrations, in black and white with accents of yellow and gold, embody and enhance the text's message that light and dark, like comfort and mystery, are not mutually exclusive, but integral parts of each other. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618862443
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/5/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 126,957
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: 60L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Susan Marie Swanson is an award-winning poet and the author of several children's books. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Beth Krommes is the Caldecott Winning illustrator of The House in the Night and other beautifully illustrated, much-acclaimed picture books like Swirl by Swirl, and Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow. She lives in Peterborough, NH. Visit www.bethkrommes.com.

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Read an Excerpt


Here is the key to the house In the house burns a light In that light rests a bed On that bed waits a book . . .
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Broken e-book

    I wouldn't recommend buying this for your Nook Color yet, it doesn't work properly for me and the file clearly wasn't converted properly.

    Don't take a chance on a corrupted version, if you loved this childhood book, buy a hard copy for now.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The House in the Night

    If anyone hasn't seen this yet, or is still in search of a copy, it is truly beautiful. Of course, for my little dreamers, the best part was the child flying into the night sky on the bird who flew out of the book. I enjoyed the small details; the tiny, delicate deer on the hill, the miniature laundry hanging out to dry, the teeny whale tail peeking out of the ocean on the far, far left of the drawing. This artist was in love with this work. I think your children will be too.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2015

    I would NOT recommend purchasing this for the nook. I did not ha

    I would NOT recommend purchasing this for the nook. I did not have any issues opening or reading it on the Nook HD, and at $3.99 figured I would try it. Honestly, I wished I hadn't bothered! It's a very poor quality ebook considering what is available this day and age. Purchase the paper/hard copy of the storybook instead.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    Beautiful, But Not A Favorite

    This is definitely a beautifully illustrated book, and my 22 month old son enjoys the book. However, he does not find the story that engaging and prefers more to look at the detailed illustrations and pick out and name objects. There is TONS of detail in this book. Unfortunately, because the story has not yet gotten his attention, this is not one of the first choices at bedtime or other story times. He enjoys some of the other more complex storybooks we own, but I'm still hoping he grows into this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2009

    Caldecott Winner a soaring success

    Many children dream of soaring from their bedroom windows and viewing the night time world from above. The 2009 Caldecott Medal winner will take your child on such a journey.
    The House in the Night written by Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes is an enticing book for young children and one every parent should add to their child's library.
    The book is written in a cumulative pattern. Each detail builds upon the detail before. The pattern is also circular. The child is taken on a night time journey on the wings of a bird and returned safely back to bed at the end of the story.
    The simple prose will have preschoolers telling parents the story once it has been memorized. Short sentences will keep the attention of young fidgety readers with short attention spans. The story will spark the imagination
    The book is attractively illustrated with pencil drawings that feature highlights in bright gold. The color stands out against the black and white background of the night time world.
    This book will be popular with children because the contrast in gold, black and white on the cover draws attention. Very young children will like the simple illustrations, and even babies will be attracted by the use of contrast. Preschoolers will enjoy finding the details in the illustrations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A masterpiece for children

    Based off of a beloved children's book or yore called "This is the Key of the Kingdom" in which the same cyclical nature of the narrative takes place, Swanson seeks to replicate the way the story looks and feels with her own book as well as expound upon it. The book starts out by stating simply, "Here is the key to the house," and builds from there. There is no rhyming, as is typical of poetry directed at this age group, but despite that, there is a poetic quality to the writing. The book begins and ends with the same type of thoughts, "the house in the night, a home full of light" but throughout the middle, the child is taken on a wonderful journey with the moon as she ushers in night in the city, creating a fantasy element out of the mystery of the moon and dreams. The writing itself is simple and easy to follow, definitely aimed toward the 1-5 age group as an illustrated children's book, but the illustrations are beautiful and enrapturing. Unquestionably, this is a young children's book, but I believe that because of the unique quality of the illustrations, readers of any age can enjoy and be inspired by it to create their own art and writing that will add to the human dialogue and culture. I recommend this text to all readers for it's artistic merit, but specifically to ages 1 - 5. -Lindsey Miller, lindseyslibrary

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2015

    This is such a beautiful book. One of our family favorites.

    This is such a beautiful book. One of our family favorites.

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  • Posted September 15, 2014

    I have many beautiful children's books; I think this may be the

    I have many beautiful children's books; I think this may be the most beautiful one I have ever seen,  The text is dreamlike and soothing; the illustrations are glorious.  My 4 year old granddaughter asked for it over and over again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 19, 2012

    Comfort in the Night

    The House in the Night is a picture book that is intended to comfort preschoolers by naming nighttime things that a young child will find interesting. Some of the comforting items are a key for safety, a light to keep away the darkness, a bed for snuggling in, and a book for reading. The book also depicts a moon, a night owl, and a home in the light. Children will find this book reassuring in the night because it offers an illuminated order to the universe. This picture book received the Caldecott Medal in 2009 for it’s beautiful scratchboard art illustrations in black, white and gold. These pictures along with the rhyming pattern will help put any preschool age child to sleep.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Hi

    Its a poem

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    The house in the night,outstanding illustrations

    Actually I purchased this book for a more selfish reason the Illustration was done by a cousin of mine , she has received several awards for her drawings and has illustrated 10 childrens books that I know of Her name is Beth Krommes. I will say I've been able to get all of her books that she illustrated at barnes & nobel.
    Robert E Lewis

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The House in the Night

    Swanson, S.M. (2008). The House in the Night. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

    0618862447

    This gentle poem was inspired by the classic nursery rhymes collected by the Opies in the 1950s. And it has that old-school feel. So do the illustrations, which, while mainly black and white, also feature the intentional use of yellow. The text is warm, attempting to create a sense of home. But the illustrations do have a decidedly rural feel.

    The objects and illustrations mentioned and shown in the text are interconnected and come full-circle, allowing new readers to begin to develop meaning and connections. Plus the rhythm of the lines will appeal to young readers. It has a similar feel to Wood's The Napping House (1984).

    This is the 2009 Caldecott winner.

    Activities to do with the book:

    Students could write their own poems or create their own illustrations in response to the book. This is a great book to have new readers follow along with using their finger or to read aloud for the first time.

    Children could also be asked tentatively why certain objects and creatures are yellow or how all of the pages are interconnected.

    This would be a good bedtime read.


    Favorite Quotes:

    "Here is the key
    to the house."

    "The house in the night,
    a home full of light."

    For more of my reviews, visit sjkessel.blogspot.com.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2009

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    Posted February 2, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2009

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    Posted January 26, 2009

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    Posted March 27, 2011

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    Posted July 12, 2009

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