The House in the Night

The House in the Night


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2009 Caldecott Medal Winner

A spare, patterned text and glowing pictures explore the origins of light that make a house a home in this Caldecott Medal-winning 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618862443
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/05/2008
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 162,399
Product dimensions: 10.20(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: 180L (what's this?)
Age Range: 3 - 6 Years

About 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 her online at

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 . . .

Customer Reviews

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The House in the Night (Board Book) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
SandraPants More than 1 year ago
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.
nmk97 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Lindsey_Miller More than 1 year ago
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
PenelopeTX More than 1 year ago
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.
phoenixcomet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully illustrated using black and gold ink, The House in the Night connects items together to provide comfort for small children.
ander23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The text and illustration create a theme of night and day, dark and light, adventure through story, and the feeling of safety. Recommended reading age children will love this book. 5 stars!
arwencu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the illustrations in the book; they were very whimsical and quite different from the typical children's storybook artwork. It reminded me a lot of classic stories such as the night before Christmas. The pacing seemed similar to nursery rhymes such as There was an Old Woman. The story was simple and seemed to be more like poetry than anything else but nonetheless it left the reader with a lasting impression.
teddy5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good example of poetry because the simple verse leads the reader through the scene and surroundings of this house. This poem vaguely tells a story of establishing the setting. A building story is somewhat developed when a child is handed a key to their house by a parent. When noticing patterns within the objects in the room and naming them in sequential order by placement, the child finds comfort. There is a certain repetitive nature to the flow of the story that helps with early reading development.Media: scratchboard and watercolor
lppeters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This a cute story told in a simple text that is similar to forms of poetry. This book could almost be considered as a bedtime story read but could extend into the classroom for younger classes. The story allows the reader to go beyond the walls of our homes to envision our imagination coming into reality. I could see a creative project come from reading this book in which the students would recreate their own "House In The Night' with their personal touches.
Madalyn333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a wonderful bed-time book for children. There are certain elements in the book that stand out on each page. The book is about a child who takes a flight during the night time. Very beautiful illustrations on every page. Story consists of warm feelings of home and family.
jniehof on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a fantastic book. There is a beautiful rhythm and rhyme to the words, modeled after the nursery rhymes of Iona and Peter Opie (This is the key of the kingdom/In that kingdom is a city). It won the Caldecott for illustration, which is gorgeous, but the words and circular story/cumulative pattern are what appealed to me. I hope my young self would have liked this book. A must for a public library.
katyfluitt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
dchaikin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a twist on "This is the key of the kingdom:/ in that kingdom is a city..." Here a key leads to a light in the house which leads to a bed and book and then inside the book. Drawing are black "scratchboard" with yellow highlights - like the cover. They're very well done.I picked this up because it was the 2009 Caldecott winner. It's not my personal favorite of the picture books I came across from 2008, but it is very nice.
missrader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The text of this books reads almost as poetry. Describes the steps in the process of getting ready to go to bed. Very interesting picture- they are black and white scratchboard with hints of yellow highlighting different objects.
gildallie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A gorgeous book with beautiful scratchboard and yellow ink artwork throughout. The style was whimsical yet refined alongside the simple and sweet writing. The writing was in the ¿one thing leads to another¿ style, but sometimes concrete things lead to things more abstract. A key, to a light, to a bird, to a song¿We follow a child through the house out through the window on the back of a songbird through the beautiful night sky and eventually back to bed and tucked in by mom. I like that this also addressed nighttime making it a delight for the imagination rather then its usual monsters hideaway.
jodyjlittle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a cummulative story that begins with the father handing his child a key. The key leads to a house with a burning light, which leads to a room with a bed. The books continues in this way until it reaches the moon's face which shines the sun. From there, the story reverses and completes the story circle, beginning with the "sun in the moon" to "moon in the dark" and gradually ending with a "home full of light."
readasaurus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, winner of the Caldecott Medal, features gorgeous black and white pictures with warm golden accents. The story shows a cumulative pattern of poetry, and the rhyme and repetition will make it a joy for young readers. This is great for pre-naptime in pre-k class or at home before bed. Older children would enjoy viewing this outstanding example of scratchboard.
kdemott on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The illustrations were beautiful and unusual.
fullerl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Illustrations from this book are pleasant and soothing in their tri-color schematic: black, white and an orangey-yellow. They appear to be engravings that have had additional color (yellow) added after printing. These are beautiful in their simplicity. I read this book right after reading Wabi Sabi and I smiled to myself because here is a book that embodies that idea.The story is less of a narrative but rather states the order of things from small (a key) to immense (the universe), showing a simple and yet easy the follow connection between these two extremes. In its simplicity is something very profound. Something the folks in charge of the Caldocott Award certainly saw.
johnstod on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Krommes scratch board art creates the magical drama of a rhythmic journey of home, book and night sky that lights up a little girls heart. Swanson story hints at the classic bed time tale 'Good Night Moon'
kmacneill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The illustrations in this book were beautiful. This is a great bedtime story. The story is told in a rhyme similar to a nursery rhyme (This is the key of the kingdom/ In that kingdom is a city) as told in the authors notes. The story goes through the house and focuses on different bedtime items. It is told in a circular story, it began and ended the same. I really enjoyed this book. It would be a good way to illustrate circular stories to a class and have them write circular stories of their own. Good for grades 1-3.
amspicer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This Caldecott Medal winner is a great bedtime story or even class read aloud for a younger group. It is about a young boy who takes an adventure around the town at night. The illustrations are wonderful and on every page, your attention is drawn to the yellow section on the black and white backdrop. I like this book because it is short, simple, and discriptive. It is different from most books because of the color choices. In a way it reminded me of Goodnight Moon.
lekenned on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love the illustrations in this book! A good bed time story about a house in the night and what makes it a home filled with light.