The House in the Night

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 2009

The House in the Night

Susan Marie Swanson, text

Beth Krommes, illustrations

Houghton Mifflin, 2008

36 pp.

Age: 3+

Interests: night, bedtime, night sky, sun and moon

Other books by this illustrator: The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish; Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow, The Hidden Folk

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…

Very simple text and striking scratchboard illustrations follow a simple progression – a child opens the front door with the key and goes into her bedroom, picks up a book and imagines herself flying on a bird high in the night sky, all the way to the sun and moon and stars before returning to her room and being tucked into bed.

The reassuring presence of a benevolently smiling sun and moon make the nighttime a more friendly place for children at bedtime. (And as the girl flies into space there’s a wonderful page showing how the sun shines on the moon’s face to illuminate it.) Not strictly a simple “placing” narrative (bed in room, room in house, house in town, town in country), this text gives that basic structure a few interesting twists and turns before returning to the comforting, cozy house in the night.

(This title at amazon.com)

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.
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