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The House in the Night

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,884 Ratings  ·  967 Reviews

Winner of the 2009 Caldecott Medal! 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.

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 5th 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakMake Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyThe Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Caldecott Medal Winners
43rd out of 79 books — 358 voters
In a Blue Room by Jim AverbeckWe are the Ship by Kadir NelsonWabi Sabi by Mark ReibsteinOld Bear by Kevin HenkesHow I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz
2009 Caldecott Contenders
7th out of 37 books — 92 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 27, 2009 karen rated it it was ok
Shelves: mark-harmon
big time yawn. this is what i am talking about - this book is seventeen dollars. that is a lot of money for a book with 103 words and mediocre illustrations. i am very glad i can borrow these from work and not have to shell out for them for school because i am no millionaire. the color scheme of the book is nice - i would love to have a dress in these colors, but as a book, i am unmoved.
Jul 30, 2009 Greg rated it it was ok
This book has a stoner logic behind it that is kind of annoying. "like what if the bed wasn't being lit up by the light, but" inhale, hold in smoke, "but the bed was really inside the light?" exhale. And go on with a bunch more of these oh so poetic platitudes a freshman in college with a bong might spout out. Plus add some trippy pictures that have a schizophrenic feel to them, and you have a comforting story for kids too afraid to have the lights turned off on them. Or something like that. If ...more
Oct 05, 2013 Laima rated it it was amazing

This is a Caldecott Medal winning children's book. Basically, it is a bedtime story for young children filled with black and white pictures with a sprinkling of golden coloured objects. It was designed to comfort and lull a child to sleep with pictures of familiar and calming nighttime things. A book, a bed, a light, a bird, the moon, a song - young children know all these familiar objects.

I have read countless storybooks to young children, including my own sons, and what I always find is that c
Mar 30, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
An enchanting story, full of beautiful simplicity and the type of circular storytelling that I loved as a child. The Caldecott-winning, scratchboard art illustrations are what really won me over, though. They are exquisite, intricate, unique and breathtaking! Amazing how such "dark" illustrations can radiate warmth and light--you'll feel the bright yellows glow right into your heart!

Sun in the moon, moon in the dark

It wasn't until I did some volunteer work in a local library that I discovered how popular the board books are for children. Perhaps because they are difficult to destroy, the section of the library with these special books are always covered with eager kids, pulling their parents (or nannies) to the titles they covet.

Dark in the song, song in the bird

So, I gave it a shot and got the one that looked different than the others, with a black-and-white etching-ish ou
May 30, 2008 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, just sometimes, you want to read a beautiful picture book. Not a pretty picture book or a mildly lovely one or a picture book that will please you the first ten times you read it to a child and then hardly anymore after that. No, I'm talking about a jaw-dropping, kick-you-in-the-pants, douse your cigar hussy of a beautiful picture book. The kind that works against your book-loving instincts, tempting you to rip out the pages and frame them on your wall. That kind of book. The first ti ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
This gorgeous Caldecott winner deserved the medal for the scratchboard illustrations in black, white, and yellow. Beautiful in their simplicity, they take the reader on a nighttime fantasy flight on the back of a bird, a bird from the book on the bed, in the house unlocked by the key, under the light of the moon.
It's the sort of book you want to look at again and again. Just lovely!
Pardis Parto
کودکی با دریافت کلید از پدرش همراه خانواده وارد خانه می شود. پیش ازخواب کتاب می خواند.

در کتاب در خیال با پرنده پرواز می کند، درباره تاریکی آسمان پر از ستاره آواز می خواند و در صورت ماه، خورشید (منبع روشنایی) را می بیند.
در بازگشت از دنیای خیال و کتاب، خانه و زندگی را پر از روشنایی می بیند، به آرامش می رسد و راحت می خوابد.

اصلی ترین درونمایه این داستان، نشان دادن اهمیت کتاب در ساختن دنیای ذهنی کودک است. می توان غلبه بر ترس از تاریکی به کمک کتاب خواندن را هم یک پیام آن دانست. این داستان بدون آموزش م
Oct 05, 2014 Alison rated it liked it
Shelves: 520picturebook
"The House in the Night" immediately reminded me of the book "Goodnight Moon". This Caldecott award winner is full of black and white illustrations that include pops of yellow. It begins with a girl having a key to the house, and "In the house burns a light. In that light rests a bed. On that bed waits a book." This story walks through a girl discovery a bird full of song and life inside of a book in her house that is lit up in the night. This is a quick, easy read with not much detail involved ...more
Oct 17, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing
The Caldecott Medal Winner from 2009, The House in the Night; the illustrations not only support the limited text but the pictures are so detailed you can spot other areas of interest. For example, in the child's room a storybook is waiting for her on the bed, but depicted in the photo the child is going through her dresser. You can only imagine, is she getting out pajamas? letting her kittens out of the dresser? etc. Overall allowing for readers to fill in and find out from illustrated clues wh ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it
As I was reading I couldn't help but think how much the illustrations reminded me of Van Gogh's Starry Night, and wouldn't you know it... There was a place in the story where the bedroom in the house had Starry Night hanging on one of its walls.
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
This one has a classic look and a classic feel -- from its scratch board, 3-colored (black, white, yellow) illustrations to its minimalistic and poetic text -- a great addition to bedtime lullaby stories. This one doesn't make me say, "Who needs another bedtime story? Don't we have ENOUGH?" Obviously, we don't since talented writers and artists like Swanson and Krommes still have new things to offer for new generations of children and their parents. The pictures are worthy of looking closely ove ...more
Kayla Edwards
Dec 09, 2015 Kayla Edwards rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
There are some beautiful illustrations in this one. It is comforting and calming as a bedtime story but there is just nothing really special going on. Nothing wrong with it, it's a pleasant read, it just wasn't amazing for me.
Kianna Williams
May 23, 2016 Kianna Williams rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew Hunter
2009 Caldecott winner. Beth Krommes' artwork is stunning. She uses three colors - black, white and gold. For me, the scattering of golden accents about nighttime landscapes made my eyes want to linger with each illustration, almost like meditation pieces. For the kids? I asked our 4 year old if she liked the book. She gave an enthusiastic "yes", saying she liked the illustrations of golden stars the best. The nighttime scenes with the cumulative nursery rhyme pattern makes this one a good bedtim ...more
Kristen Carson
Dec 09, 2014 Kristen Carson rated it really liked it
Book Information:
The genre of this book is fiction and is written for ages 4-6.
This book is a rhyming book that connects one thing to another. It starts with the house in the night and ends saying “a home full of light”. The book only has about 5 words per page and the illustrations are what grab the reader. The only colors being used are white, black and yellow. The black is representing the night and the yellow is representing the light in the world.
Instructional Information:
Since thi
Adriana Villagomez
Jan 19, 2015 Adriana Villagomez rated it really liked it
Have you ever gotten so lost in a book that you felt you were actually living in it? The main character of this story is given a key to his house where he finds a book and becomes a part of that book. He gets so lost in it that he feels that the bird in the story he is reading comes to his window and they fly to the moon and the sun to see how they shine. The House in the Night is a fictional poem that takes place in a small town. It is set in the point of view of the author. This book has a pat ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jan 29, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all young kids, especially those who are scared of the dark
At first I wasn’t sure I appreciated the drawings, all in black & white & yellow and in an unusual style, but I ended up loving this book: both the patterned text and the amazing pictures, my favorite picture probably being the dog curled up in its bed with its stuffed teddy bear. On every page the pictures contain many lovely little touches.
Aug 17, 2015 Jess rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for this style of illustrations - it feels cozy and old-timey and perfect for a bedtime story, and it works well with the patterned structure of the story. I like the use of limited colors, so that the yellowy-orange really glows in the pictures and the text.
Jessica Cain
Dec 08, 2014 Jessica Cain rated it really liked it
Summary and Critique:
The words in this story flowed together like a poem, it started at the beginning and moved forward to each different scene and then half way through the book it started from the end and went backwards. Each picture was black and white except the item each page talked about was in an orange color. That helped tell the story so you could clearly see which part of the story was being told. This was a story made for reading before bed because it’s setting is all throughout the n
Mar 21, 2009 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture

This seems like it would be perfect for lulling small children to sleep.
Jan 27, 2016 JINA YU rated it really liked it
The front and back cover presents us with one continuous picture. Using a black and white color, and the fine crosshatched lines means that this story will happen at night. Only the title and lights are yellow in black and white landscape, which implies something important. When I open the book, the next page is yellow just after the black and white cover. It feels like turning on the light at night, and a new journey is about to start.
The story begins with a key represented in yellow, and goes
Alyse Erickson
Dec 08, 2015 Alyse Erickson rated it liked it
Shelves: classroom-books
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes is a nursery rhyme book that ties each element explained in the book to the other one. The story begins with a child having a key to the house, and going into the house only to find a different element, and ending with the moon that shines bright on the house. Therefore, the house in the dark is given light. This book is mainly illustrations that helps the reader to understand where and why each element is related to a ...more
Natalie Payton
The House in the Night written by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes is a children’s picture book about the comforting happenings right before bed in the night. This book is geared towards early readers because there are very few words and elaborate pictures. Even though the story is simple, it is still very beautifully written and displayed. It is about a house in the night with a book on a bed that talks about the starry night and moon. The story ends with the
Madison Young
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie Levin
House in the Night
By: Susan Marie Swanson
The house in the Night is a simple bedtime story that would take children on the back of a bird to different parts of the home, to the key that unlocks the house and much more! Only using hues of grey, white and yellow the illustrations are dream like. Although the short texts provides a focal point in the illustration, they take up the whole page with different scenarios which provides the reader with their own perception of what is going on in the stor
Jordan Croom
The House in the Night illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson tells its story in a circular style. It works its way in and out telling the story of a house in the night. This story has beautiful black and white images sprinkled with golden pops of color that represent light for the reader. The colors and simplicity of the story are calming, and serve the purpose of a bedtime story for kids. Even though all the images are all in black and white, the golden color seems to radi ...more
Dec 09, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents for their kids or for any elementary school teacher for their students
The House in the Night is about a little boy who gets a key to a house that is glowing orange. On the bed inside there is a book. The book is about a bird and in that bird there is a song. Everything progresses to be something going into the next thing. At night the moon shines the suns reflection. This book works its way into the story and does the same thing ending. Everything shown on the next page goes backward until the story ends with the house full of light again, back to the begining. Th ...more
Kiera Burnett
Summary and Critique:
What a beautiful book! This book also applies the concept of high frequency, low variation and few words allowing students to better understand the topic of the book. Each picture is in black and white, other than the objects representing the key words on the page. For example, when it says bird, the bird on the page is colored a bright, golden yellow. This book would also help students practice reversal, making them understand the sequence of events as they unfold. Because
Feb 09, 2009 Toby rated it really liked it
Beginning with the bright yellow letters of the title and the bright yellow end papers, the reader's eye is drawn to ordinary objects: a key, a dog collar, a flower, amid the intricate black and white scratchboard illustrations. The light suggests comfort and safety as the world darkens to night and a little girl begins to read her book.
At this point however, the realistic story adds a magical element as the young protagonist flies out the window, teddy bear in hand, to explore her world with
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