Lisa Skripps's Reviews > The House in the Night

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson
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's review
Oct 08, 09

bookshelves: picture-books

The House in the Night, by Susan Marie Swanson, is comforting book that any child would enjoy as a bedtime story. In this story, Swanson names various nighttime objects that can be found around a house; such as a bed and a book. The main character, a little girl, explores objects in her house as she is preparing to go to bed. Children will be able to relate to her as she puts on her pajamas, reads a book, and is tucked in by her mother. While there are minimal words in the story, the reader is able to experience the comfort and homey feeling of the book through the incredible illustrations by Beth Krommes. Krommes black and white images, which are enhanced by a vibrant yellow. The pattern of this story was inspired by a poem called "This is the Key of the Kingdom."

I really enjoyed this story. I actually read it right before I was going to bed. I think that it is the mark of a truly great children's book if it can make an adult feel as if they too are a child again. I don't think that this book would have had the same effect if all of the images were in color. There was a calmness that I felt from the intricate black and white drawings from page to page. I wish that I taught a younger grade in order to incorporate this lovely tale into what I teach.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Bernice I agree that it is a comforting story for young children. Because it follows a sequence, children may begin to read the story along with you if read more than once. I also found this as a limitation with older children. I read this story to my class and they did not connect to it at all. I wonder if it was because there wasn't a strong plot or if they were just beyond that reading level. Any thoughts?

message 2: by Ruth (new)

Ruth I appreciate your discussion of the illustrations and their effect. You would greatly enjoy viewing some of the actual illustrations from this book on exhibit for the next few weeks at the Chicago art institute.

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