Toby's Reviews > The House in the Night

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson
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's review
Jan 19, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: children-s-award-winner

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 a bird, from her book on the bed. The rhythmic text will lull a young listener into the world of imagination as points of light illuminate the night.
Children will make text-to-text associations to the safe sleepy mood of Goodnight Moon, but will also remember Tar Beach's promise of adventure. Both themes are expressed by the 3-palette illustrations where yellow spotlights the coziness of home and at the same time, black-and-white details invite children to explore the wider world.
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message 1: by Karrie (new) - added it

Karrie Toby, I really like the feeling of coziness that you convey in this review. I especially like the way you describe the safety when the world darkens into night. I can picture it, and have only glanced at the actual book. I just ordered this for my library and I'll read it as soon as I get it.

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