I was so moved by the beautiful illustrations in Susan Marie Swanson's charming picture book. Just looking at the details of the light on each page is incredible. Not only do I love the house but especially seeing the sun glow, the table light shine and the moon glowing will spark a child's imagination and comfort them to dream on end. The book has short, easy to read sentences as well. For example, "Here is the key to the house. In the house burns a light." Susan is an award-winning poet. Her work ignites a journey beginning with a small story inside the house and then flying on a bird all around the town, of course with a well-lit starry sky.
- Reading level: Ages 4-8
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children; 1 edition (May 5, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618862447
- ISBN-13: 978-0618862443
BiographySUSAN MARIE SWANSON is the author of Getting Used to the Dark: 26 Night Poems and the picture book Letter to the Lake, both illustrated by Peter Catalanotto. As a visiting poet in schools, she reads and writes poetry with children. Her reviews and essays about children's literature regularly appear in Riverbank Review, for which she is a contributing editor. Ms. Swanson lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
*Starred Review* A young girl is given a golden key to a house. “In the house / burns a light. / In that light / rests a bed. On that bed / waits a book.” And so continues this simple text, which describes sometimes fantastical pleasures as a bird from the book spirits the child through the starry sky to a wise-faced moon. The cumulative tale is a familiar picture-book conceit; the difference in success comes from the artwork. Here, the art is spectacular. Executed in scratchboard decorated in droplets of gold, Krommes’ illustrations expand on Swanson’s reassuring story (inspired by a nursery rhyme that begins, “This is the key of the kingdom”) to create a world as cozy inside the house as it is majestic outside. The two-page spread depicting rolling meadows beyond the home, dotted with trees, houses, barns, and road meeting the inky sky, is mesmerizing. The use of gold is especially effective, coloring the stars and a knowing moon, all surrounded with black-and-white halos. A beautiful piece of bookmaking that will delight both parents and children. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Ilene Cooper.
I was amazed by the gorgeous illustrations! 5*
The House in the Night
“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis