Saturday, March 28, 2009

REVIEW: The House in the Night

Swanson, S.M. (2008). The House in the Night. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.


This gentle poem was inspired by the classic nursery rhymes collected by the Opies in the 1950s. And it has that old-school feel. So do the illustrations, which, while mainly black and white, also feature the intentional use of yellow. The text is warm, attempting to create a sense of home. But the illustrations do have a decidedly rural feel.

The objects and illustrations mentioned and shown in the text are interconnected and come full-circle, allowing new readers to begin to develop meaning and connections. Plus the rhythm of the lines will appeal to young readers. It has a similar feel to Wood’s The Napping House (1984).

This is the 2009 Caldecott winner.

Activities to do with the book:

Students could write their own poems or create their own illustrations in response to the book. This is a great book to have new readers follow along with using their finger or to read aloud for the first time.

Children could also be asked tentatively why certain objects and creatures are yellow or how all of the pages are interconnected.

This would be a good bedtime read.

Favorite Quotes:

“Here is the key
to the house.”

“The house in the night,
a home full of light.”



  1. Hey, I just discovered your blog and really like it. I also have a friend who was published in Coach's Midnight Diner--Suzan Robertson.

    I'm wondering if you'd be interested in joining a children's blog tour group I run.

    you can check it out at


    sorry for posting this here--I didn't see a contact address.

  2. I tried sending you a reply through But just in case that doesn't reach you, my email is




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