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.
“Here is the key
to the house.”
“The house in the night,
a home full of light.”