Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Children's Book: The House in the Night

"Here is the key to the house..." that will take you on a cumulative, soaring journey to sweet slumberland. The House in the Night, by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes, was structurally inspired by the traditional poem, "This is the key to the kingdom". Simple and quiet, the words whisper and allow the illustrations to tell the story. Intricately detailed and darkly glowing, the pictures show a story of a child's bedtime routine of coming home, reading a bedtime book which takes her, riding on a bird's back, on dreamy tour of the night scape and ultimately to sleep. The illustrations are done on scratchboard with golden watercolor accents and have the far-away simplicity yet up-close intricacy magic to them. I should also mention that it won the 2009 Caldecott Medal.

It is another book that has made it home from the library several times and will, therefore, become a member of our personal stacks someday soon. It is also a book that both my children and I enjoy equally, even if our fondness for the book originates from different sources.

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