Name of Book: The House in the Night
Author: Susan Marie Swanson
Illustrator: Beth Krommes
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Audience: Ages 4 and up
Summary: This is a beautiful goodnight book that uses rhythmic naming of nighttime things to bring comfort and order to a child’s world. “Here is the key to the house… In the house burns a light… In that light rests a book…” The book takes the reader from a comforting bedroom all the way out to the light of the sun and back again using nursery rhyme type language and incredible black, white, and gold illustrations.
Literary Elements at Work in the Story: Rhythmic language and repetition make this book a delight to younger readers. Though the words are simple, the pictures take the reader on a fantastic journey invoking imagination and excitement. Nighttime can be a frightening chaotic place, but this book gives everything order and warmth, reassuring a child that things are just as they should be.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story? This book remains unaffected by all these factors.
Theological Conversation: While being so imaginative, children also desire order in the world around them. The created world is one of wonder and beauty and surprises, and as people of faith we claim that all these things are part of God’s desire for the world. The House in the Night provides a great way for children to experience this. God has set the sun in the sky, given the bird its song, and placed warmth in your very own home, in your very own room. God is in all these places.
Faith Talk Questions:
1. What things bring you comfort at home, at night, etc?
2. If it’s an object like a stuffed animal or nightlight, who gave that to you? Someone who loves you…
3. What kinds of things do you see in the world around you that remind you of God?
Review prepared by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Megan Argabrite
The House in the Night by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.