Book 16 - The House in the Night #100daysofbooks

Day 16. The House in the Night won the Cadlecott Medal in 2009 for the illustrations (the shiny gold award sticker on the front I must admit is why I picked it up), and I can see why. The moody black and grey pictures with simple yellow highlights create a restful atmosphere that I can see being perfect before bed. The images have a lithographic feel to me, which evokes a fairy tale vibe even though most of the settings are familiar and urban - it's a transformative kind of magic. Full marks. That's sorta where my admiration for it ends, though. The actual words, which are very sparse, are going for a very nice sentiment. But I find them awkward to read, and the text lacks some sort of cohesion and poetry that I've seen done better in many other books. As an adult reading the story, I feel as though there isn't really anything here for me beyond the beautiful pictures (and they're almost enough to make up for it).

This one came courtesy of a trip to the library to refresh our borrow pile, so we've a fresh crop to test out this coming week, and a few other recommendations that should arrive in the post any day now.

Master A's verdict: Spent a long time looking at the pictures. No obvious signs of enjoying the words. Might try again when he's older.


  • Title: The House in the Night
  • Author/Illustrator: Susan Swanson / Beth Krommes
  • Source: Borrowed from our local library
  • Publisher: HMH Books

What's on tomorrow? Another library pick.