The House In The Night

Written by Susan Marie Swanson + Illustrated by Beth Krommes, and winner of the 2009 Caldecott Medal

Here is the key to the house.

In the house burns a light.

This book is just plain stunning. No other words will describe it as well. The words are sparse and poetic, and the scratchboard patterns of the illustrations echo the rhythmic beat of those words.

And check this out, Krommes’ storyboard for the book:

 source.  {a great read on an illustrator’s creative process.}

Two different elements create contrast. In The House  in the Night, Krommes’ black and white engravings are punctuated only by the yellow light. Maintaining this throughout the book is unifying and beautiful, but also a really lovely use of contrast. The warmth of the house, of the bird, of the sun, of the little girls’ imagination glow even brighter due to contrast. Wouldn’t that warmth be dulled if it was competing with warm grays and other colors against the black and white?

The answer? YES!

Pretty is an understatement, right? Stunning.

PS: A HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout to my sister, Sallie! Where I got words and pictures, she got math and music. I love her. And Sallie…I got a guppy.