Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon

This one is considered a classic. First published in 1947, it is a short bedtime story board book that has clearly stood the test of time. Written with words that invoke a gentle tone, the reader rhymes while wishing the room and world outside goodnight.

Confession: I wasn’t familiar with this book from my own childhood, and had little interest in it when I started Kiddo’s book collection. In fact, I was so disinterested in it, I let Kiddo keep it in her crib with her, rather than keeping it in our bedtime story basket. When she finally requested it for her bedtime story one night, though, I gave in.

In college, my focus within my Creative Writing studies was poetry. Because of this, I feel comfortable with many different types of poetry, and I find myself relishing the opportunity to share that with Kiddo as we read children’s books together. That said, it took me a few reads to find the correct rhythm for this book and really grow to appreciate it. I love the language used; the sounds are soft and perfect for bedtime.

The illustrations are a bit bland for my tastes, though. And while I appreciate the thought that went into crafting this story specifically for bedtime, some of it seems a little stretched and odd. The bowl full of mush? Goodnight nobody? C’mon.

*7/6/14, EDIT regarding the illustrations: So initially I did not like the illustrations. The colors weren’t very soothing in my opinion, and they just seemed very flat. But clearly I’m the one who was a bit dull, because now that I have memorized this story, I’ve started “reading” it with the lamp turned off. And with just the last bit of sunlight peeking through Kiddo’s blinds, I see the genius: The pictures are mostly red and green, which translates perfectly into black/white/grey with the light out. This makes perfect sense since a few of the illustrations actually are colored as black and white. I’m not going to increase my original rating, but I do like the book a bit more now. Maybe like half a bee; a little bee butt for genius illustrations.

We’re going to read this one five times before I will even consider sleeping. Something about the way my mom’s voice sounds when she’s reading it…if only it were a little bit longer, I might fall asleep before she even finished. But it’s not, so again, please. Again.


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