Review: Goodnight Moon

Book Title: Goodnight Moon
Author: Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Clement Hurd
Original Publication Date: 1947
Edition Read:
Harper Festival division of Harper Collins Publishing, 1997 Board Book – 60th Anniversary
Total Pages:
Classic Children’s
Reason Read:
Reading to my newborn
5 out of 5 Stars

I appreciate Pixar films for entertaining on two levels – one for the kiddies and one for the grown-ups stuck watching a cartoon flick. Because as an adult, when you watch a Pixar film, you do not feel stuck – you look for a kid to take to see the movie so you don’t feel silly going by yourself. I feel the same way about reading Goodnight Moon.

There are lots of terrific children’s books out there. And then there are others that are painful to make your way through, for the sake of your child. “Goodnight Moon” is not painful. I find myself telling my son, “Let’s read it again!” rather than waiting for him to request a repeat reading. Then again, he is only a few months old so he can’t exactly dictate our reading schedule. But I’m sure he enjoys looking at Mr. Hurd’s wonderful illustrations as I read Ms. Brown’s simple and soothing words.

Is everyone familiar with “Goodnight Moon’s” story? About a little bunny being tucked in to bed and going through a routine of saying goodnight to familiar things in the room? It is a book that most everyone has read or had read to them. It is a Classic because it has staying power in its universal appeal. It is probably one of the most purchased books for baby showers. I received a handful of copies myself.

But although the phrases from the book are well-known and quoted – most often the title itself – it is the illustrations that have stuck with me and made re-reads so desirable. Remember “Where’s Waldo” where you had to pick out the image of the Waldo character out of intricate and colorful illustrations? When you read “Goodnight Moon” you can play a similar game, on a more elementary level. Look for the little mouse on each page – he is always there somewhere. Watch those adorable kittens frolic in the room. See how the moon rises and the lamp dims. Watch the clock mark the time passing. And how the little bunny wiggles around in bed. The colors are so vibrant, contrasting strikingly with the black and white pages in-between. The decorative details in the room are very clever, with several allusions to Ms. Brown’s other beloved book – “The Runaway Bunny.”

I love this book for making me feel as warm and fuzzy as that little sleepy bunny. I know my little boy will grow to feel the same way. And maybe, just maybe, it will spur on many nights of lengthy slumber. Hey, a mother can always dream!

What is one of your sentimental favorites from childhood? Have you passed it along to the next generation?


About thebumbles

In addition to online Freelance Writing, Molly blogs about books on Quirky Girls Read and about everything else on The Bumbles Blog. Visit her often and let her know what you think! Unless you are a Yankee fan - then there might be a problem ;0)
This entry was posted in Classics, Fiction, Posts by Molly. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Review: Goodnight Moon

  1. Love this book, as well as several of the parodies like: Good Night Goon (Halloween) and Good Bush (President).

    • thebumbles says:

      Ah – Good Night Bush was awesome! I bought that for a very liberal friend of mine – needless to say, he thought it was an instant classic ;0)

  2. Kimberly says:

    Awwww, this gave me the warm and fuzzies. One of my favorites is Harold and the Purple Crayon. And The Night Before Christmas. I haven’t passed them onto the next generation yet, but I certainly will when/if the time comes!!

  3. jehara says:

    I remember reading this as a kid, but I don’t recall the story well. I wonder if my niece has a copy. I want to take a look at this again. I remember enjoying the Paddington Bear stories and Berenstein Bears. I loved almost anything that was a Golden Book.

  4. joyofbooking says:

    I love this book so much. The vivid colors stick out to me in a way that it seems few children’s books do. And I love that you reviewed it!

  5. My favorite is “Charlotte’s Web” and yes, it is being passed on to a new generation. My 4 year old God daughter loves it! AND she loves “Good Night Moon” too!

  6. Carol says:

    I remember this from when I was a kid, but my daughter it wasn’t one my daughter asked for over and over when she was little. We read it once in a while, but it certainly wasn’t a favorite.

  7. Amy says:

    Goodnight Moon is a wonderful book. One we should all have a copy of, children or no children. I agree that the illustrations are as memorable if not more than the words. I love the bright primary colors, too!
    When I got a little bit older I remember the Richard Scarry books…a little different but the same concept of putting a name to everything in the room…and on every page the little worm with the hat was somewhere!

    Do you have The Velveteen Rabbit?
    I also love Paddington Bear books, Clifford the Big Red Dog.

    Have fun, Molly :o)

  8. izzybella says:

    I LOVED this book. I read it over and over and over once I finally learned how to read. Besides this one I was a Curious George fanatic plus I loved the Berenstein Bears. Oh, and Babar the the Elephant!!!! LOVED!

  9. Kathleen says:

    This was one of my son’s favorite books when he was little. I love it to this day. I have such fond memories of reading it to him right before he would go to bed. It was quiet mommy and son reading time. This book is one I will never tire of reading. I look forward to reading it to my grandchildren one day.

  10. Louise says:

    My favourite books as a very young child were Dr Seuss and Put Me in the Zoo, and I loved passing them on to the next generation. Goodnight Moon is quite difficult to come by in Australia, and I only read that as an adult too- sadly, not an instant classic for me. I agree with the plug for The Velveteen Rabbit- although I only came to this as an adult too.

  11. ds says:

    You will need those multiple copies of Goodnight Moon; we liked The Runaway Bunny slightly better. As for passed along classics: Winnie the Pooh (which had been read to me), Stuart Little (as well as Charlotte), and Fox in Sox.

    Have fun finding classics of your own with Sam!!

  12. Margot says:

    The only books I remember from my early childhood are The Little Engine That Could and a big book of beautifully illustrated Mother Goose rhymes. For my own children it varied by child, but they all loved Richard Scary’s books – especially his big Mother Goose book. For Sammy, look for a little book that has all sorts of vehicles for each letter of the alphabet. I don’t remember the exact title but I still remember a lot of the vehicles like the zipper car. (Written and illustrated by Richard Scary.)

    For the grandchildren, which is easier for me to remember, they love Goodnight Moon but they also love the “pigeon” books. There’s a whole seres, but a bedtime it was always “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.” There are so many good books for young children that it’s hard to pick just a few. Sharing books with children is such a wonderful gift to them and to yourself as well.

  13. kaye says:

    love this book–a second generation favorite in this house.

  14. Michelle says:

    I adore this book. It remains my favorite one from when my kids were small. In fact, even though my youngest is now seven, I may still have the book memorized. I do find it soothing, and the kids love the pictures. It definitely spurs some wonderfuly memories and pangs of nostalgia for me to know that I won’t get to read it to my kids again. However, I did keep a copy for each of my kids in their memory boxes, so they both have a copy for when they have children.

  15. stacybuckeye says:

    I love If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. And The Hungry Caterpillar. The one I most like to read to Gage is Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear.

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