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: 32
Genre: Classic Children’s
Reason Read: Reading to my newborn
Rating: 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?