Book Review: Goodnight Moon

There are so many books out there that I want to read, that I typically don’t reread books unless they’re my absolute favorites. Of course, there are about 100 books that I consider my absolute favorites, and I add to that list weekly.

But in the last week, I’ve read a certain book at least 100 times. I can’t get enough. Meaning, my son Max can’t get enough. Every night before going to bed, Max wants to read Goodnight Moon several dozen times, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd.

I think I know why: the book sounds like going to sleep. I’m not sure how else to say it. By the time I read it, my voice gets quieter and quieter, without me realizing it.  I have no idea if Brown had this intention, but my belief is that GoodNight Moon was written as much for wiggly toddlers as for adults who are winding down for the night.

The “story” is simple. There is a room with several things in it, including:

  • A bowl of mush
  • three bears sitting in chairs
  • An old lady
  • A red balloon

And you go through and say goodnight to all of them. The pacing, the ordering of the words, and the tenderness of the artwork really have to be experienced to be appreciated. It captivates Max and it calms me down.

There are a lot of books out there that set out to create a mood and fail miserably, laughably, or both. I didn’t need to have a son to have an excuse for revisiting children’s favorites, but it does make sure that I do it.

Goodnight Moon does mood better than any book I can think of. And if you get the board book, you can chew on it and it will last a long time anyways.

Josh

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