Kids books. It blows my mind what people will publish, and it’s even more confusing what becomes popular. In this weekly segment, we will randomly review a book Baby 1.0 picks off her bookshelf.
This week we will be taking a closer look at the old classic “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Clement Hurd.
Let’s start with the fact that this book was first published in 1947. 1947! World War II had virtually just ended. People smoked and drank with abandon. The only Spam you ever got from your Grandma was in the form of Sunday dinner. Yet 67 years later, this book is still so popular that we got multiple copies of it when Baby 1.0 was born.
Upon first glance, one may just assume this book is a hodgepodge of random, semi-rhyming prose, with a bland color scheme and an unimaginative story line. And upon digging a little deeper, you will discover it is indeed just that, but in a strangely endearing way that kids apparently really like. Or at least that my kid really likes, as per her request, we read this book several times in a row, many days out of the week.
Some highlights. The book pays homage to many other children’s classics, with pictures on the wall of The Cow Jumping Over The Moon, and The Three Bears. There is also a picture of a bunny fly-fishing for another bunny with a carrot, which I found rather disturbing at face value until I realized it’s just a reference to another book by the same author, The Runaway Bunny. Actually it’s still kind of disturbing, but alas, I digress. The book is simple, and doesn’t have a bunch of flowery non-sense language, which I really like, because you can read it when you are half asleep, and it doesn’t feel like you are trying to solve the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle.
But the book brings up a lot of questions. Like, who is the quiet old lady and why is she letting the kittens wrestle if the baby bunny is supposed to go to bed? Kittens are loud! She better be saying “hush” to them, or better yet, just kick them out of the room. And take that string away before they swallow it and need surgery, unless you have $3000 extra dollars laying around for emergency veterinary care. Also, what is a bowl full of mush doing on the bedside table? If that sits there overnight, you might as well throw the bowl away because you are NEVER going to get that mush out of there. Even more importantly, why would you say goodnight to nobody? Now you are in my head, and I’m wondering “Oh crap, is someone here? Did I lock the door? Did I lock the other door? I should get up and check. But then I’ll get cold. But if I don’t check, I will lay here all night and worry.”
All in all, for how much we read the book, I actually like it quite a bit. I was glad when she picked this one for our first Random Review, and I’d happily pass it along to another family someday so they too can wonder what the bunny parents were thinking when the selected a room with a fireplace for their nursery. I give it a 3.62/5.
Cover photo: en.wikipedia.org
Goodnight Moon age 1: juneberry-lane.blogspot.com
Goodnight Moon page 2: exampleschildrensbooks.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/nobody1.jpg
I finally bought this book this morning. Funny, I get an email about your blog post reviewing this book this evening! Anywho, so we read it together and my child enjoyed it! I look forward to further reviews, it will help populate my toddler’s library.
Did you see the bunny fishing for the other bunny? I don’t know why I find that so bothersome. Not so different than me bribing my toddler to follow me with a shake of her snack container I suppose… Glad you enjoyed it!
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Yup, I saw the rabbit fishing for rabbit picture, strange! Perhaps I should get the book to understand it.