Monday, July 23, 2012

Goodnight Moon - By Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

Goodnight Moon is one of the best board books of the past two decades. Written and illustrated by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd, this book follows a little rabbit who is attempting to postpone his bedtime. Composed in poetic format, Goodnight Moon holds a child's interest while utilizing humorous concept, basic easy-to-learn words, and a simple rhyme scheme.

What happens in the poem?

Each page features something the young bunny will say Goodnight to. He begins with objects around his room, followed by the "quiet old lady whispering hush," and ending with the moon -- all alone and gleaming on a page of its own.

Goodnight Moon is a board book that all parents have heard of, but they won't understand the magic of the tale until they read the book for themselves. There's something in the poem that children could relate to -- such as being exhausted but refusing to go to bed. The soothing words and odd rhyming patterns allow children to relax through the story, enough to go to sleep. Parents are guaranteed to be greeted with a yawn or two when the poem ends, as this book is magical when it comes to evoking feelings of calm and comfort. It repeats and relaxes in much the same way a meditation mantra would, except it's designed for sleep-evading toddlers.

The illustrations in Goodnight Moon are intricate with little details for children to delight in -- such as the pictures on the walls inside the rabbit's room or the dollhouse with the lights on. Each image is an integral part of the tale because it gives children something to focus on, offering them a pictoral grasp on the story as it's being read. From there, their imaginations take hold and it's not unusual for those aforementioned children to have a "Goodnight" ritual after reading the poem.

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