Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Clement Hurd
My rating: 3.5 of 5
A little bunny goes through his nighttime ritual, naming the objects he sees and saying “goodnight” to each individually. As he goes, he gets sleepier and sleepier, until just as he’s finishing his goodnights he’s drifting into slumber.
Whatever else you can say about Goodnight Moon (and yes, there’s a lot that can be said), it certainly can boast longevity–it’s been around since 1947. And yes, that age shows in the style and content of the pictures. This picture book is also addictive for little kids it seems; it was my brother’s favorite book when he was little, and he insisted on reading it every single night. And for really young kids, I think it is something of a nice bedtime ritual. The rhythms of naming items and saying “goodnight” to each of them–all in rhyme–has a certain comforting pattern to it, especially when it’s a daily consistent activity. So for it’s intended audience (babies and kids up to about 4, maybe), I’d have to give Goodnight Moon 5 stars. My 3.5 rating is a compromise between that and my personal opinion rating of approximately 2 stars. Because as an adult, this book holds very little appeal. It quickly gets repetitive, has no real story (see the summary above), and has a rather atrocious color scheme. So on the one hand, if you have small children they might really enjoy Goodnight Moon, but on the other hand, if they fall in love with it, I feel sorry for you. . . .