Not many children’s books are aimed at getting a sleepy youngster into bed for a good night’s sleep, but Margaret Wise Brown’s book Goodnight Moon is. Ideal for children ages 4-8, Goodnight Moon tells the story of a young rabbit who says goodnight to just about every object he can as he tries to stay awake as long as he can. But saying goodnight to everything eventually puts him to sleep.
The illustrations by Clement Hurd echo the nighttime sentiment, using bright colors inside the rabbit’s room and slowly fading into darker shades as he slips into dreamland and the story ends. The detail makes for a wonderful nighttime activity as children point out all the little objects in the room that the rabbit says goodnight to and how certain illustrations relate to various things children are familiar with. Over the fireplace is a picture of a cow jumping over the moon and above the little rabbit’s bed is a picture of three bears. There are also recurring elements almost like a Where’s Waldo theme as a tiny white mouse pops up in the book rather often but can be quite sneaky and difficult to find.
The text in Goodnight Moon can be easy for children to read. Depending upon the child’s age, parents can buy the board book, hardcover, or paperback editions. No matter which one is chosen, all use the easy, rhyming words from Margaret Wise Brown such as kittens and mittens, brush and hush, room and moon. The book grows quieter and with fewer things to say goodnight to, both rabbit and child will fall asleep.