I’m a little ashamed to say this, but we didn’t have a copy of Goodnight Moon on our shelves until I bought a copy for Rowan this week. First published in 1947, I’m actually not sure whether this title was very prominent in Australia when I was growing up. It isn’t one I remember from my childhood, or even from my early bookselling days. Don’t know if I was under a rock – maybe other Aussies can shed some light…
I’m confident the same couldn’t be said of US readers, as the book seems to be have been a hugely popular classic there. It is of course very popular here now too. Numerous ‘celebrity mom’ citings of Goodnight Moon verge on the off-putting (especially if you have a perverse streak like me). Anyone from Hilary Clinton to Tori Spelling seems keen to mention Goodnight Moon. Even ‘our’ Cate and Naomi are fans.
At first reading, the text of Goodnight Moon may almost seem a little glib. But you soon realise its charm. The rhyming, lilting text is mesmerising and the repetition of the words and illustrations is just so comforting. It is the quintessential bedtime story.
The book got a resounding nod of approval from Rowan. He is going through a stage at the moment when he often resists new books, especially at bedtime when he refuses anything unfamiliar. But he picked up Goodnight Moon with some curiousity and happily listened to a first reading and then requested THREE further readings.
There’s a lovely post over on Collecting Children’s Books discussing the identity of the ‘quiet old lady’ who features in Goodnight Moon. Worth reading, especially if you remember the story from when you were young.