Book Review: Goodnight Moon
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown: 3.5 stars
I’m pretty sure I’ll incite the wrath of folks everywhere with my rating, but hear me out. I appreciate the concept—saying good night to all the things in one’s room. Pretty cute, right? Sure. The book also rhymes—nice touch. Also, our copy is perfect for gnawing. Major bonus (until it gets all wet and sloppy). I also respect that it’s a classic, a book every little kid must own. That’s why I bought it. It’s cute. It’s sweet. All cool.
But here’s what I don’t get: Why the fascination? I mean, first of all, this kid—oh right, it’s a bunny—this bunny’s room is freakin’ gigantic. There’s a fireplace even (roaring fire included). He might as well have a swimming pool in there to bid good night. And that bed is way too large for a bunny. I’m just sayin’.
Plus, there are some pretty odd items hanging out in that room. Why the drying rack with mittens? Why the random red balloon? And what’s up with the old lady whispering hush? Who is that chick? She’s just hanging out in a rocking chair. At first I thought she was a parent, but upon closer inspection, she appears to be more grandmotherly. But why refer to her as an old lady? Ageists. And need I mention the creepiness factor there? I don’t even get the impression that the bunny was being loud; cut him some slack. And what the hell is a bowl of mush doing in there? If my kid learns that it’s acceptable to keep old bowls of cereal in his room, I am totally blaming this book.
I have to give the author major kudos, however, for her brilliance. My favorite page is the blank one that says (no joke) Goodnight nobody. Really? Really? If I wrote a children’s book sans illustration on one page, I’d be deemed amateur, I’m sure. I can only imagine the publishers’ raised eyebrows. Can we get away with a blank page? Oh, did they ever. Straight to the bank, baby. And therein lies the brilliance.