Goodnight Moon

:"This article is about the children's book, Goodnight Moon. For the Shivaree song, see Goodnight Moon (song). For the Rookie of the Year album, see The Goodnight Moon."

Infobox Book
name = Goodnight Moon

image_caption =
author = Margaret Wise Brown
illustrator = Clement Hurd
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = Children's literature
publisher = Harper
pub_date = 1947
media_type = Print
pages = 32
isbn = 0064430170
oclc = 299277
preceded_by =
followed_by = My World

"Goodnight Moon" is a children's book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. It was first published in 1947, and is a highly acclaimed example of a bedtime story. The content depicts the process of a little one saying goodnight to everything around: "Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. Goodnight light, and the red balloon..."

Plot summary

"Goodnight Moon" is classic children's literature in the United States. The text is a poem, written in simple feminine rhyme, describing a bunny's bedtime ritual of saying "goodnight" to various objects in the bunny's bedroom: the telephone, the bunny's toyhouse, etc. The narrative's rhythm, and method of visiting each bedroom object in turn, make for a very calming bedtime read.

One delightful aspect of this book is the wealth of detail in the illustrations. Although the entire story takes place in a single room, the careful reader or child will notice numerous details from page to page, including:
* the hands on the two clocks progress from 7 PM to 8:10 PM.
* the young mouse and kittens wander around the room.
* the red balloon hanging over the bed disappears in several of the color plates, then reappears at the end.
* the room lighting grows progressively darker.
* the moon rises in the left-hand window.
* the socks disappear from the drying rack.
* the open book in the bookshelf is "The Runaway Bunny".
* the book on the nightstand is "Goodnight Moon".
* in the painting of the cow jumping over the moon, the mailbox in the right-hand side of the painting occasionally disappears.
* in the painting of the three bears, the painting hanging in the bears' room is a painting of a cow jumping over the moon.
* the painting of the fly-fishing bunny, which appears only in two color plates, appears to be black and white (or otherwise devoid of color).
* the number of books in the bookshelf changes.

Literary significance and reception

"Goodnight Moon" slowly became a bestseller. Annual sales grew from about 1,500 copies in 1953 to 20,000 in 1970; and by 1990, the total number of copies sold was more than 4 million. [cite news |title=The Writer's Almanac for the week of May 21, 2007 |url=http://writersalmanac.puble=2007-10-08 ]

Brown bequeathed the royalties to the book to (among many others) Albert Clarke, the son of a neighbor who was nine years old when she died. In 2000, reporter Joshua Prager detailed in the "Wall Street Journal" the troubled life of Mr. Clarke who has squandered the millions of dollars the book has earned him and who believes that Brown was his mother, a claim others dismiss. [cite news |first=Joshua |last=Prager |authorlink=Joshua Prager (writer) |title=Runaway Money |url= |work=Wall Street Journal |page=A1 |date=2000-09-08 |accessdate=2007-03-26 ]

In 2005, publisher HarperCollins digitally altered the photograph of illustrator Hurd, which had been on the book for at least twenty years, to remove a cigarette. [cite news |title=Pictures that lie
url= |publisher=CNET News |date=2006-09-11 |accessdate=2006-08-15
] Kate Jackson, editor in chief for children's books, said "It is potentially a harmful message to very young kids." HarperCollins had the reluctant permission of Hurd's son, Thacher Hurd, but the younger Hurd said the photo of Hurd with his arm and fingers extended, holding nothing, "looks slightly absurd to me." [cite news |first=Edward |last=Wyatt |title='Goodnight Moon,' Smokeless Version |url= |work=New York Times |pages= |page= |date=2005-11-17 |accessdate=2005-11-23 ] HarperCollins has said it will likely replace the picture with a different, unaltered photo of Hurd in future editions. In response, a satirical article demanded the removal of other potentially dangerous objects in the book, such as the fireplace and balloon (a choke hazard for young children). [cite news |first=Karen |last=Karbo |title=Goodbye, Moon |url= |work=New York Times |pages= |page= |date=2005-12-04 |accessdate=2006-12-06 ]

The book is also available in French, Spanish, Hebrew, Swedish and Hmong translations.

Allusions and references

Allusions to other works

"Goodnight Moon" contains a number of references to "The Runaway Bunny". For example, the painting hanging over the fireplace of "The Cow Jumping Over the Moon" first appeared in "The Runaway Bunny". However, when reprinted in "Goodnight Moon", the udder "for caution's sake was reduced to an anatomical blur" to avoid the controversy that E.B. White's "Stuart Little" had undergone when published in 1945 ("Making of Goodnight Moon", 21). The other painting in the room, which is never explicitly mentioned in the text, portrays a bunny fly-fishing for another bunny, using a carrot as bait. This picture is also a reference to "The Runaway Bunny". The top shelf of the bookshelf holds an open copy of "The Runaway Bunny", and there is a copy of "Goodnight Moon" on the nightstand.

The telephone is mentioned early in the book, but is absent from the litany of 'Goodnight ...' salutations.

Allusions in other works

The Berkeley Breathed book "Goodnight Opus", itself an homage to "Goodnight Moon", starts off with the main character, Opus the Penguin being read "Goodnight Moon" by a maternal nanny figure while he sits in bed in his pink pajamas. After the nanny falls asleep while reading, Opus goes on his own journey to say goodnight to all sorts of fanciful beings and animals.

The book "Goodnight Bush" by Erich Origen and Gan Golan is a parody inspired by President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush's affinity for the book as a childhood favorite.

In the TV series "Family Guy", the third season episode "Screwed the Pooch" revealed that Stewie Griffin's favourite bedtime story is "Goodnight Moon".

In the HBO crime drama "The Wire" (episode "Took"), detective Shakima Greggs and her ex-lover's son Elijah say "goodnight moon" and proceed to bid good-night to the denizens of the Baltimore ghetto in a direct parody of the original.

The Warner Bros. animated television series "Animaniacs" featured a segment called "Nighty-Night Toon" that parodied the book.

In a Simpsons episode entitled "Insane Clown Poppy," Marge and Maggie come across Christopher Walken (as voiced by Jay Mohr) reading "Goodnight Moon" to some children. The children are terrified and carefully back away to which Walken responds, "Please, children, scootch closer. Don't make me tell you again about thescootching."

In Sesame Street episode 4137, Oscar the Grouch closes the show by reading a bedtime story to Slimey entitled, "Scram Moon."

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

In 1999, HBO released "Good Night Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales", a set of animations mixed with vignettes of children talking about sleeping and dreaming. Goodnight Moon is the first story and is revisited again at the end of the 30 minute special. [imdb title|0239438|Good Night Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales] A one hour children's musical was recently adapted by Chad Henry and premiered in Seattle, Washington followed by a run at the North Shore Music Theatre. It is targeted towards very young children and includes many of the objects from the story such as the bears in chairs and the cow jumping over the moon coming to life.

Publication history

In addition to multiple octavo and duodecimo paperback editions, "Goodnight Moon" is available in board book edition, a book whose pages are actually stiff cardboard to make it suitable to give to a very young child, as well as a "jumbo" edition, suitable for use with large groups.

*1991, USA, HarperFestival ISBN 0694003611, Pub date 30 September 1991, board book
*1997, USA, HarperCollins ISBN 0060275049, Pub date 28 February 1997, Hardback 50th anniversary edition
*2007, USA, HarperCollins ISBN 0694003611, Pub date 23 January 2007, Board book 60th anniversary edition


*Marcus, Leonard S. "Making of Goodnight Moon". New York: HarperTrophy, 1997.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Goodnight Moon (song) — Infobox Single Name = Goodnight Moon Caption = Artist = Shivaree from Album = I Oughtta Give You... A side = B side = Released = 1999 Format = Recorded = Genre = Alternative Length = 4:04 Label = Writer = Ambrosia Parsley Duke McVinnie Producer …   Wikipedia

  • The Goodnight Moon — This article is about the the Rookie of the Year album, The Goodnight Moon. For the children s book, see Goodnight Moon. For the Shivaree song, see Goodnight Moon (song).Infobox Album Name = The Goodnight Moon Type = Album Artist = Rookie of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Goodnight Bush — Goodnight Bush: A Parody (ISBN 031604041X) is a book by Gan Golan and Erich Origen, former employees of Donald Rumsfeld who met while working at a dot com.cite web|url= for bush… …   Wikipedia

  • Goodnight Opus — Infobox Book name = Goodnight Opus title orig = translator = image caption = author = Berkeley Breathed illustrator = Berkeley Breathed cover artist = Berkeley Breathed country = USA language = English series = Bloom County subject = genre =… …   Wikipedia

  • Moon in art and literature — The Moon has been the subject of many works of art and literature and the inspiration for countless others. It is a motif in the visual arts, the performing arts, poetry, prose and music.Art and popular cultureLiterary*In the Great Moon Hoax of… …   Wikipedia

  • Moon in fiction — This article is about the Moon as the subject of and inspiration for creative works. For the Moon in mythology and religion, see Moon (mythology). The moon on the coat of arms of Grabow, Germany. The Moon has been the subject of many works of art …   Wikipedia

  • Goodnight, Irene — or Irene, Goodnight, is a 20th century American folk standard. The lyrics tell how the singer lost his love through rambling and gambling . He contemplates suicide in the famous line Sometimes I take a great notion to jump in the river and drown …   Wikipedia

  • Moon Mullican — Birth name Aubrey Wilson Mullican Born March 29, 1909(1909 03 29) Polk County, Texas, United States Died January 1, 1967(1967 01 01) (aged 57) Beaumont, Texas …   Wikipedia

  • Goodnight, Seattle — Infobox Television episode Title = Goodnight, Seattle Series = Frasier Season = 11 Episode = 23 24 Airdate = 13th May 2004 Production = Writer = Christopher Lloyd Joe Keenan Director = David Lee Guests = Jennifer Beals (Dr Anne Ranberg) Anthony… …   Wikipedia

  • Charles Goodnight — Charles Goodnight, also known as Charlie Goodnight (March 5, 1836 – December 12, 1929), was a cattle rancher in the American West, perhaps the best known rancher in Texas. He is sometimes known as the father of the Texas Panhandle. Essayist and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.