name = Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown
language = English
publisher = Harper
pub_date = 1947
media_type = Print
pages = 32
isbn = 0064430170
oclc = 299277
followed_by = My World
"Goodnight Moon" is a children's book written by
Margaret Wise Brownand 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..."
"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=http://www.joshuaprager.com/wsj/articles/goodnightmoon/ |work=Wall Street Journal |page=A1 |date=2000-09-08 |accessdate=2007-03-26 ]
2005, publisher HarperCollinsdigitally 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=http://news.com.com/2300-1026_3-6033210-24.html?tag=ne.gall.pg |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=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/17/books/17moon.html |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=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/opinion/04karbo.html?ex=1291352400&en=7a28d82e45f39af8&ei=5088 |work=New York Times |pages= |page= |date=2005-12-04 |accessdate=2006-12-06 ]
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
Berkeley Breathedbook " Goodnight Opus", itself an homageto "Goodnight Moon", starts off with the main character, Opus the Penguinbeing 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. Bushand 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.
Warner Bros. animated television series" Animaniacs" featured a segment called "Nighty-Night Toon" that parodied the book.
Simpsonsepisode 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."
Sesame Streetepisode 4137, Oscar the Grouchcloses the show by reading a bedtime story to Slimeyentitled, "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 Henryand premiered in Seattle, Washingtonfollowed 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.
In addition to multiple octavo and duodecimo
paperbackeditions, "Goodnight Moon" is available in board bookedition, 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.
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