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Children's Book Review:

Goodnight Moon

Children's Book Review: Goodnight Moon
Children's Book

By Margaret Wise Brown

Publisher: Harper Collins

Our Recommended Age: Ages 2-6

Our Rating: A+

about our reviews:
All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent and impartial. Our children's book reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers find engaging books for their kids. Evaluations and ratings are based on educational and entertainment value, age appropriate content, and innovativeness.


Top Pick Goodnight Moon, the classic children’s book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, will never go out of style. Available in hard cover, paperback, and board book editions, this is the ideal first book for a young child. First published in 1947, Goodnight Moon still tops the best book lists for young children and is a classic for many reasons.

I did not come to this particular book as a child. My first experience with the story came only recently when my own child received it as a first gift. The beauty of this book is the marriage of language and illustration; both make use of repetition to lull the child into quietude and eventually sleep. Having read this book near a hundred times, I am amazed that I have not grown tired of the repetitive goodnights and neither has my own son.

Essentially all the illustrations show the same colorful room filled with recognizable items like pictures on the wall, clocks, a toy house, kittens, mittens, etc…As the reading commences, the colorful pages are punctuated with simpler black and white illustrations that single out a detail of the room like a picture or a bowl of mush. The book completely revolves around this young rabbit’s room and somehow readers never grow tired of visiting.

The text begins by pointing out some of the more noticeable objects in the bunny’s room like a red balloon and a telephone. Then the pictures on the wall are pointed out. One is a picture of the cow jumping over a crescent moon. The other shows the three bears sitting on their chairs. The next page shows a double spread of the colorful room. Readers can linger here for a long while. Parents have so many options for discussion on these two pages not to mention all the others. For instance, parents can talk about color—the color of the walls, of the night sky, of the rabbit’s bed, of the mittens, etc…

Soon after we meet little bunny’s mama who is knitting in a chair. Kittens play at her feet while the restless little bunny in bed changes position and tries to get comfortable for the long night ahead. And so begin the repetitive goodnights—“goodnight moon, “goodnight brush,” “goodnight kittens,” “goodnight mittens” and so forth. The book has so much subtlety that some details may not be noticed until subsequent readings. For example, the position of the moon changes in the window as the evening progresses. Also, readers familiar with Margaret Wise Brown will notice a picture on the wall from another of her books titled The Runaway Bunny.

The lighting of the room also changes as the story progresses. It diminishes as the mama bunny quiets her baby’s room down. It’s simply a beautiful book that is far more complex than is readily apparent during an initial reading. It is well deserving of the label classic. It is an absolute must for every child’s library.
By J. A. Young


Deceptively simple, Goodnight Moon is a sophisticated classic of young children's literature. It is the ideal first book for any child, and the perfect bedtime story.

Our Rating:


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Reviewed: April 2009

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