Fans of Goodnight Moon might enjoy this previously unpublished book by Margaret Wise Brown
Picture book, fiction
Interest level: Pre-K
2 out of 5 stars
I really wish the publishing of unfinished manuscripts of deceased writers would stop. Dr. Seuss, Harper Lee, and now Margaret Wise Brown are all examples of authors whose previously unpublished works have been exploited for a profit.
Good Day, Good Night reads like a possible a first draft of the book that eventually became Good Night Moon. The main character is a young rabbit who is waking up and greeting the day. Maybe this is the follow-up to the young rabbit we put to bed the night before in Good Night Moon?
As the day gets going in the rabbit’s town, we encounter the first hints of the lilting rhyme that made Goodnight Moon such a wonderful text to read aloud.
Good day, trees
And birds in the skies
Good day, bees
Buzz out of your hives
Good day, kitty
There’s milk in your cup
Stretch, little cat
Try to wake up
After this we are told to “Go live your day!”
When you turn the page, it is suddenly dark and the bunny is now telling everyone goodnight. There is no transition from day to night, and the page turn marks an abrupt jump in the storyline. I turned back several times to make sure I didn’t miss something.
The text of this book does not read as smoothly as Goodnight Moon. There are rough passages that cause the reader to stumble over the awkward rhythm:
Good night, sky
And the daylight
Good night, flowers
Bugs, good night
It really felt impossible for me to review this book on its own merits, due to its obvious similarities with the treasured classic, Good Night Moon. I find it interesting that the publisher decided to use an illustrator whose style is nothing like the original illustrations of Clement Hurd. Loren Long’s acrylic paintings feature adorable animals with large eyes and there is a nostalgic sense to the scenes that fit well with the tone of the text. Long even incorporates a tribute to Hurd’s illustrations as the bunny heads to bed.
Overall, this book is very weak compared to the original Goodnight Moon. People will want to read this follow-up out of nostalgia. It could make a good read aloud for an adult with a young child. You would want to pause at certain areas and make connections to self. This could help with some of the awkward transitions in the story. I would have given the book one star, but I love Loren Long’s style and feel they are a good fit for the story.
Good Day, Good Night
by Margaret Wise Brown; pictures by Loren Long