Why I love Goodnight Moon
Thinking more about my own response to Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, and why I have this ambivalent memory about whether or not I felt that Holden sold out . . . or was able to reach out. I think now that it was reaching out, but I’m not sure how I felt then. Maybe I needed the book to see the possibility of reaching out, whether I was ready to or not.
Books provide a place to play, to explore potentially dangerous places in the safety of . . . wherever you are. I think about Goodnight Moon, and Margaret Wise Brown’s soft, rhythmic repetitive words and Clement Hurd’s gentle repetition of the Great Green Room where each scene is a little bit darker, but still warm and familiar. And where was I when Goodnight Moon was read? In my mother’s arms, in bed. Maybe a little scared of the dark, a little scared of being alone and of giving up the shiney new day . . . but the Goodnight Moon lets me rehearse that scary scenario in a safe, comfortable way.
My favorite story about children’s books is about Goodnight Moon, and my wife tells it. A mother told her about reading her eighteen month (or so) old the book. After she finished, the child took the book out of her hands, opened it to reveal the room, placed it on the floor and tried to step into the great, green room.
Filed under: General Thoughts, kidlit, Why do kids love it | 1 Comment
Tags: Clement Hurd, J D Salinger, kidlit, Margaret Wise Brown