Sunday, 16 September 2012

Goodnight Moon: I Just Don't Get It

She doesn't get it either.
Goodnight Moon is a classic, and I am certainly in no position to judge a book that has been loved for generations. I remember reading it as a kid, and now I read it to my daughter. It’s definitely a great book, but there are some things about it that I just don’t understand.

The quiet old lady whispering ‘hush’
Does anyone else find her a little bit creepy? Who is she? I assume she is the little bunny’s grandma so, okay, that explains what she’s doing there, but what is she doing all the way across the room, with that vacant look in her eyes, knitting with no fingers?! Like, I said, creepy.

The bowl full of mush
I’m guessing this is oatmeal, but why is the bunny eating oatmeal before bed, after he’s presumably already brushed his teeth? Although it is a bowl full of mush, so maybe he didn’t actually eat any, which makes me wonder why it's there. Did the creepy old bunny prepare it advance for the next morning? Because that’s just gross. And weird.

Goodnight nobody
Is he saying that there's really nobody there because he is just imagining the creepy old lady, the kittens, the bears and everything else? Or is it more like a philosophical “if a tree falls in a remote forest (or if it's dark in a green room and you can't see anybody), is there really anyone to say goodnight to?” Or is he saying goodnight to nobody because he’s being an oppositional toddler and he doesn’t actually want to say goodnight to all these freaking mittens and socks and bears and chairs?

The random assortment of crap in the room
Am I the only one who finds the contents of the room to be a little bizarre? Why are there two clocks? Why is there a “little” toy house that’s big enough for the creepy old bunny to fit in? What’s with the red balloon? And why oh why, is no one doing anything about the mouse infestation? Those are the most useless cats ever.

Is anyone else as confused by this book as I am?


35 comments:

  1. HAHAHA!!!! I have asked many of these very same questions myself! The old lady, in particular, really bothered me.

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  2. I used to love when my dad read me this book. When Hubs and I were book shopping for our girls, I HAD to have this one. Now every time I read it, I question what I'm reading.. The part that drives me crazy is goodnight moon, good night cow jumping over the moon. That doesn't rhyme! The same word doesn't count! lol

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    1. Yesss! That line drives me crazy too! And I always wonder which word you're supposed to emphasize. Like is it "Goodnight COW jumping over the moon" or "Goodnight cow jumping OVER the moon" etc. Thanks for reminding me about that one.

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  3. I'm confused too. Maybe this book is just popular because everyone buys it because they had it when they were little, which has caused generations and generations to purchase the book...than there's people like me, who never really read this book until a copy was given to my daughter.

    When it comes to classics, I much prefer Harold's Purple Crayon. Or anything by Dr. Seuss. He never, ever claimed to make sense. :)

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    1. LOL. Dr. Seuss is my favourite too. Seriously, what could be better than a "Fiffy Feffer Feff"?! :)

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  4. I thought I was the only one who didn't consider this book a classic! Thanks for letting me know that I'm not alone :)

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    1. Well, it may be a classic, but it classicly bizarre.

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  5. Ohmyword LOVE!! Hilarious! I heart Little Golden Books - THAT is classic, adorable, beautiful pictures, and they make sense!

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    1. Thanks! ...Yes, I'm a huge fan of books that makes sense. I don't think my 11 month old daughter cares though. All books look equally appetizing to her.

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  6. I think I remember this book, but it's been many years since our son was small. Now I need to check this out again because your comments about parts of the story do sound odd.

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    1. Yes, I definitely recommend re-reading it. You will see that it is, indeed, odd.

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  7. Sigh, a tradition in the same vein as fruitcake. One of the things that makes you go Hmmmm, as C&C music factory used to say sometime around 1990. It is a little bizzarro (and I too hate that all children's books tend to feature vermin), but I have to say, I like the rhythm of it, even if things don't rhyme. It calms me and the kids, and I think I would literally read them a humidifier manual if it would get them the $#%@ to sleep.

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    1. Humidifier manual- niiiice. I'll keep that in the back of my mind for when I'm bored of all the books we have. Does it have illustrations?

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  8. I'm going to need to read this book again lol. It's been a while but I do vaguely remember creepy old lady. If you focus too much on nursery rhyme books it'll scare the crap out you. I remember when I found out Ring around the Rosie was about the bubonic plague! Yikes!

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    1. Yes! I know! Ring around the rosie is officially the world's creepiest song, especially when it's sung really slowly in scary movies. I'm pretty sure I've seen that once or twice and it scared the crap out of me.

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  9. Goodnight Moon is not a book I read (or was read to) in my childhood but did consider it a must buy for my baby-to-be given all the hype that surrounds it. Your review has made me think twice... and laugh hysterically. I think I will stick with Dr. Seuss and Robert Munch books(my favorite)!

    Why are children's books and nursery rhymes so creepy and depressing? No wonder we all need therapy as adults!

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    1. LOL...Dr. Seuss is the best (and not at all therapy-inducing).

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  10. I absolutely hate that book. I hate it so much I skip several pages at a time when my daughter insists I read it. I agree that the "old lady" is just plain creepy. We've had many conversations in our house about how useless the cats are because they can't take care of that mice infestation. I hate that book! Have I mentioned that?

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    1. HAHAHAH! I'm glad to hear you say that. I thought I was walking on thin ice by daring to say anything negative about this book. I'm still waiting for the hate mail! ;)

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  11. Maybe the bunny is onto something? Maybe we should all be eating mush post-teeth brushing and then we could run really fast and our ears would be bigger...?? Mmmmh...I'm going to let you ponder this one and get back to me.

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    1. I dunno, Meredith. If I'm going to eat anything post-teeth brushing, you better believe it's going to chocolate and not "mush".

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  12. This is hilarious because it is so true. The first few times...make that every time I've read that book, I've thought, "this book is so freaking weird." You put my thoughts into words. Awesome!

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    1. Before reading these comments, I totally thought I was the only one who found this book so. so. weird.

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  13. I never read this one as a child but heard so much about it in all of my educational literacy classes in college. Someone gave it to my oldest when he was born so I read it to him. I didn't/don't see what all the fuss was about and only read it to him because it was the "cool thing to do." I agree completely, Dr. Suess is much better as are Eric Carle, Lois Elhert....

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    1. I would have loved to hear what the educational literacy classes had to say about this book.

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    2. I think you need to write a review on another "favorite", Love You Forever. ;-)

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  14. I'm so glad you wrote this. I don't get it either. I just assumed I was the only one. I don't think the pictures are all that great either. When I read it for the first time I was wondering what all of the excitement was about.

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    1. Yes, the pictures are kind of random. Just like the text.

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  15. I don't even know where to start with this book. Funny thing is as much as I dislike it I still read it to my daughter. Not sure why! I too am irked by "good night moon and good night to the cow jumping over the moon" NOT rhyming.
    Lots of weird things about Margaret Wise Brown as well as the boy (man) who became the heir of the book.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/roiphe/2012/03/the_restless_life_of_margaret_wise_brown_author_of_goodnight_moon_.html
    http://joshuaprager.com/wsj/articles/goodnightmoon/

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  16. I don't remember this book at all but your synopsis was hilarious! Now I'm going to look for it. Only trouble is I probably wouldn't be able to read it to my little kiddies without laughing.

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  17. I am always amazed at what's in children's books. Especially the books of our childhoods. And why are the creepiest books of all the ones the kids adore????

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  18. BWAWAHHH!!! I don't get it either and this is H favorite book! She loves it, I am not all that impressed!

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