Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown

Source: Sterling Children’s Books
Hardcover, 28 pages
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Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown is beautifully illustrated by 12 award-winning artists and has a great CD of songs to accompany it.  My daughter loves listening to the songs nightly these days — replacing the other goodnight songs, which were mostly nature sounds or easy-listening Eagles and Eric Clapton.  We’ve only ever read 2 other books by Brown, Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.  She’s loved that one, and the calm way I read it, but the verse in this collection does not seem as polished, which could be attributed to the fact that these lullabies were found in a chest of unpublished manuscripts.  However, what rings true is that these songs resemble those that children often sing to themselves when they are playing or picking up their things — spur-of-the-moment made-up lyrics — as said in the book’s introduction.

From The Mouse's Prayer (page 25)

Close my eyes and go to sleep.
Bugs no more on grass blades creep.
Bugs no more and birds no more,
In the woods will come no more

Dream of a weed growing from a seed,
Quietly, quietly from a seed.
In a garden
A slim green weed,
Quietly, quietly from a seed.

Each of these songs is repetitive in nature, like the songs children sing, and they are catchy when set to music.  My daughter is already singing them as she goes to sleep and takes her naps.  She’s engaged with the vivid drawings, which are fanciful and other worldly.  Goodnight Songsby Margaret Wise Brown is gorgeous, playful, and calming in words, illustration, and song — a delightful addition to anyone’s collection.

About the Author:

Margaret Wise Brown wrote hundreds of books and stories during her life, but she is best known for Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny. Even though she died over 45 years ago, her books still sell very well. Margaret loved animals. Most of her books have animals as characters in the story. She liked to write books that had a rhythm to them. Sometimes she would put a hard word into the story or poem. She thought this made children think harder when they are reading. She wrote all the time. There are many scraps of paper where she quickly wrote down a story idea or a poem. She said she dreamed stories and then had to write them down in the morning before she forgot them. She tried to write the way children wanted to hear a story, which often isn’t the same way an adult would tell a story. She also taught illustrators to draw the way a child saw things.


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  2. Sounds like a winner for Wiggles!

  3. Beth Hoffman says

    Oh my gosh, the cover art is adorable!

  4. It sounds like these are a hit with the target audience.

    • I think this is great for kids. I think parents will tend to compare the books, but I don’t think kids read that way. I think they just know what they enjoy and repetition works for them at an early age…as well as songs.