Monday Miles: A Review of “Goodnight Moon”

Happy Monday, Constant Reader!  Thank you so much for supporting my mom’s hobby…it gives her something to do besides ask me yet again if I know what sound a cow makes (of course I know, but what fun is it to respond right away?)  My mom is one of those who wants her children to always feel free to express themselves, even if it means wearing a plaid fishing hat for two years straight and walking around on all fours (ask her about it) so she has given me my own little corner here on Hysterically Ever After.  Every Monday (or sporadic Mondays, you know how moms can be…) I’ll be the featured writer.  Settle down, folks…the fun is just beginning.

My mom is an avid reader.  Well, she was an avid reader, before the best thing ever in the history of all time and space (me, duh) came into the picture.  Now, she binge reads until the wee hours of 10:30pm, then complains about how tired she is the next day.  She wants me to share this love of reading, which I appreciate.

She’s been reading to me since I was in the womb.  Now that I’m on the outside, I get to see what all the fuss is about.  Since she can no longer read Stephen King novels to me, the first book she chose to read aloud to me was “Dr. Seuss’s ABCs.”  There are 26 letters in the alphabet, which the good Doctor manages to squeeze into 60 pages, including illustrations.  We usually made it to page 23; there’s something about the letter H and that “hen in a hat” that struck me as delicious.

"H" is for DELICIOUS.

“H” is for DELICIOUS.

For the past couple months, we’ve moved on to more advanced reading.  Her current favorite is “Goodnight Moon.”  Because I have to hear this story 7+ times a week, I thought I’d give a review.  Enjoy.

Goodnight Moon: A Review

“In the great green room there was a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of…”

Great opener.  I am intrigued by the balloon in the nursery, and concerned with the lack of balloons in my own room.  I’m not sure why baby bunny needs a telephone, but I’m also not sure why baby bunny is wearing pajamas, so who am I to question the bunny’s lifestyle?  The scene has been set – it’s cozy, inviting, and making me a little drowsy.  That’s my mom’s favorite part.

Seriously, where's my balloon?

Seriously, where’s my balloon?

The story continues with a summation of room decor: picture of cow jumping over the moon, picture of three bears sitting on chairs.  Kittens, mittens, toy house and…a young mouse.  Obviously pest control is not the primary concern of the homeowner, but again, it’s a bunny, so for all I know the mouse could be a cousin.

Our plot takes a frightening twist as we continue surveying the room: a comb and a brush (okay, baby bunny is furry) and a bowl full of mush?!  That sounds disgusting.  Also, I’m not allowed to eat in my room, so why does baby bunny have a bowl of mush on his nightstand?  What’s in the mush?  Is it left over from dinner?  Or is it breakfast mush?

Also in the room: a quiet old lady who was whispering “hush.”  Now I’m getting a little creeped out.  Who is this old lady bunny?  Why is she sitting the room knitting, telling someone (or something) to hush?  The author quickly moves along, ignoring these nagging questions.

Goodnight room.  Goodnight moon.  Goodnight cow jumping over the moon.  Goodnight light and the red balloon.  Goodnight bears.  Goodnight chairs.  Goodnight kittens and goodnight mittens.  Goodnight clocks and goodnight socks.  Goodnight little house and goodnight mouse.  Goodnight comb and goodnight brush.

We seem to be winding down, right?  Telling every animal, painting, sock and mitten “goodnight,” slowly forgetting the purpose of the bowl of mush, or the intent of the quiet knitting old bunny.  And then…

GOODNIGHT NOBODY.  What does that mean?  Is it foreshadowing for a greater event?

"But if it's not even there, is it really there, man?" Note: I am too lazy to rotate the image.

“But if it’s not even there, is it really THERE, man?”
Note: I am too lazy to rotate the image.

Again, the author quickly moves on, ignoring yet again this important question.

Goodnight mush.  And goodnight to the old lady whispering “hush.”  Goodnight stars.  Goodnight air.  Goodnight noises everywhere.

A few items of note; there are several pieces of artwork featured in the story (cow, bears) but the author never acknowledges the painting above the bookcase.  The one with the bunny who appears to be flyfishing in a river, with a carrot, to catch a baby bunny.

"Here, bunny bunny bunny..."

“Here, bunny bunny bunny…”

The bear painting features the cow painting.  It’s a painting within a painting.  Have the bears been to baby bunny’s room before?  And why are they just sitting around in those chairs, expressionless and without pots of honey?  These bears are not to be trusted.

Ominous bears in chairs.

Ominous bears in chairs.
Note: I actually tried to rotate this one.

Baby bunny has a telephone on the nightstand to call for help…to be rescued from the crazy old knitting bunny, or the bears who are probably watching him right now, or the big bunny who is fishing for baby bunnies.  But is it too late?  The blank “nobody” page seems to elude that time has run short; no one is on the way to save baby bunny from eating the mush.  The story ends abruptly, with no resolution to baby bunny’s fate.  I’d like to think the story was a dream, and he will awaken from his baby bunny slumber to a nice warm bowl of carrot mush.

Overall, the simple tale is one of repetitive, dream inducing sleep words.  My mom loves sleep words.

I have two final comments to make; first, the story needs more Oxford commas.  And second, my mom would never say, “goodnight noises”, as this implies you are letting the noises be.  My mom has skills, a very special set of nap and bedtime inducing skills.  She would find the noise; she would hunt it down, and then eliminate it.  Sometimes that means telling my dad to roll over and stop snoring.  Sometimes it means telling the cat to get off the china hutch and where did you find that Christmas ornament?!  Most of the time, it means kicking the dog out at 3am because she won’t stop pacing circles around the dining room table.

I give “Goodnight Moon” four out of five stars.  It’s good sleepytime material, if you ignore the illustrations.

See you in seven days,

Miles

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