The title of this bedtime book (which borrows both theme and rhythms from Goodnight Moon) means “Goodnight Goat,” and the story is set in different parts of a peaceful, happy Haiti, unlike the country many know only from scenes of disaster on television.
Haitian Creole words are used within the rhyming text as a woman—a mother or grandmother—and a little boy walk around house and yard to say good night: “Bonnwit zandolit on the bannan tree”; “Bonnwit bourik at the creek.” Even without the glossary, readers will be able to guess that zandolit means lizard and bourik means donkey from the illustrations. Deeply tinted watercolors have a bit of the look of animated cartoons and show the varied landscapes of the Caribbean country, from the mountains to the sea. As in the great green room, all is calm, but there’s a little more life around, as the granmoun (an elderly person according to the glossary) sleeps on his mat in the lakou (yard), and the waves come to “meet the shore.”
With so very few books about Haiti for young children available, this appealingly modest effort is well worth acquiring. Bonnwit. (Picture book. 3-6)