A little boy says goodnight to his friends, family, toys and household items in this earnest but unsuccessful effort that is a pale imitation of the concept and structure of the classic Goodnight, Moon.
The unnamed child, who appears to be 4 or 5, narrates the story with rhyming couplets in “goodnight to the…” format. He bids his friends goodnight as he heads home with his parents, and then says goodnight with the structured format as he moves through snack, bath and bedtime rituals. The only religious content is in the final two spreads, when he says goodnight to “Father God” and the angels watching over him, providing a comforting conclusion. The wording of the text is often not true to the voice of a child (“the last bit of my bedtime snack”), and the choice of objects (rubber duckie, bath bubbles and bunny slippers) and overall tone create a sticky-sweet effect. Allsopp’s panoramic illustrations in watercolor and pencil and a flowing type treatment for the rhyming lines provide a pleasant visual interpretation but can’t save the limping text.
Older preschoolers will find this too babyish, and toddlers (and adults) will prefer Brown’s classic. (Picture book/religion. 2-4)