Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Goodnight Songs

Goodnight Songs

Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator:  Illustrated by twelve artists 
Poetry Picture Book with Audio CD
For ages 4 to 6
Sterling Children's Books, 2014   ISBN: 978-1454904465

Many years ago author Margaret Wise Brown noticed that many children hum or sing little songs as they go about their day. She decided to write the words of songs that she hoped would “capture the spirit of a children’s world,” and collaborated with famous musicians of the time to create songs that would best compliment her words. Unfortunately, Margaret’s songs were not published in her lifetime and for many years they lay forgotten in a trunk full of Margaret’s writings. Thankfully, her songs were discovered by an editor and now, many years after they were written, they are presented to the world in this beautiful picture book.

   The poems chosen for this collection are all perfect for bedtime. We read about a little goat on a hill who “drank his supper and drank his fill” before going to sleep. We visit a little wooden town at night when there is “no one around.” The streets in this town “ran up” and “ran down” and everywhere “there wasn’t a sound.” We find out what someone sees “When I close my eyes at night.” The person sees “Blue clouds in a big white sky,” and a place where “bright green birds go flying by.”

   Packed with soothing images, gently rhythmic phrases, and verse that calms and quietens the heart and mind, this book would make a wonderful gift for families with a young child. The accompanying artwork is beautifully rendered to compliment Margaret Wise Brown’s words, and to bring the poems to life so that young children have something special to look at as they explore the book.

   When they are sung, the poems in this book serve as lullabies that offer children a soothing close to their day, and the accompanying CD features recordings of these lullabies, giving young children and their grownups a special way to enjoy Margaret Wise Brown’s lovely words.