Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Goodnight Moon

Creating a bedtime ritual with Emmy has been one of the joys of motherhood. I've always enjoyed the quiet of evening and hoped that Emmy would too. So far she seems to relish the evening as much as I do. Currently our ritual for bedtime includes deep breathing, a few songs, some special blessings and of course books. Since Emmy was a tiny baby, I've read the classic children's book Goodnight Moon (published in 1947) to her. Somehow Margaret Wise Brown figured out a way to create books that children and adults absolutely adore. Most parents I know can recite this book word for word and always with a smile. Emmy enjoys finding the mouse on each colored page. Although this book is not chosen for bedtime as much anymore, it is still one of her most beloved bedtime stories.

I find it interesting how books for children can tell us about parenting styles over the years. For example, Goodnight Moon shows an adult figure (mother, grandmother, nanny?) across the room knitting and hushing the child to sleep, Bedtime for Frances (1960) shows a dad who, due to exhaustion, threatens the child with a spanking, and finally Olivia (2000) who shows a child as a unique individual and a mother who is accepting and connected to her child. I might also mention Goodnight Gorilla (1994) who shows a boy who is definitely in charge of his own bedtime!

We have quite a collection of "night-night books" that are kept in baskets by the bed. I've been wanting to write a list of the titles, which I thought might be helpful in future gift giving as well as a great reminder to Emmy of all of her favorites. What better place for such a list than in this blog so here it goes:

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
I Love You As Much by Laura Krauss Melmed
Time For Bed by Mem Fox
Goodnight Train by June Sobel
Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
Olivia by Ian Falconer
Little Bunny's Bedtime by Jane Johnson
Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
Kiss Goodnight by Amy Hest
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me by Eric Carle
Wake Up, Night! by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
I Love You, Goodnight by Jon Buller and Susan Schade
The Napping House by Audrey Wood (great read right before naptime)
Lullabies and Sweet Dreams by Julie Aigner-Clark
The Prince's Bedtime by Joanne Oppenheim
Goodnight, Goodnight by Eve Rice
Only You by Robin Cruise
Corduroy's Day by Don Freeman
Goodnight Goodnight Sleepyhead by Ruth Krauss
Goodnight, Country by Susan Verlander
Sleepy Places by Judy Hindley
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Rosemary Wells
Hush Little Baby by Sylvia Long
While You Were Sleeping by John Butler
Rock-A-Bye Baby by Jeanette Winter
Let's Play by Leo Lionni
I'll See You in the Morning by Mike Jolley
Can You Cuddle Like a Koala? by John Butler
Let's Go Visiting by Sue Williams
I Like Stars by Margaret Wise Brown
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
Mommy's Best Kisses by Margaret Anastas
Good Night New York City by Adam Gamble

Sweet dreams and goodnight!

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