Saturday, May 17, 2008

Goodnight, Me by Andrew Daddo, illustrations by Emma Quay - review

Goodnight, Me by Andrew Daddo, illustrations by Emma Quay
I'll bet it's just me. Probably. I'll bet that everyone else will read this beautiful little book, about a baby orangutan saying goodnight to each of his body parts, and just be charmed to pieces.

After all, I thought it was adorable too ("Legs, get some rest. We've got a lot of jumping to do tomorrow."), right up until he said goodnight to his chest, and admonished it to "keep breathing". And all of a sudden I got that Goodnight Moon vibe. Goodnight Moon always freaked me out, and I am not the only one. Saying goodnight to the air, and to sound - it sounds a lot like death to me, and I think that's kind of exactly what you have to avoid when you are soothing an anxious child to sleep.

Of course, there are plenty of children who are not anxious about going to bed, and Goodnight, Me is a fine little bedtime book for those kids. But a lot of time, if a parent is looking for a bedtime book, it's because they have a kid who has trouble letting go, and I think reading this book to a certain kid who is tense at bedtime is asking for trouble.

Emma Quay's sensitive, delicate pencil and paint drawings of the little orang deserve special mention. You just want to scoop up that sweet, hairy little kid and cuddle him to sleep. I'm going to look for Cheeky Monkey, also by these two. Like I said, it's probably just me.

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