good night world

Good Night, World by Willa Perlman, illustrated by Carolyn Fisher

A small child says good night to the world around him before he goes to bed. He says goodnight to the sun and stars, planets, and the Earth.  He then says goodnight to the deserts, mountains, oceans, and jungles.  Then the book moves closer to home as he bids goodnight to animals, twisting roads, and houses.  The book returns to where it began, right in his bedroom where he curls up and sleeps.Told in rhyming couplets, this is a gentle, soothing book that is just right for bedtime.

Perlman’s verse is simple and quiet.  The circular feel of the book as it moves far away and then comes back again creates a hug of a story, where children will feel warm and secure.  Yet at the same time, it is a book with a strong arc that invites children to think beyond themselves and far out into space.  So it has a touch of adventure and an outward looking approach that is welcome.

Fisher’s art is a mix of painting and collage that is lovely.  She evokes both the larger world outside and the closer, comfort of home in a way that makes both equally beautiful and welcoming.  The illustrations are colorful, intriguing and have a sense of fun as well.  Children should watch for the red-winged blackbird in each picture too, a friendly guide throughout the story.

This book manages to be both a bold, colorful picture book and a quiet bedtime story that evokes warmth and coziness.  An ideal picture book appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Beach Lane Books.

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