Goodnight Moon is the story of a child (a small rabbit in the illustrations) who is settling down for the night and is lulled to sleep with the rhythmic words of the story. Millions of copies of this bedtime story have been sold since it was first published in 1947–perhaps adding up to billions of bedtime read alouds!
Talk Before Reading
The bright green and yellow cover makes it easy for a toddler to recognize Goodnight Moon. Say the title as you pick up the book to read. Since this book tends to be read over and over, acknowledge that this is a well-loved book. Let’s read Goodnight Moon. That’s one of our favorites!
Reading the same book time after time may feel too repetitive to an adult–but to a young child the repeated reading brings language growth. Why? It’s practice. Practice remembering sounds and words and a chance to gain new words. His understanding grows a little with each reading.
Talk While Reading
This is a story of very few words, but full of opportunities to link the words of the story to the pictures. As you read, point to the object in the picture to build understanding.
and goodnight mittens
As your child grows older, he’ll proudly take over the pointing and show he knows the meaning of words you are saying. Where is the red balloon? That’s right! You found the red balloon.
After reading this bedtime story, carry your baby or toddler off to bed and stop at various objects in your house to say good night. Goodnight, window. Goodnight, refrigerator. Goodnight, toy box. When your child is familiar with this routine and begins pointing to various objects on this walk toward bed, but can’t yet say the name, say it for him as he points. Goodnight, door. Goodnight, blanket.
Eventually, he’ll use his newest words in this relaxing bedtime ritual. Night, night shoe! Night, night cup!
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. Pictures by Clement Hurd. HarperCollins, 2007. (Originally published in 1947).
Also available in Spanish: Buenos Noches, Luna