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Daddy Diaries – Goodnight Moon Bugs Me


If you’re a parent, you know the joy it brings to read your sweet child a bedtime story.  You’ve also thought at some point, “I could make millions writing children’s’ books!”  Some of the stories just seem too easy.  And one of the classics of all time is “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown.  Published in 1947, this staple of night night time, has got me puzzled.  For those who don’t know, the story chronicles the happenings in “The Great Green Room” at bedtime.  We find interesting things in the room, such as a telephone, a red balloon, and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon (not to be confused with the real moon).  In the pages that follow, we say goodnight to all the things in the room…almost.

The most glaring part is the blank page that says “Goodnight Nobody.”  This has always seemed to me as a mistake.  But somehow, this mistake has been in a book since the 40’s!

“How do you say goodnight to nobody?” I ask.

“Just finish reading the book.  She’s almost asleep,” says my wife.

But I’m too confused to continue.  I mean, we introduce the telephone, but never say goodnight to it.  Why couldn’t that be the page where we do it?  And why is there a telephone in the child’s room anyway?  And why say goodnight to nobody when there’s not nobody in the room.  Oh there’s somebody alright: a creepy old woman whispering “hush.”  She abviously wants the pain of the book to end as well.  She seems to be a rabbit, much like the child in bed, which is also strange to be because, they are both dressed as humans, while kittens and a young mouse are still treated as animals.  Plus, what’s up with mush…who eats mush before bed?  And why wouldn’t you talk about the clocks and socks in the room, but then say goodnight to them later?  OK, I’m done.  Parents, discuss below, and read more funny insight about the book from Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune.

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