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Goodnight Songs: Illustrated by Twelve Award-Winning Picture Book Artists Hardcover – March 4, 2014


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling Children's Books; Har/Com edition (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1454904461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454904465
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS—This unique book was a long time in the making: more than 20 years ago, various unpublished works of the late, great author were discovered in her sister's barn, including many song lyrics. Presented here for the first time are 12 of Brown's lullabies, each one illustrated by a different award-winning picture-book artist. Each spread showcases the unique style of the illustrator and brings to life Brown's dulcet text. In "the noon balloon," Renata Liwska's dreamy pencil work is used to full effect as softly textured animals drift away for a midday snooze. Sean Qualls's fanciful and luminous nighttime sky perfectly accompanies the text: "When the man in the moon was a little boy…. He ran away with a shooting star." Carin Berger's collage scene for "When I Close My Eyes at Night" features 3D-like silhouettes of a sleeping village and billowing clouds that look like striped pajama pants. Nine other artists lend their talents, including Jonathan Bean, Sophie Blackall, Linda Bleck, Christopher Silas Neal, Zachariah Ohora, Eric Puybaret, Isabel Roxas, Melissa Sweet, and Dan Yaccarino. There is a timeless feel to many of Brown's lyrics ("Sleep like a rabbit, sleep like a bear./Sleep like the old cat under the chair"; "Baby, sail the seven seas/Safely in my arms. When the waves go up and down/You are safe from harm"), and children will respond to the gentle rhythms and soothing language. Accompanying the book is a CD with songs composed and sung by singer/songwriters Tom Proutt and Emily Gary. These tranquil poems are best shared one-on-one, preferably in the lap of a caring adult right before tuck-in time. Nothing but sweet dreams could possibly follow.[Ed. note: See p. 40 for a piece about this volume's intriguing backstory.]—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal

From Booklist

When Amy Gary, the editor of the Margaret Wise Brown estate was rummaging through Brown’s sister’s barn attic 20 years ago, she found the treasure of a lifetime: unpublished manuscripts, poem fragments, and song lyrics left by Brown, who died unexpectedly after a routine appendectomy. Some of that treasure trove appears here for the first time in print. Although a CD (unheard by this reviewer) accompanies the book, these tiny offerings can also be read as poetry. Each spread places the text against an illustration by a different, distinguished artist, including Carin Berger, Sophie Blackall, Sean Qualls, and Melissa Sweet. The pieces, for the most part, are quite simple and employ repetition that will appeal to little ones, although it can be overused, as in Wooden Town. In other selections, such as The Secret Song, there is more to consider: Who saw the petals / Drop from the rose? / ‘I,’ said the spider. / ‘But nobody knows.’ The charming artwork pushes this up several notches, and Brown’s many adult fans will be happy to share this. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Ilene Cooper

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Customer Reviews

The book is beautifully illustrated.
Sofie
I don't know which I like more: the book itself or the cd that came with the book that provides the songs in their musical glory.
LitWit
The next evening they asked if they could again read the book and listen to the CD.
klog

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko VINE VOICE on March 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
When I stumbled across Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown in a bookstore to say I was surprised would be a gross understatement. As a retired librarian I’ve lost my information pipeline about what is being published and when and have to rely on visits to bookstores to view the available crop.

Ms Brown died the year before I was born but I can still remember my mother reading Goodnight Moon to me when I was small and my brother after me.

Goodnight Songs is made up of a treasure trove of unpublished poems by Margaret Wise Brown that have now been illustrated by some of the best illustrators currently working and set to music. Artists like Jonathan Bean, Carin Berger, Renata Liwska, Christopher Silas Neal, Sophie Blackall, Dan Yaccarino, Melissa Sweet, Isabel Roxas, Sean Qualls, Zachariah O’Hora, Linda Bleck, and Eric Puybaret each designed artwork. The accompanying CD features lyrics put to music and performed by Emily Gary and Tom Proutt.

My favorite three are When I Close My Eyes at Night; When the Man in the Moon Was a Little Boy; and Sounds in the Night.

The story behind the discovery of this material and how it all made it’s way to the bookstores is interesting in itself. It took many years for these songs to be published and the details to be worked out. The completed product is enchanting and sure to please.

It’s amazing that Margaret Wise Brown will reach a completely new generation of children with material that was written before their parents and even their grandparents were born.

I highly recommend.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By klog on March 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a treasure found in a trunk in a barn! The poems, illustrations, and the CD in this book are all beautiful. I read this to my grandchildren, ages seven and four, before bed and then let them listen to the CD while they were going to sleep. The next evening they asked if they could again read the book and listen to the CD. "That helped me sleep, Nana," the four-year-old said. "Goodnight Songs" will become a tradition at Nana's house!

I heard about this book on NPR; thanks, NPR, for wonderful information you share with us. Thanks, Amazon, for selling; this hardback book with CD is a steal.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Morris on March 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book of wonderfully illustrated poems is top-shelf, indeed, but I’m equally floored by the CD of songs that accompanies it. I’ve reviewed albums in the past, and I recall reviewing several children’s albums that were nominated for Grammys. “Goodnight Songs” is far better than any of those. Tom Proutt and Emily Gary have taken Margaret Wise Brown’s poems to new heights, turning them into songs imbued with warmth and a sense of wonder.

The refreshing thing here is that Proutt and Gary have made a thoroughly accessible children’s album that doesn’t talk down to its audience. In fact, the songs are smart enough that they’ll appeal to adults as well. How often can you say that about a children’s album? That’s the beauty of this record: it’s not just for children, it’s for the whole family. And it’s darn good.

Listen to “Sounds in the Night” and you’ll hear immediately what I’m talking about. You’ll also probably recognize the Brian Wilson influence on the vocals and melody line. But “Sounds in the Night” stands on its own--a lullaby with a subtly mysterious air about it. Your kids probably won’t recognize the influence of REM on the chord progression of “LIttle Donkey Close Your Eyes,” but you will, and you’ll appreciate the song even more because of it. Or maybe it’s because of Andy Thacker, whose virtuoso mandolin-playing runs through the album.

The key to the record’s effectiveness is the combination of Proutt’s deft musical instincts and Gary’s appropriately sweet and motherly vocals.  They handle this material flawlessly.  “Goodnight Songs” is intelligent, evocative stuff.  The music industry has dumbed down children’s music for several decades now, to the point that they’ve practically killed what once was a vital art form.  But “Goodnight Songs” revitalizes the genre and provides a direction for the future.  This is what children’s music can be.  And what it should be. 
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DrPaula Quinn on March 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pair this collection of goodnight songs by Margaret Wise Brown with a
copy of her famous "Goodnight Moon," and you'll be the fav guest at the
baby shower! The poems, songs and illustrations are lovely. Every
child raised on these will be the richer for them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Crissey on March 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many parents know "Goodnight Moon" by heart after reading it to their children over and over. Now, previously unknown Margaret Wise Brown's lyrics have been put to music and the results couldn't be better. While my own children are grown, I felt compelled to buy this anyway -- and I wish the CD had been around to play those many nights when I paced with a baby on my shoulder.
The illustrations are similarly lovely, so whether your child is ready to snuggle up and look at the delightful illustrations, or listen to the enchanting songs, this book is for you.
This will now be my go-to gift for baby showers and young mothers whose own days of pacing the floors are just beginning!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E.S VINE VOICE on March 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a great addition to any library. I am so glad that it comes with a CD with the music as it just sets the book above the rest. Each song/poem have been illustrated by a different person and so you therefore get very different pictures to look at. All are bright and are enchanting. I think this is a great book and would look to giving it as a baby shower gift along with some other Margret Wise Brown books to make a great gift.
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