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Goodnight Songs: Illustrated by Twelve Award-Winning Picture Book Artists Hardcover – March 4, 2014
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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PreS—This unique book was a long time in the making: more than 20 years ago, various unpublished works of the late, great author were discovered in her sister's barn, including many song lyrics.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
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Wise Brown estate was rummaging through Brown’s sister’s barn attic 20 years ago, she found the treasure of a lifetime: unpublished manuscripts, poem fragments, and song lyrics left by Brown, who died unexpectedly after a routine appendectomy.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
Top customer reviews
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.
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.
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.
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!
Its a winner. Margaret Wise Brown is long gone but her words, never will.