Sunday, May 4, 2008

Dad tip #15: Ways to break the monotony of Goodnight Moon

So, you're getting your kid settled into his night-time routine and you've decided to make the classic Goodnight Moon a part of it. Two months and dozens of readings later, Goodnight Moon and its comb, its brush, and its bowl full of mush have lost some of their charm.

You're not the only one this has happened to. I suspect that there are parents all over the world who've felt similarly. A character in a recent episode of The Young and the Restless (yeah, don't ask me how I know this) sarcastically joked after putting a child down for the night, "Goodnight Moon: just as good after the 50th time." Well, here are some recommendations that will allow you to stick with your routine, but mix it up a little...

Margaret Wise Brown (author) and Clement Hurd (illustrator) collaborated on books other than Goodnight Moon. You could try mixing up your routine with My World, Runaway Bunny, or Goodnight Moon 123: A Counting Book. But be warned that My World is nearly as trippy as Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves which is most distinctly NOT a children's book. On the other hand, if you're a stoner who enjoys the likes of Teletubbies and SpongeBob Squarepants, then it might be right up your alley.

My other recommendation would be to investigate what other languages Goodnight Moon is available in. So far, I've found Buenos Noches Luna, Bonsoir Lune, and Goodnight Moon (Hebrew Translation). If you're wondering, we've only actually picked up the Spanish version. I'm holding out hope that I'll find the board book version of Bonsoir Lune and I'm pretty certain that I wouldn't even be able to mispronounce my way through the Hebrew Translation.

And for the record, no one in this household is even remotely a fluent Spanish-speaker -- not me, not my wife, and not our cat. The limit of our Spanish is being able to ask for margarita and a beer and then a bathroom afterward if necessary. But damn is it fun to read Buenos Noches Luna! Look at it this way:
In the great green room
there was a telephone
and a red balloon
and a picture of --
The cow jumping over the moon
... becomes ...
En la gran habitacion verde,
hay un telefono,
un globo rojo
y un cuadro ...
... de una vaquita que salta sobre la Luna
Anyhow, give it a shot. You might enjoy it. And please reply to the comments of this post if you happen to find a board book version of Bonsoir Lune or any other translations.

Buenos noches, lector de mi blog.

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