Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex

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Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's a parody of Goodnight Moon but you don't need to know the original to appreciate this slightly scary romp through the creatures that usually frighten children - ever so gently! Recommended.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2008
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-0399245343

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I'm always reluctant to say that people of one nationality will get more out of a book than other people but there's an added dimension to Goodnight Goon which is going to be appreciated more on the western side of the Atlantic than the east. The clue is on the cover, where you'll see that this is a petrifying parody. But of what, you might ask?

In 1947 Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd published Goodnight Moon which came to be acknowledged as an excellent example of the bedtime story. The text is in simple rhyme and it takes us through Bunny's ritual of saying goodnight to everything in the room. Unfortunately it's not too well known in the UK, but if you check the picture on Amazon you'll see that this delightful parody begins on the front cover and now you know what this is all about.

So you don't know the original? Can you still enjoy it? Yes, you can! Think of it as one of those slightly (but not too) scary books which children love at bedtime.

In the cold gray tomb
There was a gravestone
And a black lagoon
And a picture of-

And then we're into the swing of it as Martians are taking over the moon and mummies are tickling their tummies. In the midst of all this a young werewolf is trying (but not too hard) to get to sleep when in comes Goon and trashes the room. It's a comprehensive trashing too involving pots of goo, skeletons, a screechy bat and lots of moans and groans.

Adaptations (or parodies) often suffer from the rhyme being forced so that's not the case here. It's a real pleasure to read aloud, particularly to accompany the gloriously inventive, colourful and rather scary illustrations. It's a splendid book for Halloween but don't restrict it to then as I think you'll find that children everywhere will love the anarchic nature of the story.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Slightly older children will love Dust 'n' Bones by Chris Mould, but younger children who worry about monsters in the bedroom might appreciate Billy Monster's Daymare by Alan Durant and Ross Collins.

Booklists.jpg Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex is in the Top Ten Picture Books For Halloween.
Buy Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex at

Buy Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex at


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