• Dadwagon on Facebook
  • Dadwagon on Twitter
  • Dadwagon RSS feed

‘Goodnight Moon’: The Criticism Continues

August 6th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  7 Comments

I’ve already said here that I think Goodnight Moon falls way short of its reputation. But my son picks it up nearly every night lately, demanding that it be read to him before sleeptime. Needless to say, we cave in.

Except that he doesn’t quite read it. As soon as we get to certain pages, he gets very agitated, and begins to point to the upper right-hand quadrant of the illustration. Why? Because the red balloon, emphasized in the book’s early pages, disappears. It’s missing from two of the color spreads in the center of the story. Then it comes back. In other words, this title has been in print for 60-plus years, and it has been read by millions of children, and my 17-month-old has just now flagged a major continuity error. (Though admittedly, he’s not the first.)

I’m so proud. And slightly frightened. The kid’s shaping up to be a copy editor, poor thing, and (as a former c.e. myself) I wouldn’t wish it on him.


  1. Distracted Daddy says:

    August 6th, 2010at 9:00 am(#)

    Wow. You’d think they would have caught that. Haven’t read that book to my daughter yet. But now all I’ll notice is that missing balloon.

  2. Gregor says:

    August 6th, 2010at 12:17 pm(#)

    In Where the Wild Things Are the moon goes from waning to full in one page turn (after ‘let the wild rumpus start!’) Have we uncovered a conspiracy?

  3. Christopher says:

    August 6th, 2010at 12:21 pm(#)

    Conspiracies, everywhere! Next up: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar on the Grassy Knoll.”

  4. Aaron says:

    August 6th, 2010at 8:24 pm(#)

    I read my eight year old daughter “Shut Up Moon”. She loves it.

  5. JasonS says:

    August 9th, 2010at 1:02 pm(#)

    “Goodnight nobody” still gives me chills.

  6. Ron says:

    August 9th, 2010at 5:44 pm(#)

    I disliked it at first – then realized that it guides both the reader and the audience into the disjointed consciousness we all experience right before sleep. It does this freakishly well. I now see it as a success on all levels (including the missing balloon – which just follows suit perfectly with other visual incongruosity, like disappearing picture frames and objects).

    If you want to hate a popular board book – set your sights on Guess How Much I Love You, wherein the adult dashes it’s child’s attempts to express itself. The much larger rabbit employs bullyish one upmanship until the tike collapses, defeated and exhausted. WTF?!


    Vacation in Bizarro World: Part 1 | DADWAGON

Leave a Response


Recent Comments

  • Dee: As one of the impressed moms there last night, and also because my kid ate 3 bowls of that bolognese, thanks for...
  • Drew Wallner via Facebook: I’m totally making this when we get back from holiday travel, I even just got a...
  • Matt: Whoops! Just put that back in. The recipe editor has been fired.
  • Ed Lilly: Looks great – thanks for posting! One question – you did not specify putting the meat back into...
  • Maks: I’m against baby yoga for sure, but want to say something regarding that author is a little wild about...

DadWagon Reads!



The Right Way to Swear in Front of Your Kids


Context, context, context.

Sep 19th 2:33pm • No Comments

I don't care. EAT IT ANYWAY, KID!

‘Five Second Rule’ for Food on Floor Is Untrue, Study Finds


Researchers concluded that no matter how fast you pick up food that falls on the floor, you will pick up bacteria with it.

Sep 19th 11:38am • No Comments


Why Danish Parents Like to Talk About Death


It's because it makes for happier kids, says new book.

Aug 11th 8:19am • No Comments

Not sure whether to be proud or pissed we didn't make this list.

The Awl

The definitive ranking of dads.

Aug 3rd 5:39pm • No Comments