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Goodnight, Books!

October 7, 2021

Bedtime Stories: Traditions Old & New

With daylight savings time drawing to an end, it's the perfect time to get cozy and snuggle up with our favorite bedtime stories — old and new! Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is the ultimate timeless classic.

But have you heard of the many books that were inspired by Goodnight Moon? Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann and Goodnight Ganesha by Nadia Saloman offer two totally different, charmingly witty takes on this time-honored tale.

There is no question that children delight in being read to by parents or caregivers. Your child may ask time and again to be read Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, or any favorite book for that matter! It may sometimes seem repetitive or boring to adults, but it feels so comforting to children. Repetition actually helps build vocabulary and other early literacy skills in kids who have not yet learned to read. A well-loved book can serve as a nice cherry on top of even the longest day. The message of Goodnight Moon is universal. Going to bed is an innately human (and animal) experience that we all must learn how to do. 

When I was a child, I had the hardest time falling asleep. I was too excited about everything going on in my world — the Beanie Babies in my room, the songs on my Hello Kitty radio. But bedtime stories were a must (along with other traditions I invented to prolong my awake time!). Sharing stories is like a warm cup of tea, a much-needed medicine to counteract the constant stimulation of a hectic world.

Good Night, Gorilla

Gorilla reaches for Officer Buckle's keychain while Officer Buckle says "Good night, Gorilla".

Good Night, Gorilla was always a favorite of mine. The story follows a trouble-making gorilla and his animal friends who sneak about the zoo after hours. Everyone's included, even the zookeeper! This clever and playful twist on an old classic makes a wonderful companion to the treasured favorite. Every child enjoys some lighthearted mischief, and this book is sure to amuse readers of all ages.

Goodnight, Ganesha

Brother and sister run upstairs as their Tata playfully sends them to brush their teeth before bed.

The most recent Good Night Moon counterpart, Goodnight Ganesha, offers a peek into the nighttime rituals of two children at their grandparent’s house in India! With Poonam Mistry’s elaborate illustrations adorning every page, this book is sure to warm and comfort any reader. Join Vikram and his sister, and Nana and Tata, as they settle in for the night. A glossary in the back of the book explains the meanings of puja, thali, and some of the deities written about with reverence. Saloman closes the curtains of this story so sweetly, writing, “Goodnight, family. Goodnight, love. Goodnight, sweet Ganesha and stars up above”. In the Author’s Note, she writes about the universality of evening routines, urging readers to reflect upon and create new nightly routines. 

Change It Up Next Story Time!

We all have our story time favorites, but Goodnight Moon is a classic that just about everybody knows. Next time you read a bedtime story, try Good Night, Gorilla or Goodnight Ganesha! With soothing repetition, colorful imagery, and easy-to-follow language, both books are sure to bring a sleepy smile to any child's face. For a more interactive experience, Good Night Gorilla is also available as an audiobook and Goodnight Ganesha as an ebook! Check these titles out from the library today!

Caroline Cronin


Caroline is a Bilingual Literacy Assistant for Bringing Books to Life! She is passionate about accessibility and language justice and loves to share stories and art with friends of all ages. In her free time she enjoys singing, cooking, teaching and practicing yoga, and roller skating.