“Goodnight Moon” does two things right away: It sets up a world and then it subverts its own rules even as it follows them. It works like a sonata of sorts, but, like a good version of the form, it does not follow a wholly predictable structure. Many children’s books do, particularly for this age, as kids love repetition and the books supply it. They often end as we expect, with a circling back to the start, and a fun twist. This is satisfying but it can be forgettable. Kids — people — also love depth and surprise, and “Goodnight Moon” offers both. Here’s what I think it does that is so radical and illuminating for writers of all kinds, poets and fiction writers and more.
Couldn’t agree more. In the past 15 months, “Goodnight Moon” is by far the classic children’s books that I’ve enjoyed reading the most.