July 22, 2014

Goodnight Thinkpieces Everywhere

Aimee Bender in the NYTimes:

Most picture books would close with that old lady -- that's the balanced choice. But we see the stars and feel the air -- we've been sure we're staying in but now we're floating out. Why? And then back in for the ending of "Goodnight noises everywhere." This, the last page? At first, I looked for another page -- why end here? Isn't it a little abrupt? But (after a few more readings), isn't it also the way for us to close our eyes metaphorically with the bunny and be in that state right before slipping off to sleep, that magical drifting moment after floating out with the stars and the air, when we only hear noises and next is sleep? The story has moved so close to the bunny as to become an experiential mirror of his drift and fall. How much deeper and more elegant that is than the neat symmetry we might expect.
I am as in awe of the pairing of "Goodnight nothing./ Goodnight mush." as the next guy. But at this point I think we have to add coming to terms with Goodnight Moon to hospital selfies, sleeplessness, and no sex for six weeks to the new parent's rite of passage.

What Writers Can Learn From 'Goodnight Moon' [nyt thanks rolf]

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