The only thing more earnest than the bedtime story classic Goodnight Moon is a lit class-style deconstruction of said-classic. Writing recently in the New York Times, author Aimee Bender managed to bleed most of the fun from the timeless lullabye by pontificating on structure and how the tale “sets up a world and then subverts its own rules even as it follows them.” Thanks, Bender. Would you like to cut the adorable bunny open and see what makes it tick while you’re at it?
You don’t need to analyze Goodnight Moon to know it’s a classic – that’s been proven the old fashioned way: By people parodying the crap out of it (there’s even a Goodnight Westeros). If you want to use “subverts” and “Goodnight Moon” in the same sentence, here are 6 books to start with.
A delightful indictment of the gadget-choked modern home, Droyd nails how each member of the family gets tech-hypnotized in their own special way but then reacts identically when Mom chucks it all out a window: with abject panic.Goodnight Ipad by Ann Droyd ($9)
Goodnight Nanny Cam
Had it originally appeared anywhere other than the New Yorker, New Yorker readers would have been incensed because this send up of alpha parents hits so close to home, where they all have “high-contrast, brain-stimulating black-and-white moons” hanging in their nurseries.Goodnight Nanny Cam by Jen Nessel and Lizzy Ratner ($11)
Goodnight Forest Moon
From the blum fruit to the tauntaun, this Star Wars-ifying of the book packs more geek cred into 30 lightly-penned pages than a JJ Abrams panel at ComiCon. Bonus points for the “you can have the book for free, but gotta follow these instructions to print it” DIY distribution method.Goodnight Forest Moon by Noah Dziobecki (Free)
Goodnight Keith Moon
This one’s best for when your kids are too young to understand or too old to pay attention. Otherwise, you’ll have to explain what “sick” means when used as a noun and whether or not it’s appropriate to say goodnight to it.Goodnight Keith Moon by Bruce Worden ($8)
A gentle reminder that, when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, it will include little zombie-lings that need to be read bedtime stories, same as your kids. Fortunately, there’s a Goodnight Moon for them, too. Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex ($12)
Even if you don’t agree with the liberal assessment of Dubya’s presidency (or if you just think Bush jokes are past their sell-by date), this is a useful reminder that everything in life is politics in some form or another. No point in hiding that truth from Junior. Goodnight Bush by Erich Origen and Gan Golan ($2)
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