Goodnight, My Love! by Shelley Admont is a lovely picture book that encourages children to go to sleep at night. In it a father helps his small son, Alex. After drinking water and sending his father to get a particular toy, Alex says he isn’t sure what to dream about. Gently the father invents a dream the boy could have when asleep. The boy relaxes by imagining himself as a bird having adventures of flight over the ocean and scenic vistas on land. The father participates by describing himself as an older bird, the small bird’s companion. In the end, Alex is able to fall asleep while both his parents are pleased.
Goodnight, My Love! has a really sweet message and a gentle style. It certainly feels like something that could be read aloud to a kid who is actually in bed and having trouble sleeping. The cute illustrations capture the real home life of this boy, and the serene, uplifting invented world that the father describes for him as well. Shelley Admont does a great job of developing both the adult and the child so their points of view are equally sympathetic—Alex wants more attention and is uncertain about falling asleep, but his dad knows they both need to rest. In the end, these differences result in a great bond between them and a shared memory they’ve created as Alex is helped along on the path of making his own dreams. Positive thinking for kids is incredibly important and is something this book delivers excellently through creating wholesome, pleasant images.