Margaret Wise Brown's Long-lost Goodnight Songs


Image reproduced with permission from Sterling Publishers.  ©2014 Linda Beck.

"Goodnight Songs," by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by various illustrators, Sterling Children's books, $17.95, 28 pages, ages 2-5.

For over sixty years, children have drifted to dreamland after reading the quintessential bedtime story Goodnight Moon. Now comes a previously unpublished collection of Margaret Wise Brown's charming lullabies for a new generation of readers.

Amy Gary, the editor of Brown's Estate, introduces the collection by describing her discovery of a treasure trove of manuscripts. Tucked away for decades in a trunk in an attic barn on the author's family farm in Vermont, all but three have never been printed until now.

Also among the hidden treasures were musical scores Brown was composing for a children's record company. An accompanying disk includes songs based on the poems. Emily Gary and Tom Proutt set the poems to music, and managed to capture the effortless imagery of Brown's work. 

A different contributor illustrated each poem and the list reads like a who's-who of award winning artists. Caldecott Honor medalist Melissa Sweet, Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner Sean Qualls, and New York Times Best Illustrated Book winner Carin Berger were among the dozen asked to collaborate on the project.  Brown's innate understanding of what entertains and comforts children will delight everyone who comes across this gem, now and for years to come.