A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lessons about gratitude. Introduction to literary references.
Friendship makes life sweet and happy. It's fun to reimagine familiar book characters.
Positive Role Models
The friends enjoy each other's company and have simple, uncomplicated fun.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Thank You and Good Night is by Caldecott Honoree and prolific author-illustrator Patrick McDonnell (The Monsters' Monster), whom parents might also know from his syndicated comic strip Mutts. This gem of a bedtime story about a bunny, a bear, an elephant, and a girl enjoying a sleepover is a lovely tale about friendship, with a dash of gratitude. The animals in the art look miniature, and the book itself is child-size and friendly. The gentle story is a perfect prelude to sleep.
Is It Any Good?
If you're looking for a goodnight story to read and savor again and again -- sweetly perfect and as gently paced as childhood itself -- look no farther. A bunny, a bear, and an elephant walk into a sleepover, assisted by a little girl. They dance a chicken dance, have a funny face contest, and enjoy something good to eat ("Nom Nom Nom."). When it's time for bed, they sleepwalk down the hall ("Z Z Z"), and the girl reads them stories, then suggests that they all say what they're thankful for, which triggers a lovely rhyme that's simple and satisfying.
Loving references to familiar classic children's books abound. The bunny in the blue striped pajamas is lifted straight from Goodnight Moon, and his name, Clement, must refer to Clement Hurd, that book's illustrator. The bear's name, Alan Alexander, is taken from A. A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh, also evoked by a picture of a bear carried aloft by a balloon. And the elephant's name is Jean, à la Jean de Brunhoff, author of Babar. It's not at all necessary to catch these references to enjoy the book, but Thank You and Good Night is squarely and happily in their classic company.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.