Bedtime Books, the Bedtime Story Ritual, and Goodnight Moon

Pereira, Daniel
June 2019
Children's Literature Association Quarterly;Summer2019, Vol. 44 Issue 2, p156
Academic Journal
The genre of the bedtime book emerged in the middle of the twentieth century. This article traces the development of the conditions - literary, architectural, and social - that led to an increasing focus on the child's bedroom and bedtime as the central space and time for parents reading to children. This focus created and intensified irresolvable conflicts in the parent-child dynamic that bedtime books helped parents negotiate. Goodnight Moon exemplifies this negotiation: for parents, it maintains independence from the child, which is seen as a necessary aspect of adulthood, while providing reassurance that this independence is not harmful to children.


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