#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Good Night, Earth

A charming, offbeat picture book for ages 3-6, Good Night, Earth* flips the beloved childhood favorite, Goodnight, Moon, on its head in a delightful way by imagining the bedtime ritual of a far-off alien family. Using a telescope they see that:

The axolotl is so, so tired. He swallows a gulp of fresh water and reads his favorite book. Then he yawns a big yawn. Good night, little axolotl.

In Finnish author Linda Bondestam’s tongue-in-cheek vision, we also watch a kiwi, meerkat, sloth, and tarsier family get ready to go to bed—or not, as not all the wee ones are particularly cooperative. Filled with colorful, quirky illustrations, die-cut pages, and sly humor, the story winds up at dawn with an exhausted owl family bunking down in a tree. Only after watching the earth creatures’ bedtimes does the alien child then fall asleep between its two green parents. Even human beings get into the act: the picture of the human child, “Sweetie Pie,” spread-eagled in bed between two hapless parents is priceless. 

The subtle visual and verbal comic touches in this poetic picture book had me chuckling gently throughout.

What happens when an inventive, award-winning artist engages with a bedtime classic? We lucky terrestrial readers get Good Night, Earth.

Good Night, Earth
Written and illustrated by Linda Bondestam
Translated from the Swedish by Galit Hasan-Rokem
2021, Yonder: Restless Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781632062864

Reviews: Kirkus, Publishers Weekly

Watch Linda Bondestam read the story, also an interview and more online visits with her.

You can buy a copy here.

*Review copy of Good Night, Earth kindly provided by the publisher.

Award-winning opera singer Nanette McGuinness is the translator of over 60 books and graphic novels for children and adults from French, Italian, German and Spanish into English, including the well-known Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novels. Two of her translations, Luisa: Now and Then and California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas were chosen for YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens; Luisa: Now and Then was also a 2019 Stonewall Honor Book. Her translations released thus far in 2021 are For Justice: The Serge and Beate Klarsfeld StoryThe Sisters #7: Lucky BratChloe & Cartoon, LGBTQ YA manga Alter Ego, and A House Without Windows.

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