Consistency Errors in Goodnight Moon

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Did you realize that there is a consistency error in Goodnight Moon? If this were a movie on IMDB, there’d be a special note of it. Consider this an official note; it was discovered by my one-year-old. How many other one-year-olds have been disturbed by this?

It would have been so easy for Clement Hurd to draw a balloon in the corner on every full-page spread. But no, on a few of them, there is no red balloon in the corner. My son, who loves balloons, kept getting very upset when we read the book, pointing to the corner of the page(s) and yelling “Balloon!” which sounds like “biyo!”

“Biyo! Biyo!” he’d yell, sometimes throwing the book across the room. (We’re working on the “no throwing” right now.) Ok, I thought, my favorite book is not his favorite.

Then I discovered something else: the mouse. Clement Hurd was smart enough to put the little mouse on every single page. No more yelling at the balloon now! It’s all “Mouse! Mouse!” every time we turn the page. He has to search for the mouse, because it’s different on every page.

Needless to say, we never actually read the words to Goodnight Moon anymore. We always look for the mouse.

Margaret Wise Brown wrote Goodnight Moon in 1947. My son (almost age 23 months) insists on reading the same books every night, usually three or four or five times. This is one of them. I’m very glad he loves to read.

Can you tell I have an adorable almost two-year-old? I’m so excited to see him loving books and words!

What books have you read your kids to help them stop hitting, ripping, throwing, etc.?

What are you reading your children this week/month?

Reviewed on August 23, 2009

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • Jen, oh, yes. Keep reading. Goodnight moon was essentially the only book I had for my son until he was four months old. I held that little newborn and read it to him every single night. Then by eight months, he wouldn’t let me turn the pages: he had to do it. And now, he’s balloon obsessed about it! It just keeps getting more and more fun!

    Pam, My son didn’t get upset about the balloons until about a month ago. Thank goodness the mouse is there!

  • One day he’s going to already know where that mouse is on each page and then you’ll have to find a new distraction! 😀 It’s cool that he’s observant enough to be upset by the missing balloon, though.

    I love Goodnight Moon. My kids were never really into it, but it was my favorite for years when I was a kid.

  • My son loved books and never wanted to hit, rip, etc them. I did get tired of reading the same ones over and over and over, though and was known to hide some of them from time to time. It sounds mean now, but it saved my sanity then.

  • Amanda, oh, I hope the mouse keeps him busy for a while yet. If not, I guess we really will have to get our own copy of Richard Scarry!

    Jason, yeah, there’s something so fun about looking for Goldbug. I’ve never been a huge fan, but my son certainly is!

    Kathy, oh, my son LOVES books. I think the ripping is more of an excitement at turning the pages himself. He just loves them too much I think. The throwing books is new. He’s just enjoying the power that he has over books and toys, etc…

    I hide certain books. It does help me keep my sanity!

  • My boys love spotting the animals in books like those and would notice if a balloon went missing! I know what you mean about getting bored with the repitition – I don’t mind searching for the objects, but sometimes I just don’t want to read the same book again! I second the vote for hiding the book!

  • Ha. My husband just sent me this link, because for the last three nights, our 17-month-old cannot get through Goodnight Moon without pointing out the balloon inconsistencies. He doesn’t have enough words to explain why, but it really, really bothers him. Glad he’s not the only one.

  • […] Except that he doesn’t quite read it. As soon as we get to certain pages, he gets very agitated, and begins to point to the upper right-hand quadrant of the illustration. Why? Because the red balloon, emphasized in the book’s early pages, disappears. It’s missing from two of the color spreads in the center of the story. Then it comes back. In other words, this title has been in print for 60-plus years, and it has been read by millions of children, and my 17-month-old has just now flagged a major continuity error. (Though admittedly, he’s not the first.) […]

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