Goodnight Menopause: A Parody and a Giveaway!

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 I love Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon.  Truly I do.

And I’ve never quite approved of writers who use the book’s easygoing rhythm and understated whimsy for playful parody.

But the other day, the Menopause Devil came over me, and I just couldn’t resist.  Here goes:

Goodnight Menopause

In the great dusty room

There was a fan

And a scale

And a picture of me without any age spots

And there was a bag of potato chips sitting on a chair

And two worn out bras

And a book on menopause

And a clock ticking time

And a little nip of wine

And eyeglasses and moisturizer and a bowl of M and M’s

And my own grown children who were whispering, “AHEM!”

Goodnight room

Goodnight moon

Goodnight menopause making me loopier than the moon

The End    (© Barbara Younger, 2011)

Goodnight me thinking I could parody a great picture book!

Margaret Brown, who died, sadly, before she could go through menopause (and write lots more wonderful books for children), had a wicked sense of humor.  Maybe she wouldn’t mind my attempt.  And it was fun.

But studying Goodnight Moon for this post gave me a new thought.  The next time menopause gets you down, either from gloom, nervousness, or insomnia, choose a calming activity such as reading an enchanting picture book.  Lose yourself in the calm.

No matter what calming activity you try, be sure to also pick up a copy of Goodnight Moon.  Celebrate the wonder of the great green room and the sweet old bunny whispering, “Hush.”  And speaking of the bunny, I wonder how her menopause was?

Giveaway:  In case you don’t have your own copy, I’m giving away a crispy new hardback copy of Goodnight Moon.  To enter, please send me a comment saying you would love to win (or some such wording.)  Please send all comments by  noon E.S.T. on Thursday, November 10.  Winner will be chosen at random.

Goodnight Moon:  Although this story seems almost old-fashioned today, Margaret Wise Brown was an innovator in the field of children’s picture books. Read more about her at Margaretwisebrown.com.   Goodnight Moon’s illustrator,  Clement Hurd, illustrated over seventy books for kids.  He and Margaret Wise Brown collaborated on another favorite, The Runaway Bunny.

 Photo:  The photo above is the cover of the copy of Goodnight Moon that lives at our house (copyright Harper and Row, 1947).  If I’m fortunate enough to have grandchildren, they will each get their own copies.  In fact, if I have grandchildren, I’ll buy them as many copies as they want, one for each room of their house and one to spare.  The photo below is the elegant and energetic Margaret Wise Brown.

39 responses »

  1. Love your sense of humor (woot!) and who of us doesn’t remember reading Goodnight Moon over and over again to our kids. And again to grandkids. I have acquired too many copies over the years to participate in the giveaway but didn’t know much about the author. Thanks for telling us about her.

  2. Well well well… this was an unexpected treat today! Thanks for the fun and thanks also for the link to get to know more about Margaret Wise Brown. Yes, I am familiar with her books but never knew anything about her personally. What an amazing woman. It’s incredible how she fought for her illustrators to get the same royalties as she did. Doesn’t seem so right, especially in books where the illustration is so much a part of the story! I also like how she worked with children to find out what sort of stories THEY liked, instead of presuming that adults know best.

    It was surely a nice break from my routine today – first to read your very fun (and true!) poem and then to learn what a wonderful and unique person Margaret Wise Brown was. Thanks for this, Barbara! Very cool, indeed!

    • Thank you so much and glad to know you are now a MWB scholar! Good info to throw out at baby showers and other places where the book just might be a topic of conversation.

    • Thanks for the kind words! I had lots of fun writing the parody. I tried to really study the book, so I could try to do the style justice.

  3. barbara, this was wonderful! you have such a creative mind! and i so love this book as well and it will always remain on our bookshelf!

    and i love the “menopause devil”! what a good one to use on our husbands!! 🙂

  4. I always loved Goodnight Moon as did my daughter. I like your parody. If we can’t keep our humor right now, we are sunk! The part about the age spots really hit home. I have been on the birth control pill since I was 17 (I am 52 now) except for the year I conceived and had my daughter so I have no real signs of menopause (in my family we start at 9 1/2 and usually have menopause at 59) but those darned age spots are on my face and hands and my doctor said there is really nothing to do but cover them with makeup. The pill can keep away a dry vagina, dry skin, osteoporosis, night sweats, nervousness, insomnia, heart problems, mood swings and the other uglies of being over 50 but nothing stops the age spots from being the big ugly visible sign that says “You, madam, are middle aged!”

  5. I also meant to add that being over 50 can be wonderful and I celebrate my birthdays with gusto. My hubby will be 57 in December and he’s been saying he’s old since he turned 50. I’ll be 53 in March and I don’t intend to ever get old. There is time enough for that when I am dead! The body may lag but the mind and the emotions can stay sharp and optimistic and positive and the things I have planned to do in my life will mean I will have to live to well over 100 as did my other family members. Such whimsy as your version of Goodnight Moon is so welcome and refreshing.

  6. I spent many years as an early childhood teacher and director of Childrens ministeries. I have always made sure that Good Night Moon was on the book shelf of each classroom. I have read this book hundreds of times. I read it to my boys and now my granddaughters. I would love a copy of my own to add to my shelf of things to entertain children visiting my home.

    • Fun you’ve spent your life with wonderful children’s books. I have too, as I started as a children’s librarian before I turned to writing.

  7. I must admit I’ve never been a Goodnight Moon fan- but love your parody! Have you ever seen Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex? It’s very funny. He also did Runaway Mummy, parodying a book I do love. Especially when she says- if you become a little bird and fly away, I’ll become the tree you always come home to (or something) That always makes me cry. Love your blog! (but pls don’t enter me in the giveaway – I got three copies when I was pregnant)

    • I need to check out Goodnight Good and Runaway Mummy. I’ve heard of them. There’s a new one for grownups, Goodnight IPOD.

  8. I really enjoyed your post and the link about the author. As I looked through the list of books that Brown wrote, I found one of my childhood favorites, Home for a Bunny. (Such great memories.) I had forgotten all about that book. 🙂

    • My husband is nuts over another MWB title, Pussy Willow. I have a feeling he even mentioned it on our first date. Sweet about Home for a Bunny.

  9. I would love a copy of the book. I think I read it to my kids but mostly I remember reading it to my neighbors who I babysat all the time. So much so, that the little girl was in my wedding. Those kids are now married and have kids of their own! (Am I really that old?) Anyhow, I’d love a new copy of the book to keep around to read to my future grands!

  10. I have several copies of the book – in various states of use (or misuse!) over many years of children! So no need to enter me in the drawing. But I oh so enjoyed your parody! You captured the essence of Margaret Brown, and I could easily picture in my head the illustrations in your version of the book!

  11. Your paraody was so funny – well done! How appropriate to say good night to menopause which means saying goodbye to so many things. It’s great to laugh with others who understand rather than cry alone in my insomniac state of mind!
    I would love to have a copy. Thank you for your creative blog!

  12. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane. I haven’t read that book (outloud) in ages! I was surprised to see that I have 3 other books of hers; The Color Kittens, Home for a Bunny, and Runaway Bunny. Such sweet memories!
    I would love to win a copy for my someday (fingers crossed) grandchildren

    • Are your copies Golden Books? (Post on Golden Books coming up at some point.) MSB was supportive of Golden Books and wrote for them, even though some critics didn’t approve of cheaper, mass produced books for children.

      • Yes they are Golden Books! My Grandmother and my Mother as well thought that books were the greatest gifts, and were always a big part of our birthdays and Christmas celebrations. We also ordered out of our school’s Weekly Reader (remember those? Wonderful hardcover books!)
        I was very excited to win this giveaway, thanks so much!

      • Loved the Weekly Reader books! Gosh those were fun. I loved the Weekly Reader we got in school too.

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