If I had a nickel for every time I have read Goodnight Moon over the past eight years, I think I would be a millionaire by now! There’s just something about that book–the ritual of saying goodnight, the hypnotic repetition, the soothing rhythm–that is universally appealing to small children.
And, while I love the classic, I am very glad to have an Orthodox bedtime book to add to our routine!
I was absolutely thrilled to receive a review copy of Ancient Faith’s latest book: Goodnight Jesus, written by Angela Isaacs and illustrated by Nicholas Malara.
A Review of Goodnight Jesus
Goodnight Jesus is a gentle rhyming book that helps children wind down as they say goodnight to and kiss the various people who are important to them. The child in the book kisses Jesus and the saints goodnight and then does the same to his family as he prepares for bed. The repetition and rhyme make for a lullaby-like bedtime story that will rock a child to sleep.
What I Liked About the Book
1. Board Book
I am SO excited that this is a board book! Seriously, I can’t even express how happy this makes me. 🙂 I don’t know about your children, but my kiddos seem to have the ability to destroy a book in a matter of weeks. Infants and toddlers are notoriously rough on books, so board books tend to get used most in our house right now.
Goodnight Jesus is a really solid, sturdy board book that will be able to withstand the constant loving that it will be sure to receive in your house! (Not to mention the drool that will inevitably bathe it. Teething, anyone?!)
2. Lovely Illustrations
Illustrations are of the utmost importance in a board book with few words. So, I was excited to see that the illustrations are fantastic!
3. Distinctly Orthodox
The board book is also distinctly Orthodox. The child kisses various saints (including St. Andrew and St. George–my two sons’ patron saints!), the Theotokos, and Our Lord. Many of the illustrations also feature icons. In addition, the concept of kissing icons and saints is a part of our Faith that young children are drawn to from an early age. I love that they are encouraged to do this through their interactions with this book!
With each review I write, I like to honestly express any critiques or concerns I have. These are personal opinions that you might disagree with, so take them with a grain of salt.
- Familiarity The author uses the name Jesus without “Lord,” “Christ,” or any other title. The same is true for all of the saints. (i.e. the child kisses “Andrew” as opposed to “Saint Andrew”). This may not be an issue for you, but it did strike me as being too informal.
- Rhythm The rhythm is a bit awkward in places. This will probably bother no one else, but it is one of my pet peeves in children’s verses. An imperfect meter that throws off the overall rhythm bugs the English major in me. But, as I said, most people would likely never notice it. 🙂
Who This Book is For
Goodnight Jesus by Angela Isaacs (illustrated by Nicholas Malara and published by Ancient Faith Publishing) is perfect for:
- Any Orthodox family with children aged birth-5 years old
- A shower gift for an Orthodox mom (I predict this will be THE go-to shower gift for the next year or so!)
- A present for a godchild or grandchild
- The library of an Orthodox church
I am super excited to add Goodnight Jesus to our collection of Orthodox children’s books. This lovely board book is going to get a lot of love over the next few years!
What are your family’s favorite Orthodox children’s books?
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All favorable opinions of excellent children’s literature are completely my own!)
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