Margaret Wise Brown's The Making of Goodnight Moon Essay

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Margaret Wise Brown's The Making of Goodnight Moon

The numerous books that Margaret Wise Brown wrote during her short career hold a special place in the hearts of children and their parents. Many readers have no understanding of the scrutiny a book goes through before it reaches the printing press, a book's ultimate goal. Even though Brown would publish several books a year, none is more cherished than "the hypnotic, mystery-laden words and joyful pictures of Goodnight Moon" (Marcus, The Making of Goodnight Moon, 3).

Born through a dream, the text of Goodnight Moon was set to paper in nearly finalized form. Margaret Wise Brown awoke one morning in 1945 and shortly thereafter had the full story designed before her (Marcus, The
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I'd like to try out another artist and haven't a copy for him" (Nordstrom, 12). Brown would not consider another illustrator and insisted on Hurd (Marcus, The Making of Goodnight Moon, 18). Harper & Brothers concurred. Upon Hurd's return to the states in December of 1945, Nordstrom mailed a manuscript to him with a request for sample drawings (Marcus, Margaret Wise Brown, 184).

As the sample drawings arrived, they were met with disapproval and as well as the second set (Marcus, Margaret Wise Brown, 189). A lengthy discussion was necessary after receiving the third set. Hurd noted, "the bunny is young and the old lady is loveable if not 'fairy story'" (189). The principle struggle Hurd faced was confining the entire action of the book into a single room (Marcus, The Making of Goodnight Moon, 21). As pictures emerged, Hurd felt that the entire room did not need to be shown in every illustration. "To subtly vary the field of vision and scale from page to page, thereby gently but firmly guiding the reader through the great green room" (21). Hurd's former mentor's influence was evident through all of his ideas and pictures. The color scheme and use of geometrical shapes in the pictures was indicative of Fernand Léger (Marcus, Margaret Wise Brown, 190).

At the final editorial meeting Brown was accompanied by, Bruce Bliven, Jr., a reporter for Life magazine. Bliven was amused by the animated exchanges

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