As a new mother reading Goodnight Moon
over and over to my little ones, I must admit that I began to question its literary value (What is mush? Where did that old lady come from? "Goodnight nobody"?). But the first chapter of Bruce Handy's marvelously insightful book makes a convincing case that Margaret Wise Brown's classic is a "transcendent masterpiece."
From establishing the thematic links between Runaway Bunny
and Portnoy's Complaint
, to placing Ramona Quimby alongside iconic literary characters like Huck Finn and Jay Gatsby, to praising the "Hemingway-esque"
prose of the Little House series…Handy presents a playful, educational, and highly entertaining romp through classic children's literature. Using historical context, author biographies, literary criticism, and personal anecdotes, Wild Things
will make you fall in love all over again with your favorite childhood reads. (AG)