In class today, we talked about the characteristics that make Peter Rabbit a good bedtime story. The language used in the story is rhythmic and was written in a way that children could be lulled to sleep very easily. The use of watercolor makes the images soothing to look at, instead of jarring vibrant colors that would excite children and keep them awake longer. Potter’s use of well-timed pauses also adds to the calming effect felt when reading the story. This discussion made me think of another well-known children’s bedtime story, Goodnight Moon and the differences in illustration between the two.
In contrast to the soothing watercolors found in Peter Rabbit, Goodnight Moon uses more bold reds, greens, and yellows. The color palette in Goodnight Moon is much more vibrant, yet it was chosen to illustrate a book with the intention of putting children to sleep. This story has less text than Peter Rabbit, so it is possible that instead of relying on soothing colors to put children to sleep, Goodnight Moon relies more on mentally preparing children to go to sleep. All of the images in Goodnight Moon focus on night time activities, such as getting ready for bed, and perhaps this is what makes the story so effective.
Do you think that one story is more effective as a bedtime story than the other?