Author: Margaret Wise Brown

12 to 17 Months Concept

Goodnight Moon is a classic bedtime story with illustrations by Clement Hurd. It was first published in 1947, and you may remember it from your own childhood. The text is a soothing and rhythmic description of a bunny’s bedtime ritual.

Before, During and After Reading

Print Awareness and Letter Knowledge

Read the title of the book as you run your finger under the letters. Ask your toddler to touch things on the cover as you name them.

Phonological Awareness

Read the story using rhythm and rhyme. Listening to rhyming words is a toddler’s first exposure to phonological awareness. As you read, you may naturally place emphasis on the rhyming word pairs. 

After your toddler becomes more familiar with the story, you might talk about the illustrations and ask him to touch things that you name. 

Oral Language

After your child is very familiar with Goodnight Moon, you might provide some activities related to the story and illustrations. Here are some ideas: 

  • Gather as many small items as you can to represent things shown in the story (e.g., red pom-poms for balloons, small plastic cow, bears and kittens, comb and brush, moon). Place the items in a bin filled with sand or rice. Let your toddler reach in and discover these familiar items. 
  • Walk around your toddler’s room before bed and say good night to some of the things in his room, following the word pattern in the book. If you can create rhyming phrases, that’s an added bonus!  For example, 

In Austin’s room . . .

There was a green lamp

And a blue wall

And a picture of –

Daddy, so tall! 


Goodnight room

Goodnight blue wall

Good night green lamp.

And Daddy, so tall. 


Find more recommended children’s books for toddlers 12 to 17 months, or find an easy at-home activity designed to strengthen pre-reading skills in your toddler.