My mom read me Goodnight Moon all the time when I was a child. So, I’m a little sentimental about the book. That same mom pointed me to this new book that’s coming out, Goodnight Bush. It sound interesting. As for me, I’m not so sentimental about the book that I’m offended by this parody…I love the idea!
Open Goodnight Bush: An Unauthorized Parody, and you might recognize the cozy green room with striped curtains, a fire glowing in the fireplace, a full moon outside in the starry sky.
But look closer and you’ll see that the painting over the fireplace shows an oil derrick with stealth bombers flying around it. In the fireplace, there’s a ballot box burning that says “Florida 2000.” And snaking around the side of the fireplace is a tiny microphone.
Goodnight Bush riffs off Margaret Wise Brown’s classic children’s book Goodnight Moon to satirize the Bush administration, co-authors Erich Origen and Gan Golan tell NPR’s Melissa Block.
In place of the bunny rabbit character in the children’s book, a child-like George Bush is tucked safely in bed “surrounded by toys that represent different facets of the Bush administration’s legacy,” Golan says. A tiny Osama bin Laden peeks out from many of the pages, and a shotgun-toting Dick Cheney whispers, “Hush.”
Those who hold the original dear to their hearts might say Goodnight Bush amounts to sacrilege, that Origen and Golan have turned something beloved into something really dark. One illustration, for example, shows a plane knocking over two towers made of building blocks, and it says “Goodnight towers,” a reference to the World Trade Center towers destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001.
“The book obviously isn’t for children,” Origen says. “At the same time, it lets us look at the past eight years through the eyes of a child. And it lets us see how far Bush’s reality is from the reality anyone would want for their children.”
The authors say the book is illustrated with “naked simplicity” to show respect and sensitivity.
“I think people really understand there’s a real poignancy to many of those images, and that’s the way it was intended,” Golan says, “because the last eight years have been full of all these tragic incidents and it’s really that combination of kind of flippant absurdity that we’ve sometimes seen from the president, and that’s in the book, but at the same time a real seriousness about what it is that we’ve lost.”
And here are some pictures: