CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 40. . . .June 15, 2018
Goodnight Lab: A Scientific Parody.
Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky (Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books), 2017.
32 pp., hardcover, $24.99.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.
Review by Meredith Cleversey.
In the great green lab,
There was a laser
And a lab notebook
And a picture of—
Einstein with a stern look
In this reimagining of the picture book classic Goodnight Moon, a young scientist is ready to go home after a busy day of exploration.
Goodnight Lab, by Chris Ferrie, is a scientific parody of Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon. As a scientist prepares to go home for the evening, she says goodbye to the tools and accessories in the laboratory where she's been working. A laser, spectrometer, and even a grumpy professor make an appearance as the girl winds down her day. Ferrie's love of science is obvious here, and this book (along with his “Baby University” series) shows his passion for introducing scientific topics to children. This rhyming story is clever in its concept, and young readers will enjoy the unique laboratory setting.
Goodnight Lab follows the same colouring style as the original tale, using a green background with red and yellow accents, while also switching between pages of colour and black and white images. However, the book's bland, flat digital illustrations fail to capture the comfort and warmth of the original story. A small bunny's bedroom and a science lab are, of course, two very different settings. But, since the aim of a book like this is to show the welcoming nature of working in a lab, it would have been nice to see more effort put into creating rich and inviting illustrations to go along with the creative text.
Goodnight Lab is a cute parody of a beloved children's book. While the uninteresting illustrations will likely keep this rendition from becoming a cherished classic of its own, it will still be a fun read for anyone interested in introducing science to a young audience.
Meredith Cleversey, a librarian in Cambridge, ON, loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.
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