Bear in Underwear: Goodnight Underwear by Harriet Ziefert and Todd H. Doodler

From its title and back-cover (see below) anyone familiar with children’s books can probably guess that Goodnight Underwear is a quirky homage to what is possibly the most popular bedtime story of all time — Goodnight Moon.

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I’m not usually a fan of parodies since most of them are pretty pointless, but this is an example of how a book can pay tribute to a famous work without being a copycat nor disrespectful to the latter.

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Instead of the infamous “great green room” where Goodnight Moon is set, the tongue-in-cheek Goodnight Underwear is set in a “great green forest”; and while the latter deliberately uses the familiar “Goodnight ________. Goodnight ________” structure in parts, the hilarious camping-trip-gone-awry storyline of Bear and his friends is original and has its own distinct appeal.

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In addition, the cartoon illustrations perfectly complement the wacky rhyming text. The result is a fun bedtime book whose humour will appeal to older tots in particular.

Note: Unlike the other Bear in Underwear books, the “underwear” part doesn’t actually feature a great deal here, which is a good thing since that could get old after a while. (Although, the underwear does feature prominently on the cover and is made of fabric; and while it’s invitingly tactile, it just feels a little odd to be running your fingers over it…)

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