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Goodnight, My Angel: A Lullabye
     

Goodnight, My Angel: A Lullabye

by Joel, Yvonne Gilbert (Illustrator)
 

Legendary performer Billy Joel's heartwarming lovesong from parent to child is now a book for families to treasure.

Time to close your eyes And save these questions for another day Goodnight my angel Now it's time to sleep And still so many things I want to say.

With words as tender as a kiss on the cheek, Billy Joel reassures readers young and old that the

Overview

Legendary performer Billy Joel's heartwarming lovesong from parent to child is now a book for families to treasure.

Time to close your eyes And save these questions for another day Goodnight my angel Now it's time to sleep And still so many things I want to say.

With words as tender as a kiss on the cheek, Billy Joel reassures readers young and old that the love between a parent and child lasts forever, even if families are separated. Dreamy paintings of a father and daughter illustrate the profound ways that small moments -- like tucking a child into bed -- affirm parents' devotion to their children.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Joel's first children's book pairs the lyrics of a song he wrote for his daughter with British artist Gilbert's (A Dictionary of Fairies) closely focused, textured colored pencil artwork introducing a father and his cherubic daughter. As the man tucks the child into bed, Joel's words offer reassurance: "I promised I would never leave you./ And you should always know wherever you may go,/ no matter where you are, I never will be far away." The sugary images take fanciful flight after the child closes her eyes: she and her father appear in a sailboat ("Remember all the songs you sang for me when we went sailing on an emerald bay") and, in another moonlit scene, the girl opens her arms to a swarm of butterflies ("Goodnight, my angel, now it's time to dream. And dream how wonderful your life will be"). In a confusing visual accompaniment to the line "Someday your child may cry, and if you sing this lullabye,..." the same girl snuggles with a woman (presumably her mother), yet the song lyric would seem to refer to the youngster's own future child. The book will appeal more to parent than child (a final illustration depicts the lass sleeping as her father's fingers stroke her cheek). Featuring a soft pastel palette, Gilbert's idealized images of the long-lashed heroine and luminous landscapes echo the unabashedly sentimental strains of Joel's song. The singer performs this soothing tune on a CD tucked into a plastic envelope on the inside back cover. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
It is too bad the dust jacket does not explain the circumstances surrounding the writing of this song by Billy Joel. According to his own explanation elsewhere, he was inspired to write it in response to his impending divorce from his daughter Alexa's mother. The story makes much more sense as he tries to communicate to his daughter what she means to him and how that will never change. Since so many children experience this event or know someone who has been affected, it seems natural and comforting to know that nothing will change their relationship. The illustrations seem a bit static, but they try to portray the dream-like quality of the song. A CD with Joel's touching rendition of the song is included which gives even more meaning to the book. 2004, Voyages, Ages 4 to 6.
—Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-This bland visual rendering of one of Joel's popular ballads takes what should be a universal declaration of love between a parent and child and turns it into a narrow, limiting sentiment. The lyrics hint at an impending separation between a father and daughter, which he tries to soften with his heartfelt declaration of his unending love, comparing its limitless boundaries to a song that goes on and on. The words are beautiful and can be read aloud easily. The illustrations, however, deaden the overall impact. Depicting stiff and posed figures saying good night and then traveling on a sailboat off into the night, the pictures are nothing more than a literal interpretation of the words, not an expansion of them. A CD is included, but even that doesn't make the package worth the purchase.-Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
There are a number of songs-into-picture-books that work easily and even beguilingly in both formats-this is not one of them. A song Billy Joel wrote for his daughter has the edgy sentimentality and strong piano line one would expect, but the translation to the page goes badly. Gilbert's style is heavy on hearts and flowers, curlicues and butterflies-all in pretty pastels. That's not bad in and of itself, but combined with the lyrics, the whole collapses into goopy sentimentality. The words themselves make it hard to follow the narrative of the pictures. First the little girl is tucked into bed by her jeans-and-T-shirt-clad father, but then, as he recalls a day on their boat, she's awake and singing to him. Then he imagines her as an adult singing to her own child, her bed becomes the boat, and then it's back with the sleeping child. "Someday we'll all be gone. / But lullabies go on and on . . . / They never die. / That's how / you and I will be." Somehow, it sounds better when he sings it. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439553766
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/2004
Series:
Goodnight, My Angel Series
Edition description:
Book & CD
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.40(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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