Goodnight, My Angel: A Lullabye

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 ...

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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.

A father sings his love to his daughter in a lullaby.

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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)
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Product Details

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

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2007

    A Joel fan and dad

    I like Billy Joel and this book is proof that he can do more than entertain live audiences. Billy Joel has been performing in this book for my child for a few years and now my kid listens to his music on the radio and on cd's. Good for you, and all, Billy Joel!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2006

    Gorgeous

    Granted I'm only a mommy :) but I think this book is absolutely gorgeous. I've loved the song since I first heard it, and I think the pictures are stunning - yes they're colorful and childlike, but also calming and serene, and let's not forget the intended audience is *children,* not adults. They're perfect for the song in my opinion. My kids at that age loved the thought that they would grow up and have children of their own and that life, the natural order, would continue. I wish this had come out when mine were younger.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2004

    when i was little

    when i was little my father would sing me to sleep with the song, and i loved it. so i'm buying the book for him for Christmas to bring the memory back a little.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2004

    Excellent book for all ages

    I have always loved the song, but the book is just awesome. It reminds me of the strong bond between my toddler son and I. On the other hand it brings tears to my eyes, as it reminds me of my baby girl who died years ago. What a beautiful song and book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2004

    Truth in Music and Lyric

    My Dad was a singer and it is so true that music lives on in the heart. Listening to his music helps to keep his memory alive. Joel's lullabye music and lyric are touching. I'm giving the book to my daughter, who I always think about when I listen to Goodnight, My Angel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2004

    As Good as the Preview?

    I am ordering this book simply based on the song of the same title. I have used this song, both on CD and from my own mouth to soothe my two sons. If the book is half as good as the song, it should be a hit. Especially considering Billy Joel's timeless ecclectic talent. Signed, A Loving Father

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