What is it about reading a simple children’s bedtime story that can bring a Harvard professor immediately “down-to-earth” and cause us to feel he’s more real, more like one of us than an aloof intellectual? I suspect we easily share some common feelings of humanity when reminded of our childhoods.
Storybooks can whisper memories from years ago complete with the comfort of big people’s attention and gentle voices, early awareness of ourselves, and a sensing that all is right with the world around us. Or perhaps we remember joy at sharing the same with our own children, grandchildren or pint-sized friends. If the book were another of our childhood favorites, and not Goodnight Moon, we’d still be interested.
Hurray for great children’s literature! Hurray for readers to children, whoever you are!