Goodnight Everyone is the fourth picture book by Chris Haughton I have reviewed since 2010 when he became a fast favorite. Haughton's unique palette of colors, not often seen in picture books, combined with his lovable, if sometimes hapless characters and clever stories make him an author and illustrator worth following. With Goodnight Everyone, Haughton has created a picture book that is sure to make readers and listeners yawn alike and also make you look at the night sky a bit more closely.
The endpapers of Goodnight Everyone show the southern and northern night skies on one side of the page and the planets in our galaxy, along with which part of the earth is experiencing day and night, on the other. You will definitely find yourself returning to these pages.
The sun is going down and the eyes of the forest animals are drooping. The first few pages of Goodnight Everyone are cut and layered to reveal the animals falling asleep, from mice to bears, with each page turn, the size of the page increasing with the size of the animals. Baby bear, like most small children, resists the call to sleep, but eventually succumbs. While Goodnight Everyone may seem like a sweet and simple story at first, multiple readings (and you WILL be asked to read this book over and over) reveal the many subtle wonders of Haughton's visual story telling skills. As the story unfolds and night falls, the palette darkens gradually. In the layered page spread at start of the book, the grass at the bottom of the pages darkens gradually with every turn. And, the final spread where we see all the forest animals asleep reveals the northern night sky with a spread of constellations, accurately displayed, as the end papers confirm. Another superb picture book from a rising star.