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Goodnight June    by Sarah Jio order for
Goodnight June
by Sarah Jio
Order:  USA  Can
Plume, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Goodnight Moon is recognized as a children's classic. We know who penned this wonderful picture book Margaret Wise Brown. Goodnight Moon was first published in 1947. But the origin of this adored story is unknown. Why did Brown write it? What triggered her imagination? What inspired her not only to write it but to have the perseverance to see it through to publication?

Sarah Jio writes a story to answer these questions and runs with it. She invents a very best friend for Margaret, who encourages her to create this whimsical story loved by children - and their parents - around the world.

June Anderson, unhappy in her professional life, is called to settle her Great-Aunt Ruby's estate and possibly save Aunt Ruby's very popular children's bookstore, Bluebird Books. In clearing out her aunt's affairs, she discovers letters from Ruby's very dear friend, the late Margaret Wise Brown. The letters seem to be hidden in places June might not have looked if her aunt had not left clues.

The letters detail a lifetime of friendship as well as encouragement for Margaret to continue writing books for children. Could this be the origin of Goodnight Moon?

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio is a delightful exploration of a possible inspiration behind this classic children's story.

This is the sixth of Sarah Jio's novels. If the previous five are as engaging as the sixth, I can heartily recommend acquiring them for a lovely summer reading marathon. On the beach? Or perhaps on a porch swing with a glass of cold lemonade at hand.

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