Skip to main content

The Goodnight Book: A Dream State

Review by Mo Duffy Cobb

How do you say good night? Author Lori Joy Smith asks in her new artistic reverie, The Goodnight Book.  

“Mommy, please, one more.” In classic bedtime theme, young readers are invited into the world of fainting farewells, and the ever-living world of tomorrow's tomorrows. Drawing upon the natural realm, writer and illustrator Lori Joy Smith begins with the soft bedroom kisses of good night, bonne nuit, buenas noches.  But soon, The Goodnight Book's organic shapes begin to take on a life of their own, with much left to interpretation.
           
Have you ever wondered if the tulips say goodnight to their bulbs, the crab grass to its beach, the mountains to the moon? Smith has, and her exploration of the world's magic doesn’t stop there, her hues soon hatching their own bedtime spectrum.

I loved the gentleness of this tale, the mysteries of the creatures, and the bits of sleepy dream space where enchantment and invention prevail. Smith sheds a final sun's ray on the secret world of the abstract in complimentary colors and shapes, softly balancing each page. Even the sun gets sleepy when setting.

Smith dreams in owly souls who say “took a boo,” and slumberous baby whale fish who cuddle their young with an evening's gentle “light away.” She dreams in comfortable nests and fluffy white pillows, sweet tempered seaweeds that sway in the current. With her forms blending into the night, Smith dreams in beginnings, not endings, in possibilities, not promises.

Bedtimes have long been fertile ground for the imagination, of monster mains and kings in the closet. Smith's pages now quell babes and big kids alike, with sudden urges for water and back rubs finally subsiding. In The Goodnight Book, our contemplation become real, the textures of Smith's nuzzling light taking shape as we slowly, slowly drift out to sea.

Lori Joy Smith is the illustrator of three books now, "Noisy Poems for a Busy Day", (Robert Heidbreder) and "Run Salmon Run" (Bobs & Lolo). "The Goodnight Book" is the first story that Lori has both written and illustrated, a story come to life from the fuzzy depths of her own children's bedrooms.


THE GOODNIGHT BOOK
Illustrated, 16 Pages. (Simply Reads Books, 2014)
$12.95


Mo Duffy Cobb lives in Charlottetown PEI. She is a ferocious writer, an English teacher and a student of Creative Nonfiction at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. http://furthermo.com/

Popular posts from this blog

Charles Hsuen

Even after almost 30 years as the voice of jazz in Halifax, Charles Hsuen shows no signs of slowing down. His passion to preserve and promote the genre to listeners of all ages cannot be overstated. Recently we spoke with Hsuen about his roots, and his life-long love of big band, bebop, swing, Sinatra and more.
What are your own roots? My roots derive from a rather mixed background. My father is of Vietnamese / Tibetan / Chinese heredity, but grew up in India, before immigrating to Canada in 1967. While my mother’s roots stem from Indo-China, she grew up in Brunei before immigrating to Canada in 1969. Both extended families ultimately settled in Toronto and my parents met and married in the early 1970's. The last name “Hsuen” (now XUAN), pronounced “Schwen,” comes from the Last Emperor of China Henry Pu Yi who ruled using the name Xuantong from 1909 until his forced abdication in 1912. The story was of a tumultuous reign, his forced resignation and eventual attempt to reclaim his ti…

Danny Bilsborough

Danny Bilsborough, NSCC alumna and owner of Danny B Studios, has spent most of her days consulting various clients on software options for their new business endeavours. 
Although she’s been involved with assessing some really exciting projects, nothing makes her happier than grabbing her brush and splashing colour on a canvas. That’s why she’s decided to take the plunge into becoming a full-time artist.
“I was always so scared to try using colour, but when my daughter was born and the opportunity came to incorporate these new palettes into her life, they quickly found their way into mine,” she says.
Colour brings light to many things and gives people a sense of enjoyment. Markus Maier explained in his academic journal titled Color Psychology that colour carries great meaning and can have an important impact on people's affect, cognition and behaviour.
Bilsborough’s favourite pieces to create are those of nature and animals – a quick look at her online Etsy page confirms this. She be…

KING OF KINGS

Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley, International World-Champion Elvis tribute artist, Thane Dunn and his Cadillac Kings, will perform seven shows throughout the Maritimes over the coming months. Recently we spoke with the King of Kings about his passion and profession.
What are your roots? I was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. I've lived everywhere from California to Toronto but Moncton always has had a special place in my heart. My musical roots have always been early Rock and Roll and also old Country and Western like Buck Owens and Stonewall Jackson. I’ve always been a huge Jim Morrison fan. He had a lot of similar traits to Elvis.
What first inspired the Elvis tribute? I always loved the man and I’ve had people tell me I looked like him and in early bands I was in people would say I sounded like him. I had a few months leading up to the decision to do it where it seemed every time I turned on the TV there was Elvis, the radio would be playing Elvis…