Goodnight Sun by Eoin McLaughlin

Goodnight Sun – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Relatable tale about reluctant bedtimes.
Children’s book title: Goodnight Sun.
Children’s author: Eoin McLaughlin.
Children’s illustrator: Morag Hood.
Genre: Picture book.
Published by: Faber children’s.
ISBN: 9780571377527.
Recommended for children aged: 0-6 year-olds.
First published: Paperback May 2024.
This children’s book is ideal for: Children aged 3+ who enjoy stories with a cheeky main character, parents of young children who are reluctant to go to bed, EY and KS1 teachers supporting awareness of good sleep hygiene.

Goodnight Sun by Eoin McLaughlin

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Our review:

Goodnight Sun is a simple story told from the point of view of its main character, Sun. As intimated by the front cover, Sun is a cheeky yet lovable character who will do anything to avoid going to bed!

Goodnight Sun by Eoin McLaughlin spread 1

The story begins with an introduction to Sun, and makes a discreet link to basic science, describing it as ‘a big ball of energy’. We learn of all of the wonderful things the Sun does for us each and every day, but also of the Sun’s reluctance to go to bed once evening approaches.

From this point, we see the mirroring of young children’s bedtime antics, with Sun coming up with a host of excuses and delaying tactics, from being thirsty to creating rainbows, and even hiding behind the mountains. Eventually, the cosy clouds come to the rescue, acting as a comfy bed, whilst the stars serve as a nightlight.

With its simple, colourful illustrations, this story will resonate with even the youngest children for whom bedtime is a challenge. It offers parents a supportive tool to encourage good bedtime habits and teachers a simple text to support good sleep hygiene. Aimed at children aged 3+, McLaughlin does not shy away from ambitious vocabulary, with Sun ‘shimmering on the sea’. While this is not a tale told in rhyme, McLaughlin’s almost lyrical style, particularly towards the end of the story, is reminiscent of a lullaby, with phrases such as ‘The world turns and the wind whistles a tune. Night time is for quiet and sleeping.’

Goodnight Sun is certain to raise a smile and some giggles from children and adults alike.

Goodnight Sun by Eoin McLaughlin spread 2

Our verdict:

Aimed at children aged 3+, we think Goodnight Sun is a wonderful text to support families struggling with bedtime routines, whether used in a school setting or by being signposted by school staff for families to use directly.

Many thanks to Faber Children’s for the review copy.

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If you like Goodnight Sun by Eoin McLaughlin you might also like: our reviews of I Really, Really Need a Poo by Karl Newson and Duncan Beedie, Merry Whatmas? by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar, I say Oh, You say No by John Kane and The More Monster, written and illustrated by Hayley Wells.

Browse our list of  books for bedtime.

About Julie Harrison

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Julie is an experienced primary practitioner and English leader, who has previously been a lead English practitioner for a local authority, as well as a specialist leader of education for English. | Reviews by Julie Harrison