Review: Goodnight, Anne (Inspired by Anne of Green Gables) by Kallie George, illus. Geneviève Godbout
Source: Hardcopy courtesy of Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada. Thank you!
Publication: September 25, 2018 by Tundra Books
A beautiful bedtime picture book based on the best-selling Anne of Green Gables, introducing the irrepressible and beloved Anne to younger readers. It’s time for Anne to go to bed, but not before she wishes goodnight to everyone and everything she loves!
Under the watchful eye of her adoptive mother Marilla, Anne has come to cherish life at Green Gables — the dearest, loveliest spot in the world, and her true home. Every night before she goes to bed, she thinks of all the people and places she loves: her family, her bosom friend Diana, her splendid teacher Miss Stacy, beloved tree Snow Queen, the Lake of Shining Waters and the brilliant sky above. Anne even wishes goodnight — or good riddance! — to pesky classmate Gilbert and nosy neighbor Mrs. Lynde. And through it all, Anne’s imagination takes flight on a whimsical journey through Avonlea.
This sweet and heartfelt picture book is a perfect read-aloud introduction to L.M. Montgomery’s beloved Anne and will delight her brand-new fans and lifelong readers alike.
The Canadian duo of author Kallie George (The Heartwood Hotel series, Duck, Duck, Dinosaur) and illustrator Geneviève Godbout (The Pink Umbrella, When Santa Was a Baby) bring readers the joyful and gorgeously touching picture book Goodnight, Anne, inspired by Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved classic Anne of Green Gables.
Time for bed, Anne.
Yes, Marilla, but not before I say goodnight.
I always say goodnight to everyone I love.
From “shy and sweet” Matthew to “bosom friend” Diana to the “sky and bright, clear stars”, Anne Shirley takes readers- and Marilla, who is trying to get Anne to go to sleep!- on a fanciful adventure of saying goodnight to people and places that she loves. Anne, being Anne, is candid and passionate in expressing her truest feelings, noting her displeasure of classmate Gilbert Blythe who calls her ‘Carrots’, her affection for her “splendid teacher” Miss Stacy, as well as her wonder and appreciation of the incredible natural world that surrounds her Green Gables home. It is arguably tricky to take a revered classic and adapt/modify to the pages of a picture book, but the seasoned team of George and Godbout do it so marvelously here! The text is lyrical and flowing, capturing the indomitable essence of Anne Shirley, while Godbout’s unmistakable illustrative style, softly retro and classic, is a stunning fit here. One aspect of the picture book I particularly love are the few spreads in which you can see Marilla’s priceless expressions as she follows Anne’s proclamations of love; the story begins with Marilla attempting to get Anne to bed, so it makes for a truly lovely gesture to have the “sensible and strict” Marilla receiving one of the final notes of love from Anne.
A happy, deeply contented sigh of a storytelling and visual experience. Readers of all ages familiar with and having affection for Anne of Green Gables will likely love visiting this beautiful rendering of Anne’s world, finding much joy and sweet memories. Will those littlest readers unfamiliar with L.M. Montgomery’s heroine or the world of Green Gables be able to connect with the story? I firmly believe so! Younger readers totally new to or learning about Anne and her world will find this a deliciously sweet and magical ready-for-bedtime story- and perhaps even fall in love with this wonderfully exciting new character named Anne (with an ‘e’).
I received a copy of this title courtesy of Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and comments are my own.