Review of Goodnight, Veggies

Goodnight, Veggies
by Diana Murray; illus. by Zachariah OHora
Preschool    Houghton    32 pp.    g
3/20    978-1-328-86683-7    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-0-358-33076-9    $12.99

As the sun sets over a rooftop community garden, it’s time for the garden’s vegetables to get some rest. “Turnips tucked in tightly. / Potatoes closing eyes. / Tuckered-out tomatoes / humming lullabies.” In OHora’s sweet and funny acrylic art, all the veggies have endearing facial expressions (even the tiniest peas and baby carrots). The (intentional) sleepiness of the book’s action is balanced by the presence of a lively earthworm in a baseball cap who swoops through the color-saturated double-page spreads, athletically looping through tunnels and popping up occasionally to check out the dozing garden denizens. The childlike approach, appealing art, and relatable worm character are enough to connect story and audience, but at book’s end the text makes the connection even more overtly: “Every veggie’s snoozing, / beneath the moon so bright, / for nothing’s more exhausting / than growing day and night.” The accompanying illustration shows sleeping radishes just below the earth’s surface and the earthworm further underground in its own snug home, all tucked up in its looooooong narrow bed, its single sneaker left by the entrance.

From the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine.

Martha V. Parravano
Martha V. Parravano
Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to reviews of books, ebooks, and more