Back in the day, I used to collect “Do Not Disturb” signs, now, post-kids I like to bring back books from my travels for my children. My favorite are the Good Night Book series.
I was introduced to the series by my niece who gave my now 2.5-year old son Good Night Virginia. (She and I are both originally from the state.) I was instantly charmed by the colorful illustrations and I love introducing my son to history, nature and our country’s different regions. It’s exciting to see him recognize Monticello on the back of a nickel after reading about it in the book, even though he does think Thomas the Tank engine is the Thomas being referenced.
I picked up Good Night Connecticut when we had an impromptu hotel stay a few weeks after our move to the state thanks to a frozen pipe. The book was a fun introduction to our new state and served as a checklist of places we need to visit. First on the list was the Essex Steam Train, which we crossed off last fall.
This past weekend, I bought Good Night Washington D.C. in my hotel lobby on my way home from a business trip. Having been born and raised in D.C., it’s a delight to share my favorite childhood destinations with my son. We plan on heading back there as a family in a few weeks, so it’s fun to give him a preview of what he might see. When given the choice between the Museum of Natural History and the Air and Space Museum, he picked the one with the airplanes. Though I do have a quibble with this particular book–there are way too few female lawmakers and why reporters got their own page over the MLK memorial, World War II memorial, FDR Memorial of the First Ladies dresses at the National Museum of American History, I’m not sure.
But more than just tour guide, the creators of the series say it was in part inspired by Walt Whitman’s poems, including Leaves of Grass and the famous poem “Song of Myself”. In the poem, “the poet catalogs item after item, in a process whereby the mere naming of each item draws attention to it and thus imbues it with a sense of import,” explains the website. That makes me love the books even more!
Check out the complete line at goodnightbooks.com.
What about you? Do you have a favorite kid-friendly travel books?