Mom and daughter reading

Goodnight iPad: Back to Books

There is much that has changed since you were a kid…and isn’t this also what your parents once said to you? Without a doubt, kid-culture appears to have an affinity for moving forward in leaps and bounds.

Our memories of simpler upbringings become wistful in the modern parade of blinking toys and blinging devices that signal a cohort of tech-savvy kids. Gift browsing for Christmas or a child’s birthday is like navigating a foreign city. Somewhere along the way, finger-painting has yielded to touch-sensitive pixel screens. It makes for a lot of excitement—and also a lot of noise.

Where have all the simple toys gone? Jump ropes and boomerangs? Paper dolls and trolls? The contemporary creator of Goodnight iPad (2011) might share in society’s slack-jawed wonder for Apple® products, but his recently published picture book also voices a frustration for this battery-powered reality. David Milgrim begins with playful pen name, Ann Droyd (“android”), to introduce his parody of Goodnight Moon (1947), a 4 million copy bestseller in the 1990s.

Goodnight iPad’s wit is enough to elicit laughs from GenX and Millennial parents who, as children, shared Goodnight Moon with their own mothers and fathers. Milgrim’s version mimics the plot and imagery of Goodnight Moon, while also giving the story a modern twist. Instead of wishing sweet dreams to furniture, teddy bears, and celestial bodies, Milgrim’s parody swooshes and calls “lights out” on a house teeming with the technological wonders of Steve Jobs and his colleagues. The fun of Goodnight iPad entertains parental nostalgia, but it also excites the child’s imagination with ridiculous notions of tucking in the XBox360™ and kissing the Nintendo Wii™ goodnight.

In crafting an illustrated book that “puts away” the lure of technology, Milgrim calls children and parents back into a familiar era where families sat down together to enjoy printed storytelling. While technology might enhance a child’s attention to the lesson at hand, it also removes the parent from his or her role as guide, teacher, and indirect storyteller, depleting those coveted moments of irreplaceable dialogue and cuddle-time.

While there is a time and place for all that iPad®, SmartBoard, Nintendo3DS™ and LeapFrog have to offer a child’s development, there is also a time to say “goodnight” to technology and curl up together with a good, old-fashioned bedtime storybook.