Reviewing Good Night Oregon

19 05 2013

IMG_5172All three of my children love reading. As toddlers, they sat still and remained engaged throughout any book read to them. Even now, jockeying for space with legs hanging off all sides of my bed, they pile on it to hear a story read aloud.

A preschool favorite of theirs was Goodnight Moon. I memorized it through utter repetition and can rattle off most of it today. I still can hear the very young voice of my now teenager as he recited phrases from that book, synchronizing with my own rhythmic reading. Each of them teethed on its cardboard edges. It’s tattered. It’s taped. It’s forgotten, replaced by chapter books. Worn and cherished, it’s tucked safely in a childhood keepsake box.

Goodnight Moon is a classic, but I discovered a newer book bound to be a favorite for young Pacific Northwest families and our visitors alike. Good Night Oregon by Writer Dan McCarthy and Illustrator Joe Veno takes readers on an educational adventure through the coast, the Cascade mountain range, the Columbia River Gorge, the city of Portland, the city of Pendleton, and central and eastern Oregon.

Good Night Oregon informs about the many activities enjoyed year-round in Oregon. The Cascades offer hiking, camping, skiing and snowboarding along with Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States and the seventh deepest in the world. Smith Rock State Park hosts rock climbers, and nearby rivers gush with rapids for a natural thrill ride. In the Gorge, Hood River boasts as the windsurfing capital of Oregon–and arguably the world, and Multnomah Falls displays the tallest waterfall in Oregon. Our rugged coastline highlights gems such as our iconic Haystack Rocks (sea stacks) in Cannon Beach, Pacific City and Bandon, and the world-famous Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport (former home of the orca named Keiko from Free Willy). Slip on your boots and ride over to Pendleton for the annual Round-Up, a major rodeo with competitors from all around North America. You’ll find a variety of activities just minutes from Portland’s Willamette River including museums to suit any taste, the Oregon Zoo, Washington Park and the sweetly scented Rose Garden. This International Rose Test Garden is the oldest public one of its kind in America.

Writer Dan McCarthy sprinkles information throughout Good Night Oregon in a subtly educational way, tucking fun into a story that takes its readers on a factual trip around the state. Illustrator Joe Veno’s bright pictures present detailed and accurate illustrations of places to explore and learn more about. Their teamwork presents a book worthy of bookshelf space.

Good Night Oregon is part of the Good Night Our World bookboard series by Our World of Books that journeys through a day within a certain location and its seasons. It is written mainly for ages 0-5 and costs approximately $9.95 new. Other Pacific Northwest titles to check out are Good Night Washington State and Good Night Seattle. For more information, go to


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