Monday, January 12, 2009

Goodnight Opus

A note from the author:

This work of fine literature is not suggested for use by an adult unless accompanied by a kid or a kid guardian. If a suitable minor cannot be located, a proper set of bunny jammies should be worn during the reading. Please help us maintain these minimal standards.

I first picked up Goodnight Opus by Berkeley Breathed during an internship in the children's wing of the Alachua County Library Headquarters. Although shelving was my primary duty, I often found myself hiding behind the YA shelves with a stack of books, completely absorbed in one story after the other. It was during one of these clandestine reading operations that I discovered Goodnight Opus. After reading it through three times, I hid it behind a non-fiction display case and made a point to revisit Opus every afternoon during my shelving shift. It soon became my "secret" book, one that no one else ever mentioned (or was ever able to check out!).

The first feature to catch my eye was the Pixar-like illustrations; so vividly detailed that one feels as if the story is animated on a movie screen. The story begins with Opus, decked out in pink bunny jammies, having a story read to him for the two hundred tenth time. (Let me know if you recognize which story it is.) However, as Granny begins to nod off and quietly snore, something extraordinary happens: Opus departs the text. Leaving his black and white bedroom behind, Opus (along with the monster under his bed) enters a world of color and goes forth on an adventure aboard the Milky Way flying machine. Throughout his travels, he visits the tooth fairy, goes skinny-dipping with Abe Lincoln, and sails through the Blue Mist Lagoon. Opus returns home to his bedroom to find Granny waiting for him, a curious look in her eyes. Perhaps she, too, has departed the text?

If you are lucky enough to come across this book in the library, seek out a hidden spot, plop yourself down, and get ready for a wild ride that will leave you wondering if you really can depart the text...And let's keep this gem of a book between you and me. I wouldn't want the secret to get out.

Fun Fact: This book has been banned in seventeen countries with early bedtimes.

Recipe to Read By: Milky Way Peanut Butter Cookies
Departing the text may leave your tummy rumbling. Here's a satisfying snack for all travels aboard the Milky Way flying machine.

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
36 bite size Milky Way bars [If you have Fun Size bars instead, just cut them in half to create bite size.]

1.) Cream together white sugar, brown sugar, butter or margarine, vanilla, peanut butter and the egg.

2.) Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3.) Wrap 1 heaping teaspoon of dough around a bite sized Milky Way candy bar.

4.) Bake 13-16 minutes at 350° F (175° C). Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

*Recipe courtesy of


  1. Rawley,

    I have not read any of these books, but you do an OUTSTANDING job reviewing each one and adding insightful comments about these fun reads. A "Sweet Read" is a great concept and I plan to make the Milky Way Peanut Butter cookies this weekend! Yummo! I cannot wait to see what you review next. P.S. Your dog is very cute!

  2. I love your blog! It is so much fun! I started a blog reviewing kids' books as well. I was looking for an image for Goodnight Opus and stumbled on your site. It is fabulous! Way to go! My reviews are much more basic. I have 4 small kids and I you can understand why they are short and to the point :). Here's mine if you want to check it out...