Good Night, Good Night, Victoria Beach
Rae St. Clair Bridgman
Friesen Press (2022)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views
“Good Night, Good Night, Victoria Beach,” by the award-winning Rae St. Clair Bridgman, is a charming and thoughtful children’s picture book that both teaches and entertains. The story centers on a half-white, half-brown jackrabbit who leads readers through the four seasons and the alphabet, discovering various wonders of nature and childhood on Victoria Beach. Some of the nature friends to encounter include a frog on a lily pad in a pool of blue, with the letter A, which, in this story, stands for Azure. And then we have B for a bicycle built for two. And so on. The author includes the familiar “This book belongs to” section in the beginning, which gives the book a personal touch for young readers—a treasure to claim and revisit time and time again. The illustrations are perfectly paired with the text, offering whimsy, imagination, and delight.
One thing that stands out is the careful attention the author gives to the concept, focusing on details without seeming to be lesson-like. It’s pure imagination, with characters and creatures you want to follow, and this is the best kind of learning—when it’s fun.
The lovely illustrations really bring the alphabet to life, and this jackrabbit is the perfect tour guide. This is a book both children and adults will enjoy, and they can set out on this journey together as they discuss each letter and animal encounter in the environments depicted. It would make a wonderful gift, and is aimed at children under 7, although older children may like it as well. Teachers, librarians, and parents wanting to share nature will also find this a lovely addition to their collection.
St. Clair Bridgman clearly knows the mind and heart of a child and knows how to entertain. From blueberries to fireflies, this book is multi-layered, with ABC’s, the seasons, critters, and rhymes—an irresistible blend that, in the end, is pure enjoyment. Young readers and adults alike will quickly become loyal fans of Rae St. Clair Bridgman’s “Good Night, Good Night, Victoria Beach.”