Title: God Bless You and Good Night
Author: Hannah C. Hall
Illustrator: Steve Whitlow
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Word Count: 250 (estimate)
My son received God Bless You and Good Night as a Christmas gift from his grandparents. I’ve been reading it to him over the last month and a half, and while the fact that it’s written in rhyme is obvious, it wasn’t until I decided to undertake this challenge that I paid attention to notice that each spread also has internal rhyme.
The book consists of a number of charming animals families each going through part of their bedtime ritual. In the case of the polar bears in spread two that means a bedtime snack.
Was that a little growl I heard?
It sounded like your tummy?
Let’s get a snack then hit the sack.
You’re needing something yummy?
(Notice the rhyming of “snack” and “sack” in the third line in addition to “tummy” and “yummy.”)
Perhaps my favorite spread is #8 with the owl family.
It’s time to sing a lullaby.
Who, who should choose the song?
There’s one I love ’bout God above,
And you can sing along.
(Once again you will notice the presence of internal rhyme with “love” and “above” in the third line. This is a consistent pattern throughout the book — every third line has an internal rhyme. In this couplet, I also love the presence of the onomopaetic “whos.” The “ooh” sound is then repeated in the word “choose” so that the whole line slides nicely off the tongue when spoken aloud.”
In spread #9 with the elephant family, you will also find some near rhyme in the first line with “now” and “down.” This functions in much the same way as the repeated “ooh” sound above, to keep the words flowing smoothly off the tongue.
You’re ready now to cuddle down,
There’s one last thing to do.
I’ll hold you near so you can hear
Me whisper “I love you.”
This book is a great example of how using internal rhyme and near rhyme within your rhyming couplets can improve your rhyming manuscript and make it sound more pleasing when reading aloud. This is definitely something I want to pay attention to and work on in my own rhyming picture books.
What’s your favorite rhyming picture book?