Board Book Review: Good Morning World

“Good morning salmon swimming up the stream.” page 7

Good Morning World by Paul Windsor.
My edition Native Northwest, Vancouver, Canada, 2018. (Originally published in 2011.)
Board book, 24 pages.

Good morning greetings to various parts of the Pacific Northwest world, with local indigenous artwork.

Good Morning World cover resized
Good Morning World by Paul Windsor.

This was, as near as I can recall, one of the earliest board books ever printed by Native Northwest.  Some of the early versions appeared to have trouble with the printing, but by now that’s all sorted and my copy is full of vibrant color.

I’ve been wanting this book ever since I saw this review on AICL a good six years ago, but other needs and books popped up, so this only more recently joined our collection.  There is a companion book called Goodnight World but since we already have a different good night board book, I stuck with this one instead.

Since the pandemic had us all in our home with whatever educational materials I had on hand (to be fair, we probably had more books available than your average classroom), reviewing this, one of our last board book purchases, had me thinking a lot about multiple uses of every item.

Good Morning World p9-10 resized
Pages 9 and 10 of Good Morning World have the text incorporated into artwork that reaches across the full spread.

Beyond being just a simple picture book with repetitive text, this little board book has a lot more.  First, an introduction to Haisla/Heiltsuk artwork.  Windsor’s details and use of color are fascinating and hold up to repeated rereading.  Second, it is a great conversation starter about biomes.  We live in the American Midwest.  Some things are the same here – sun and bugs and frogs and even sometimes ravens.  But the marine life in a lake is very different, we don’t see eagles, salmon, or whales.

Third, there is a seeking element to add excitement to re-reads.  Every page has a sun, and every sun is different.  The back matter indicates that each sun is representative of the ancestors of the characters shown on that page.  So little ones can find the sun, and for greater challenge can look for links to the ancestry.

Finally, although the text might seem formulaic, it’s very well done.  Each two page spread has one sentence which mostly follows a pattern – Good morning [character] [verb] [prepositional phrase].  It’s a great twist on a standard format.  Every page starts off with good morning, which isn’t easy to read but is easy to memorize.  The character featured on each page is written in larger, more colorful text, and also has support from the picture.

Good Morning World p15-16 resized
The text and a few visual elements are opposite a full illustration on pages 15 and 16 of Good Morning World – one toddler’s favorite pages to examine.

Early readers can stop there, but for an older sibling adding the verb or the prepositional phrase can add further challenge.  Sometimes these are supported by information in the pictures, other times they aren’t.  Either way, the additional action and details enliven the book and make it more entertaining when a child asks for it to be read the 100th time that week.

These days, we have a lot of board books.  While infants are generally content to be read to and could care less if I’m reading Courage to Soar, Pedro, or The Snowy Day, toddlers and kindergartners are a lot more opinionated.  If I can’t stand reading a board book at least ten times daily, it won’t last long on our shelves.  This isn’t quite as beloved as Julie Flett’s artwork, but Good Morning World is one I can read a dozen times a day if asked.

I love this book, the kids love this book, and you will probably love it too.  Generally recommended, particularly for classrooms, libraries, and anyone living in or with connections to the Pacific Northwest region.

Author: colorfulbookreviews

I work in a library by day and parent the rest of the time. I am passionate about good books representing the full spectrum of human diversity for every age group and reading level. This blog is my attempt to help parents, educators, and librarians find the best children's books authored by or featuring characters of color.

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