Goodnight moon. Hello nightmare. A short film.


Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon is one of the best-selling picture books of all time. More than 11 million copies have sold since it was published in 1947.

My nephew Ian is one of the millions of children who have been lulled to sleep with the book’s hypnotic rhyme: goodnight kittens, goodnight mittens, goodnight clocks, goodnight socks, goodnight comb and goodnight brush.

Cute book about a bunny going to sleep, right?

Not so much, when seen through the eyes of a teenager with a creative mind and a camera.

Now 17-years-old, Ian has taken a second look at Goodnight Moon–and he think it’s more creepy than cute.

You can see his spooky twist on the story in this award-winning short film, which he made with friends Hannah and Zak:

The film took top prize in the 2016 Ottawa Public Library teen tech video contest, in which participants had to create a one-minute video about a book.

Ian’s sense of humour, imagination and gift for storytelling (you can read his short stories here) come through in the film.

He made the film using a starter digital camera and post-processing software on his home computer to add special effects (those spooky sounds and shadows that keep us up at night).

“In reality we had filmed during a sunny afternoon, and the room was filled with bright, white light,” he explains.

A self-taught filmmaker, Ian started making movies when he was just six years old: wonderfully creative adventures using a home video recorder and homemade props like Lego and Playmobil toys.

“What I find interesting is that looking back at those early home videos, I see similarities between my filming style and storytelling of today and that of my six-year-old self. I never lost my dark sense of humor either!”

In September, Ian starts first-year university away from home. Maybe I should send him a copy of Goodnight Moon with his first care package?


Max, Ian and Hannah, winners of the Ottawa Public Library 2016 Teen Tech Award, celebrating at the after party.

Seems like Ian’s not the only one wary of Margaret Wise Brown’s infamous bedtime story:


  1. What a creative group of young people, just amazing. I had a good laugh. And I hope he does not mind me saying…but he looks a bit like Sheldon from Big Bang!! He is for sure a promise for the future!!! You are one proud auntie! xo Johanna

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