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  • GHC Team

Stories behind iconic books: #2 Goodnight Moon

In this section, we would try to bring out interesting, lesser-known details behind iconic stories and books for kids

September 3, 1947: This is when this iconic book was originally published and it had a very slow start with only 6,000 books sold in fall of 1947. But the books' sales picked up dramatically in the recent decades and it is estimated to have sold more than 48 Million copies by 2017 with annual sales of close to a million.

Illustrator Clement Hurd mentioned in 1983 that initially the book was to be published using the pseudonym "Memory Ambrose" for Brown, with his illustrations credited to "Hurricane Jones".

The author, Margaret Wise Brown died in 1952 and bequeathed the royalties to the book (among many others) to Albert Clarke, who was the nine-year-old son of a neighbor when Brown died. Clarke though squandered the millions of dollars the book earned him in royalties.

In 2005, the published of the book Harper Collins digitally altered the photograph of illustrator Hurd, which had been on the book for at least twenty years, to remove a cigarette in his hand. Its editor-in-chief for children's books, Kate Jackson, said, "It is potentially a harmful message to very young [children]." HarperCollins had the reluctant permission of Hurd's son, Thacher Hurd, but the younger Hurd said the photo of Hurd with his arm and fingers extended, holding nothing, "looks slightly absurd to me".


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