"Goodnight Moon," the children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown, has gone smoke-free. In a newly revised edition of the book, which has lulled children to sleep for nearly 60 years, the publisher, HarperCollins, has digitally altered the photograph of Clement Hurd, the illustrator, to remove a cigarette from his hand. . . .

"It is potentially a harmful message to very young kids," [Kate] Jackson [editor in chief of HarperCollins Children's Books] said, "and it doesn't need to be there."

-- News item,

the New York Times,

Nov. 17, 2005

In the great green room there was . . .

A cordless telephone

And a red balloon, non-helium and securely tethered out of toddler reach

And a picture of the cow jumping over the moon, with a warning label never to try this with cattle or indeed any animals without parental supervision

And there were three little bears, roaming freely in their native habitat, secure in their endangered-species status

And two little neutered kittens

And a pair of mittens, purchased from a Cambodian collective

And a little toyhouse with all potential choking hazards fastened in place by six-inch bolts

And a young and humanely captured mouse

Goodnight room, which is more than many Burkina Faso children have

Goodnight moon and all moon-related goddesses

A special shout-out to persons of color, the differently abled and victims of tobacco-company propaganda

Goodnight solar-powered clocks

And goodnight sustainably manufactured hemp socks

Goodnight synthetic tortoise shell comb and brush

Goodnight anybody who has ever been made to feel like a "nobody" by a rigidly patriarchal society

Goodnight organic whole-grain GMO-free oatmeal mush

And goodnight to the lady of mature years seeking an environment conducive to thought

Goodnight stars, which remind us that we are not alone in this cosmos and must henceforth redouble our stewardship efforts

Goodnight air, which we have done so much to pollute with our inhuman sport utility vehicles and our Weber grills

Goodnight all noises in the immediate vicinity . . .

. . . with the exception of the white-noise machine, the Haydn concerto loop, and the four-gallon cool-mist humidifier with the evaporative wick filter that was changed only last weekend

Goodnight to anybody whose feelings might have been injured by not being included above.

Author's e-mail: dratnip@aol.com

Lou Bayard, a Washington writer, carefully disinfects every book he reads to his children.