Why Do We Say Good Night? When You Are Afraid of the Dark

Champ Thornton
(21 reviews) Write a Review
Why Do We Say Good Night? When You Are Afraid of the Dark
Why Do We Say Good Night? When You Are Afraid of the Dark Picture Books
Why Do We Say Good Night? When You Are Afraid of the Dark Picture Books
Why Do We Say Good Night? When You Are Afraid of the Dark Picture Books
Why Do We Say Good Night? When You Are Afraid of the Dark Picture Books
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Going to bed and turning out the light can be a hard time for many children. Award-winning author Champ Thornton wrote this beautifully designed and illustrated book to help parents comfort their children with three truths about God. As a mother and her little daughter talk, they remember together that God made the night, he sees in the dark, and he watches over them just like a shepherd protects his sheep. Children and parents will want to start a new nighttime tradition of reading together about why we can say that the night is good.

In this important, engaging children's book, parents can bring comfort and encouragement to their children, reminding them Jesus is near.


Champ Thornton is an the associate pastor at Ogletown Baptist Church in Newark, Delaware. He has pastored in South Carolina and served as director of SOMA, a ministry training school in Columbus, Ohio. He is host of "In the Word, On the Go," a ten-minute podcast for families and is the author of several books, including The Radical Book for Kids and Pass It On: A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation. Champ and his wife, Robben, have been married since 1996 and have three children. 


Rommel Ruiz was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and moved to sunny Southern California to pursue his passion for creative expression and storytelling. An accomplished designer and illustrator, he incorporates influences from theater, film, animation, and mid-century design. His work includes animated visuals for Cartoon Network and the award-winning Luther documentary, as well as illustrations for books including Golly’s Folly, The Gospel in Color, and more. He is also the cofounder and art director of Patrol. He and his wife, Anny, live with their two joyful girls in Los Angeles.

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“All my grandchildren, ages three to eleven, were unanimous. Why Do We Say Good Night? is a five-star good read."
Ed Welch, Author; faculty member at CCEF

“Children look to their parents for protection from the things that are hiding in the dark. Champ Thornton’s beautiful book is a reminder that we don’t have to fear the dark because there is a Good Shepherd who promises to be with us, watching over us, through every moment of listening for what goes bump in the night.”
Russell Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

“As a grandmother of six, it has been one of the dearest blessings I’ve known to read to my darlings at night, when we’re all comfy and cozy and snuggled up. And Why Do We Say Good Night?is just the sort of wonderful resource we would love to share. Full of beautiful pictures and an even better message of light in the dark, it is a book I wish I would have had when my own kids were young. Buy a copy for Grandma and one for yourself. You’ll love it.”
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Author of Give them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus

“With its comforting message and stunning illustrations, Why Do We Say Good Night? is a beautiful book you will want to read to your children again and again—and to yourself, too.”
Karen Swallow Prior, Author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books

“We love this book! The illustrations are beautiful and capture the feel of a child’s imagination, both fearful and wonderful, as darkness and dreamtime near. The rhyming text is easy to read and even easier to listen to and remember. We can’t wait to sit down with our grandchild and read it to her before bedtime, hoping that the truths about God can settle in her heart and accompany her through the night.”
Mark and Constance Dever, (Mark is Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church; Constance is creator of The Praise Factory Curriculum, biblical truths for ages 2–11)

“I like this little book, and I think it may be of considerable help to parents whose children need some reassurance about the beauty of night—and also to dispel the night terrors some children suffer from.”
Douglas Gresham,Coproducer of The Chronicles of Narniamovies; son of Joy Davidman and stepson of C. S. Lewis

“A wonderful, Christian good-night book we can read to our children before bed. The pictures are ingenious, rich, and beautiful. The commentary is God centered and biblical. I wish I still had a small child so I could read this book to him or her. Many thanks to Champ Thornton for giving such help to parents of fearful kids.”
John Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology & Philosophy Emeritus at Reformed Theological Seminary; author of History of Western Philosophyand twenty other books

“Champ Thornton’s book Why Do We Say Good Night? is the perfect story for bedtime reading. As a parent, it’s delightful to read, and the encouraging message is one that all children need to hear. I can’t wait to share it with others!”
Melissa Kruger, Director of Women’s Content at The Gospel Coalition

“This book is not just about our fears and anxieties but of the greatness of God, told through the simplest of bedtime stories with the depth and truth of Scripture. When we come to realize God is watchful even when we’re not, we find true rest. Like a beautifully illustrated stage play, it shows a glimpse into another reality. But both are in the hands of a good God.”
Nollan Obena, Art Director, Cartoon Network

“The most repeated command in the Bible is when God says to us, ‘Do not fear.’ Three-hundred-sixty-five times, to be exact. That’s once for each day of the year. Why so much repetition? Because God knows we spend so much of our lives navigating the dark places of a fallen world, which make us vulnerable and afraid. In this book for God’s kids in the cradle as well as God’s kids who are approaching the grave, and all others in between, Champ reminds us, in such a tender way, that even our darkness is as light to our God. Because of this, we need not be afraid.”
Scott Sauls, Senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church; author of several books, including Jesus Outside the Lines and Irresistible Faith

“Champ Thornton has produced a simple yet delightful book that turns your child’s fear of the dark into an opportunity to delight in the goodness of God. Highly recommended!”
Timothy Paul Jones,Associate Vice President for the Global Campus; C. Edwin Gheens professor of Christian family ministry; director of the Dehoney Center for Urban Ministry Training

“How well I remember being frozen in my bed as a little girl, wanting to run to my parents’ bedroom, but afraid of what might happen to me between my room and theirs. I love the way this book speaks directly to those childhood fears, assuring little ones of God’s watchful care.”
Nancy Guthrie, Author of What Every Child Should Know About Prayer

“I wish I had this book as a child to help with my fear of night. I wish I had it as a Christian parent to help me comfort my children in their fear. Here is a theologically rich but child-accessible answer to a problem in nearly every family!”
Thabiti M. Anyabwile, Pastor, Anacostia River Church

“This is a delightful little book that will help our little ones face the fears that nighttime brings and sow in them seeds of lifelong trust in the Good Shepherd.”
Tim Chester, Pastor of Grace Church, Boroughbridge, UK; faculty member of Crosslands Training; author of Enjoying God

“Enchantingly illustrated by Rommel Ruiz, this book by Champ Thornton is one parents will love to read to their children and one children will ask for again and again.”
Donald S. Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY; author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life and Family Worship

“What a sweet book with an essential and abiding message. Read it every night to your children and believe it for yourself.”
Stephen J. Nichols,President, Reformation Bible College;Chief Academic Officer, Ligonier Ministries

“What a blessing! This book will undoubtedly build the faith of children who are uncertain about bedtime. I can also imagine many parents being reminded of the loyal love of their heavenly Father who guards their lives even in dark nights and seasons.”
Gloria Furman, Author of Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full and Missional Motherhood

“A small voice trembles, ‘It’s dark, and I’m scared.’ ‘Fear not! God made night, and for you he cares. He’s big and present; you don’t need to fear—a faithful shepherd who is always near! He’ll protect you and guard you in the dark. He makes the night good and will rest your heart.’ Thornton pens beautiful truths in beautiful ways that will help kids find hope in God at night, and Ruiz’s vivid and arresting illustrations are both judicious and loving and portray a reality where our Good Shepherd is always close.”
Jason S. DeRouchie, Research Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; father of six kids

“My children can still recite poems we read at bedtime. I wish this book had been available when I was tucking them in. Now if God gives grandchildren to my wife and me, then this will be one of the first books we will read to them. Indeed, I hope to read it so many times that we can recite it together. Treasure this book and the opportunities it will bring to teach that God, who made all things good and right, is with us both day and night.”
Chris Brauns, Author of Unpacking Forgiveness, Bound Together, and When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search; pastor of the Red Brick Church, Stillman Valley, IL

Why Do We Say Goodnight? is beautifully written, spectacularly illustrated, and simply profound. Champ has given us a wonderful book to introduce the character of God to our kids. The illustrations by Rommel Ruiz sparkle like a fireworks show. I can’t wait to read this book to my grandchildren!”
Marty Machowski, Family pastor and author of Don’t Blame the MudGod Made Boys and Girls,The Ology,and other gospel-rich resources for church and home

“Nighttime can be scary for kids. What if there is a monster under my bed? Is there a boogeyman in the closet?Parents of little children know what it’s like to reassure them as they are tucked in for the night. Champ’s book gives a great resource to remind kids and those who love to read to them that God is Lord of the day and the night. We can rest because God never sleeps nor slumbers.”
Dan DeWitt,Associate Professor of Apologetics and Applied Theology at Cedarville University; author of Life in the Wild: Fighting for Faith in a Fallen World and The Friend Who Forgives

“Champ Thornton obviously knows the hearts of kids . . . or at least my kids, anyway. He's thoughtfully summed up all their bedtime questions and concerns into one: Why do we say good night? Whether your children struggle with nighttime anxiety or just need a gentle (and gorgeous!) reminder of their Creator’s love and ever-presentness—even in the dark—they will cherish this beautifully powerful and truth-filled little book.”
Hannah C. Hall,Author of God Bless You and Good Night and Sunrise, Easter Surprise

“Helping a child who battles anxiety to get to sleep at night can be difficult. Champ Thornton knows this normal parenting struggle is an opportunity to point our kids to the Shepherd who watches over us through the night. It’s such good news that the dark is like bright light to him!”
Jared Kennedy, Pastor of Operations and Families, Sojourn Church Midtown; author of The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible and Jesus Rose for Me

“I love this book! And so do my children. Full of words that comfort and visuals that stir the imagination, Why Do We Say Good Night? is a perfect book to read when putting the kids to bed. I only wish I would’ve had it years ago.”
Jeremy Treat, Pastor at Reality LA; professor at Biola University; author of Seek First andThe Crucified King

“Rhythmic verses, vibrant and luminous illustrations all combine to create a charming bedtime book in Why Do We Say Good Night?by Champ Thornton. Tuck these sweet verses in the folds of your heart as they resonate comfort and the truth of a Savior who is present even in the darkness. Illustrations by Rommel Ruiz captivate and mesmerize both the young and old, making this book a must-have for nightly bedtime routines.”
Deborah Harrell, Overseas Educational Advisor, Serge; author ofWhat’s Up? Elementary; coauthor of What’s Up? Discovering the Gospel, Jesus, and Who You REALLY Are andGospel-Centered Parent

“Champ has given us a charming and God-centered little book to reassure children as they go to sleep. I love the simple rhythm and imaginative illustrations. I envision this book as not only helpful to anxious children but a soothing way to help all children settle down and have a ‘good night.’”
Stephen Smallman, author of Beginnings and Understanding the Faith: A Workbook for those Preparing to Make a Profession of Faith

“What parent doesn’t need help to comfort a child’s nighttime fears? Your child will be drawn in by the engaging rhyme and vibrant illustrations. But God is the hero of this book! The truth about him will guard your child’s heart and mind—day and night.”
Barbara Reaoch, author of A Jesus Christmas

“As a father and grandfather with both children and grandchildren who have moved into adulthood, I’m envious of those who will have this wonderful book for their children. I wish Why Do We Say Goodnight? had been available when our children and grandchildren were small. With incredible graphics and a simple and clear message, this book is a gift to children and also a reminder to adults of a God who will never leave us in the dark.”
Steve Brown, Broadcaster with Key Life Network; seminary professor; author of several books, including Talk the Walk: How to Be Right without Being Insufferable

“My four-year-old daughter Mary is scared of the dark. Terrified, really. Despite our countless assurances that no monsters are in her room—and that Mom and Dad are just down the hall—every night she pleads with us to stay with her till she falls asleep. So when I saw Why Do We Good Night?, I read it to Mary. Halfway through the book, her brow furrowed. ‘I thought the night was bad,’ she said. I suddenly realized I had never told her what this book had communicated so simply and beautifully—that the night was as good as the God who created it. Her eyes widened as they took in the luminescent images illustrating the little girl’s journey from fear to courage. And she smiled as she heard of the Shepherd who guards us through the night. ‘Let’s read that again tomorrow,’ she said. Then she rested her head on the pillow and went to sleep.”
Drew Dyck, Editor; author of Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science

Why Do We Say Good Night? brilliantly works as transportation, but unlike carrying its readers to deeper space, country, or sea, Thornton and Ruiz lead us into a richer trust of the Lord. This story must be a staple for all young readers seeking to know a fuller understanding of the question: Why do we say good night?”
S. Fritz, Creator of The Cottonmouth trilogy and Good Night Tales

“Beautifully illustrated and gospel focused! This children's book is sure to be a regular read for all children who need a bit of help getting to bed.”
Daniel Im, Pastor; podcaster; author of several books, including You Are What You Do: And Six Other Lies about Work, Life, and Love

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21 Reviews

  • 5
    Great Book

    Posted by Rachel on 12 12 2023

    Well done on this book! Great book for a kid who is afraid of the dark or isn't sleeping well at night, won't sleep in their own bedroom, etc. My husband and I do foster care, a new place is often hard for the kiddos, and we appreciate being able to have a book like this on the shelf.

  • 3
    Good overall

    Posted by Reuel Xavier on 02 22 2021

    The idea is good, however, I had a few theological concerns regarding the book. First, the image of God, even though is represented as a shepherded is not something that I agree with. A minor one is that God created "day and night", which is true, but the language could be more carefully explained to don't leave the idea that God created "light and darkness". But, the book itself has great quality, images, and material.

  • 5
    A Comforting and Timely Message for Children and Adults

    Posted by Lauren DuPrez on 03 16 2020

    Why Do We Say Good Night? is the latest book by pastor, dad, and author Champ Thornton. The book begins with a mother helping her daughter understand why she doesn't need to be afraid at night. As the daughter confesses to her mom that she doesn't like the dark, her mom explains that God is always watching so she needn't be afraid. The mother says, ". . . there is more for you to hear; We say good night 'cause God is near. Just like a shepherd guards his sheep, the Lord protects when we're asleep." The message of Why Do We Say Good Night? is simple, timely, and encouraging for adults and children alike. Although the story is primarily about helping children be unafraid at bedtime, its truths are applicable for circumstances that feel scary because its truths are rooted in God's character. Why Do We Say Good Night? is accompanied by bright, modern, and fun illustrations that children are sure to enjoy. My three year old daughter really loves this book and I can tell that reading it comforts her by reminding her that God is always with her. Our family really loves this simple story and I'm pleased to give it my highest recommendation. I received Why Do We Say Good Night? compliments of New Growth Press in exchange for my honest review.

  • 5
    A Good Book to Tell Your Kids "Good Night"

    Posted by Theron St. John on 01 25 2020

    Why Do We Say Good Night? engages children’s nighttime fears and encourages them with the comfort that the Creator of life and Shepherd of their soul is watching over and caring for them. The topic for this book will interest children and parents into reading it, and the rhyming in the book will capture their attention. Rather than shaming children for their feelings of fear, Thornton helps kids understand their fear and why they can look to someone bigger in faith than their fears. If you know a child who is scared of the dark and struggling with nighttime fears, then you will want to comfort them with this book by Champ Thornton. Get this good book so children can be comforted about a good God as you tell them “Good night!” I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

  • 5
    Why Do We Say Good Night?

    Posted by Connie Porter Saunders on 12 28 2019

    If your children are afraid of the dark and they dread going to bed, this is the perfect book for bedtime. In this sweet book a little girl aks her mother "why do we say good night?" because she doesn't like the dark. Her mother reminds her that God made the night as well as the day and that all He made was good. Mother also tells her that God watches over her both day and night. Champ Thornton uses rhyming text to tell this story and illustrator Rommel Ruiz vividly shows what a little girl who doesn't like the dark might imagine she is seeing after the lights are out. It is, however, the emphasis on God's protection that I especially appreciated in Why Do We Say Good Night? As the little girl is almost asleep, we hear her mother saying "Good night, dear one--You need not fear. Good night, sleep well. The Lord is here...Good night." This story is just the right length and the pictures are attention grabbers and I believe that this is the perfect book to share with your little ones as you put them to bed. I received a copy of this book from New Growth Press but I wasn't obligated to write a positive review. These are my own opinions.

  • 5
    Sweet story to read at bedtime

    Posted by Savings in Seconds on 12 28 2019

    The story’s setting is in a dark bedroom, with each page on a black background. Bright illustrations stand out against the darkness. The text is easy to read and sensibly placed so that kids can read along. The young girl character’s questions are legitimate and insightful. Why DO we say good night? Her mother gently reminds her that God made night just as He made day. It’s a sweet, touching story to share as part of a nighttime routine. Pair it with a soft stuffed animal or blanket to make it a gift! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Opinions shared are mine

  • 5

    Posted by labornotinvain on 12 21 2019

    A imaginatively beautifully illustrated picture book for children about why we can rest easy at night knowing that God is always there. This book follows a little girl and her mother at bedtime, as the mother comforts her daughter by telling her of the Great Shepherd who never leaves our sides--even when we sleep. The little girl is afraid of nighttime and the dark, but she soon learns that God is not limited by the dark, since he made both light and dark, she can trust Him to keep her safe. Beautiful whimsical illustrations bring the powerful poetic verses to life in this masterpiece, sure to become a nighttime staple, especially for children who struggle with nighttime fears. I was blown away by the powerful message and how it was presented so perfectly for young children to understand. Original, simple, yet so powerful, with excellent presentation opening up a great conversation about God and how he watches over us, and we can put our trust in Him. Highly, highly recommend, perfect for families with small children, and would make a great gift for Christmas, birthdays, baby showers, and more. I was very impressed in how it was so simple seeming, yet digs so deep! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  • 5
    Super Cute Bedtime Story

    Posted by Rebecca Van Daniker on 12 14 2019

    Why Do We Say Good Night? is a super cute story about a child who is afraid of the dark. So her mother explains how God made night and day and how that is good. Even though the dark creates monsters and shadows, God is always with us so we don't need to be afraid. Champ Thornton also explains how Jesus is our shepherd and we are His sheep. He protects us when we're asleep. The story is short and inspirational so it would make the perfect story to read before going to bed for the night. The graphics are beautifully done and it's one that I think children would enjoy. Highly recommended! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

  • 5
    Beautiful Poem/Book

    Posted by Matthew Cover on 12 10 2019

    Why Do We Say Good Night? is a children’s book written by Champ Thornton and published by New Growth Press. The book is illustrated by Rommel Ruiz. This small book is a wonderful addition to any children’s library! Champ Thornton writes a beautiful poem that reminds children that our good God is always with us and watching over us. When we have fear, our God is near! Rommel Ruiz does a fantastic job of illustrating this book! I think he does well at illustrating the darkness without making it too scary for little children, while also showing the glory of the light! This book will be read very quickly, as the poem is rather short. However, I don’t count that as a weakness. Some children’s books need to be short in length in order to effectively teach a lesson, and I believe this is one such book. I highly recommend this book for this beautiful, good message about the presence of the Lord and His protection over us when we are scared. Your child will love it! Disclaimer: My thanks to New Growth Press for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book on behalf of an unbiased review. The opinions expressed are my own.

  • 4
    Calms anxiety through beautiful pictures

    Posted by Whitney on 12 07 2019

    I have the firm belief that reading a book can solve any problem. And I would like to think that I am instilling that same belief into my children. Point in case (or is it case in point? I get confused) when my middle child started school we began noticing her reluctance to go to sleep and then it disrupting her morning wake up routine. Talk about a bad cycle. I began my quest to find the perfect book and finally came across this gem! Why Do We Say Goodnight tells the story of a little girl who is afraid of the going to sleep. Her mother explains to her that she is safe through the night because God created it and it is good. With soft rhymes, soothing dialogue and a Biblical message, this book hit all the right notes. I need to point out the gorgeous illustrations because they make this book come alive. I am partial to the depiction of the shepherd. By using dark background tones the light accents really pop. Is the bedtime routine getting easier? Yes. There is no more exclamations of, "but I'm scared to go to bed!" Thank goodness. Now, if there's a book about not wanting to wake up in the morning, send it my way!

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