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

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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.


“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

Additional Details

0.65 LBS
9.00 (in)
8.80 (in)
0.32 (in)
Champ Thornton
Publication Date:
Page Count:
Age Level:
4-7 Years
Read a Sample:
BISAC Category 1:
REL012030 RELIGION / Christian Living / Family & Relationships
Case Quantity:

20 Reviews

  • 5
    Assurance of God's care and protection!

    Published by Beauty in the Binding on 12 01 2019

    Both of my daughters (ages 4 and 7) enjoyed Why Do We Say Good Night? by Champ Thornton (author) and Rommel Ruiz (illustrator). For my younger child, I had to point to which character was speaking on the first read through because the text doesn’t explicitly state who is saying each line, but my older child could follow the narrative without assistance and tell by the word clues whether the mother or daughter was speaking. In the story, the little girl fears what might lie in the darkness. Her mother gently encourages her to step away from her fear by embracing the truth that a loving God sees and protects her even when it’s dark. “Yet God sees all; his sight’s not dim. The dark is like bright light to him. So when it’s dark—with perfect sight—our God is watching through the night.” Why Do We Say Goodnight? has very unique and complex illustrations, but I was concerned my daughters might find some of the illustrations scary or unpleasant. Fortunately, my concern was unnecessary as neither of them were disturbed by the eyes and monsters. I recommend Why Do We Say Goodnight? to any Christian parent looking for a resource to reassure a child of God’s care and protection. Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

  • 5
    Great Message and Beautiful Illlustrations

    Published by Amy Smelser on 11 28 2019

    This is a beautiful illustrated children's book that I was pleased to read. It is written for younger kids and the young at heart. My 9 year old son and I shared in the story and we were both delighted by the artwork and the message behind the poem like story. The older I grow the more I appreciate the simplicity of a story that is found in children's story books. This would be a lovely addition to anyone, old or young who enjoys the message that we are watched over and loved by our Creator. The artwork is especially pleasing and what starts off as scary and overshadowing diminishes and becomes explainable. I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

  • 5
    Don't be afraid of the dark

    Published by ReneeK on 11 26 2019

    If you have children who struggle going to sleep at night this sweet story will open up conversations with your child to not be afraid because our God created the night. We don’t have to be afraid because we can’t see in the dark. The little girl doesn’t understand how the night can be good when it is so dark. The stories are very realistic and something that many children have an issue dealing with. I know my daughter struggled with this at bedtime. I needed this book back then. I love that Jesus is put in the forefront of this darling story. The illustrations are cute and many kids will relate to the illustrations. There are several scriptures to share with your kids. I received a free copy of this product

  • 4
    Good night

    Published by Laura Hilton on 11 25 2019

    WHY DO WE SAY GOODNIGHT is a well-written bedtime story for children who are afraid off the dark. It reminds them that like a shepherd, Jesus watches over us while we sleep. A great reminder. The pictures are dark, spooky, and may scare small children, but they are realistic to what we imagine we see in the dark. This would be a great bedtime tradition to remind children Jesus watches over us. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.

  • 4
    Godly Approach to Overcoming Fear

    Published by Kristin D Bush on 11 22 2019

    In this book, a mother and daughter are engaged in conversation about why they say good night especially since the daughter is afraid of the dark. The mother then explains why we say good night or that the night is good. She explains that while we cannot see well in the dark, God can and He is with us even while we sleep. Looking at the images, you can see the progression of the story from being fearful to no longer fearing the dark and trusting that God is there even while she sleeps. This is a good and different book. It's the first book we have in our collection to deal with the fear of the dark, and considering I have had a few children to help cope with this fear I'm glad to come across and review this book. Mamas of littles, go ahead and add it to your library. {FYI: I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for my HONEST opinion of the book.}

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