REVIEW: A Kiss Goodnight by Richard M. Sherman and Floyd Norman
Fans of the man, Walt Disney, will appreciate this book. Not only are the illustrations bright, there’s a disc included with “A Kiss Goodnight”. Many people who visit the parks don’t realize that at night, when Magic Kingdom closes, a special show starts. It’s titled, very appropirately, A Kiss Goodnight. Before we get into the details, let me tell you a little something about Walt Disney.
Walt was once upon a time, a poor boy from Marceline, Missouri. He lived on a farm, and you wouldn’t think a farm boy could turn into unarguably one of the most innovative men of all time. Walt loved fireworks and looked forward to the Fourth of July every year. The bright explosions never failed to draw his interest and it’s one of his most beloved childhood memories. The fireworks alone inspired Walt to see visitors of Disneyland home with a fireworks show every night, and that fact alone inspired “A Kiss Goodnight.”
Because of Walt’s gift to his guests every night, Disney songwriter Richard M. Sherman felt the innate need to write a song based on these shows. In this book, it details how the idea came to life and what it means to have this show in the parks for the late night guests who want a special touch from Walt himself.
In the dedication of this book, the words from one of the authors, Richard M. Sherman, can stir your love of this great man. From Richard, “To Walt Disney, who gave two, young ambitious songwriters the opportunity, courage, and confidence to reach higher and achieve more than they ever dreamed possible. And to all young dreamers, should one of your wildest dreams come true, remember to say thank you. -R.M.S” It’s true that Walt inspired so many people in his too short of a life. In the prelude of this book, lovingly referring to Walt as “the boss”, Richard details a meeting with Walt, where he expressed his immense gratitude for allowing these fireworks shows to happen at night and how special it was to have Tink fly across the sky at night, making him tear up while watching. Walt’s response was nothing short of magical when he said, “‘You know, I do that every time… now drive home carefully.’ and with a fond wink, Walt headed for his apartment over the fire station.” It wouldn’t be until over half a century later that Sherman decided to dedicate a song to Walt’s special gift for guests. It’s his own personal way of thanking him for all the many years of shows each night in their beloved Disneyland.
Throughout the book, you read about Walt’s story with whimsical illustrations of his childhood to manhood, and his journey to finding his imagination through the park he would come to build. On some pages, music notes and the lyrics to “A Kiss Goodnight” adorn the pages, prompting you to carry on. And despite the failures he may have encountered during the way, when his dreams came true, the last page is there to remind you that there was always a kiss goodnight. In the back of the book, the lyrics are very simply spelled out so you can read this tribute Sherman made to Walt.
If you can, I’d highly recommend purchasing this book. It’s a great addition to any fan of Walt Disney’s and everything he created. If you’ve never had a chance to see this late night Magic Kingdom show in person, you can do so by clicking here. And if you’d like to purchase this book, it’s here!