It’s no secret that Junior Leagues publish cookbooks, but the Junior League of Tyler is taking this tried-and-true fundraising tool in a new direction with the publication of “Goodnight Rose City,” a loving homage to one of the most famous children’s books ever…”Goodnight Moon,”

The idea is not necessarily new – there are other “Goodnight…” books about New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Houston and Fort Worth, among others. But “Goodnight Rose City” is believed to be the first by a Junior League; and sales of the book, as well as the proceeds of a gala book launch featuring former First Lady (and Junior League of Austin member) Laura Bush as “first reader” will go to support JLT projects.

After JLT President Shannon Glenney came up with the idea (after seeing a copy of “Goodnight San Francisco” in an airport bookstore), the idea took off. A committee of 10 JLT members wrote the copy. Local artist Lindsay Boone provided the illustrations. And the League consulted with community partners to make sure that the “best” of Tyler was represented (Tyler’s nickname is the “Rose Capital of America” because of its background in rose production and having one of American’s largest rose gardens as municipal attraction). The City of Tyler is also one of the sponsors of the book, using money designated for tourism and marketing.

And Laura Bush? Getting the former First Lady seemed like a long shot, at first, even with her background as a librarian and deep interest in literacy, but the call went in and the answer was “yes.”

But back to the book’s use as a new fundraising tool for JLT. In addition to the proceeds from the sale of the books (with an initial printing of 5,000 copies), the book launch luncheon also served to raise money for Junior League of Tyler projects such as Summer Reading Camp and Girl Power. Which adds up to a pretty fantastic idea that happened to start with a book that Shannon Glenney picked up in an airport bookstore.

Goodnight, Rose City!