Books for Bedtime!
I have been compiling this list for some time, because I had hoped to find some bedtime books that will help my family transition better to quiet time/bedtime around our house. I've always read to the kids when they're going to bed, but for some reason, they want to yelp & chase each other around....basically any activity to avoid winding down & snuggling up. And I felt like if I found some intriguing, silly, but also calming bedtime books, we could rewrite that narrative at our house. I also wrote small good-night books (with pictures) for both my children using the book publishing software of blurb; those individual books have remained favorites for years! Whether it's getting our children to wind down, or reassuring them there's no monsters in the closet & not to be afraid of the dark, we all have issues with encouraging & teaching sleep in our homes.
So here's my master list of bedtime picture books for kids; I'd love to hear some of your favorites!!!
Bedtime Books for Kids:
1. Good Night Sleep Tight
by: Mem Fox
(This cute bedtime tale includes lots of songs & rhymes, which will enchant & entertain your kiddos right up until bedtime.)
2. God Gave Us Sleep
by: Lisa Tawn Bergren
(Those lovable bears are back, & this time Mama Bear is teaching Cub about the importance of our bodies getting rest.)
3. Guess How Much I Love You
by: Sam McBratney
(A rabbit dad is putting his son to sleep, & every time the little rabbit says how much he loves his dad, his dad then expands upon that object until the son finally cozies up & drifts off to sleep. This one is an absolute classic & favorite for baby shower gifts! There's a board book version of this book as well.)
4. Time to Sleep
by: Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
(A cute look at the animal kingdom, to find out who falls asleep standing up on one leg or who snores while flying?)
5. If Animals Kissed Good Night
by: Ann Whitford Paul & David Walker
(Every animal in the animal kingdom is going to bed, & through soothing rhyme, you will hear all about their good night rituals-- the slow sloths are mentioned the most, & it's pretty cute!)
6. Ten Minutes to Bed, Little Dinosaur
by: Rhiannon Fielding & Chris Chatterton
(Rumble the triceratops is running through the jungle at night, but it's uncertain whether he'll make it on time to go to sleep. A 10-minute countdown to bed that is sure to send your little ones off to the land of nod!)
7. Runaway Bunny
by: Margaret Wise Brown & Clement Hurd
(A mama bunny tries to call her little bunny in, but he keeps wanting to run away & adventure on his own. But he realizes that he actually does want to cozy up in their den at home, because he loves his mama bunny.
Also, Goodnight Moon, is another classic of Brown's but I didn't include it on this list, since it's more of a baby board book.)
8. Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?
by: Martin Waddell
(This one makes me nostalgic, because I remember it well from my childhood. Little Bear, like many children, is afraid of the dark. Big Bear, Little Bear's father, sets out with all his patience, to light lanterns in the cave & reassure Little Bear, until he finally resorts to offering Little Bear the light of the moon too.)
9. Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey
by: Emily Winfield Martin
(This book has the perfect, soothing nighttime rhyme that makes it a good bedtime read, & sparks imagination as your child imagines their dream animal & where it will take them. A fox or a bear who bakes pastries...who knows?)
10. Goodnight Ark
by: Laura Sassi & Jane Chapman
(Noah & the animals are trying to sleep through the storm on the ark; but each animal seeks out Noah in search of comfort & they all start to crowd together! Also, check out this pair's Goodnight Manger book too!)
11. Good Day, Good Night
by: Margaret Wise Brown
(As the bunny wakes up, he says good day to everything he encounters, one-by-one; later, when the sun starts to set, little bunny gets ready to wish everything a good-night.)
12. Just Go To Bed (Little Critter)
by: Mercer Mayer
(Little Critter dreads bedtime; sometimes it's the bath or time to stop playing-- something many kids can relate to & empathize with.)
13. Llama Llama, Red Pajama
by: Anna Dewedney
(Little Llama is avoiding bedtime; he is also getting impatient waiting for his mama to come up & tuck him in, so he starts to panic & yells until Mama Llama comes running upstairs. A great book to exemplify that kids don't need to be afraid of the dark, & that their parents have other things to do after the kids go to sleep.)
14. Night Wishes
by: Lee Bennett Hopkins & Jen Corace
(Wishes imagined through poetry as they whisper through a young girl's bedroom as she's trying to fall asleep for the night.)
15. Bear Can't Sleep
by: Karma Wilson
(It's winter time, so Bear should be asleep & hibernating, but when his friends come to check on him, he's awake & unable to sleep. Will they be able to help Bear sleep or will he be up all winter? Also, since it's the holiday season, check out Bear Stays Up for Christmas.)
16. Rosie the Dragon & Charlie Say Good-Night *(Free on Kindle Unlimited!)
by: Lauren Kerstein
(Like many children we know, Rosie the dragon has a bedtime routine & Charlie has to help her stick to it as best he can-- but she's a mischievous dragon, & it ends up being a harder task than anticipated, even with Charlie's list & best intentions.)
17. Jeremy Noon The Man on the Moon
by: Martin Beckett
(Jeremy wakes up in the middle of the night, only to realize that the Moon has stopped shining. He sets off on a journey with his star-catching net to make the Moon shiny & bright once more!)
18. What Will You Dream of Tonight?
by: Frances Stickley & Ansuka Allepuz
(A beautifully illustrated tale that imaginatively takes a child wherever they wish to go in their dreams; from sailing on the tale of a whale or visiting caves full of dragons!)
19. Bedtime for Sweet Creatures *Free on Kindle Unlimited
by: Nikki Grimes & Elizabeth Zunon
(Mommy needs to wrangle her sweet boy to sleep so the whole family can sleep too. The little boy is, of course, dodging bedtime, so Mommy has to work with his imagination of the animals & what the animals do when it's time to sleep too.)
20. Good Night Little Blue Truck
by: Alice Schertle & Jill McElmurry
(A sweet ode to Little Blue & Toad as they rush home in order to beat a storm. Soon Little Blue Truck's other friends show up, because lightning & thunder can be scary, but it's easy to be brave together.)
21. Bedtime for Frances
by: Russell Hoban & Garth Williams
(Frances does not want to go to sleep; she makes every excuse to avoid going to bed. Her parents wlil
22. Snoring's Boring
by: Victoria Brotherton & Billie Hastie
(Henry comes to life at bedtime; he can't go to sleep like other children! But lack of sleep can cause problems for Henry & Henry's parents; can an encounter on a school field trip teach Henry that sleep is important?)
23. Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night?
by: Brianna Caplan Sayres & Christian Slade
(Have you ever wondered where all the planes, diggers, etc. go to sleep at the end of a hard day's work? Also check out, Where Do Diggers Sleep?)
24. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
by: Sherri Duskey Rinker
(After a long, hard day at the construction site, all the big machines need to get some sleep. Even machinery needs to rest at night! Each machine tucks away for the night in its own way; we have the sound button book, which is engaging & fun!)
25. Stop that Yawn!
by: Caron Levis & LeUyen Pham
(Gabby has had enough of bedtime; it's so boring & unexciting! She wants Granny to let her have ice-cream at bedtime, jump on beds, etc. but there's a yawn on the loose-- will Gabby be able to keep it at bay?)
26. Woodland Dreams
by: Karen Jameson & Marc Boutavant
27. Tiny T. Rex & the Very Dark Dark
by: Jonathan Stutzman & Jay Fleck
(Tiny wants to have a campout with his very best friend, Pointy. But when things get really dark, Tiny has some tricks up his sleeve to ward off the spooky things they can't see!)
28. Bedtime, Ted!
by: Sophy Henn
(Ted is a willful, stubborn toddler....much like many toddlers you probably know! This cute book with flaps goes through all the things Ted will need to do in order to get ready for bed.)
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Hi, I'm Katie! I'm 33 years old, love the outdoors, reading books & being a mama! And I also enjoy literacy research for my podcast.