Books about Bedtime

Reading at bed time is a great way to unwind, connect with your child and end the day on a happy calm note . Kids will often choose their favorite bedtime books over and over and that is not just normal it’s a great way to make them feel connected to reading in a positive way. What we like to do with picture books at bedtime is to have our kids pick one ( or two is time permits ) and parents choose the other. Then we can introduce new books while letting them feel secure by choosing their favorite bedtime books as well.These are my 10 favorite bedtime books for kids .

Looking for Sleepy by Maribeth Boelts is a perfect bedtime book. I really think it’s brilliant. I was gifted it and it probably wouldn’t have jumped off the book shelf to me if I had been browsing at the book store but I am so glad it ended up in our hands. The book is about a little bear and his papa bear getting ready for bed. They go through their bedtime routine, starting by looking for sleepy hiding under toys, in the bath , in his pjs, in the bedtime stories etc… I love the dad in this book. I love how he’s patient and kind and the illustration on the page where they are reading in bed and his toddler’s hand is awkwardly on his head cracks me up. My favorite part though is that when the toddler asks Papa to stay a little longer while he falls asleep Papa does. I enjoy books that are reassuring and provide a sense of security for young children at bedtime and this does that with ease. Awesome book!

Goodnight Moonby Margaret Wise Brown is a classic for a reason. My son has loved it since day one and it really does a great job of calming before bed, like all great bedtime stories should. As a teacher I hated this book probably because it’s not a great book for groups I admit I was wrong, this is a gem ! The rhythm and rhymes are perfect to go from a busy day to a calm night. My son chooses this book to read to us often since he knows it by heart and when he’s having trouble sleeping I can lay with him and simply recite it to bring him back down. I say that is pretty great proof of the power of this classic.


Mortimer (Classic Munsch)  by Robert Munsch is a fun bedtime book, it’s not the calmest and is pretty funny so you may want to read this one before some more chill books, but it’s so cute I couldn’t leave it off my list. I can’t remember the first time I read this book, but whether reading it to a group of preschoolers or to my son I have never had a child not sing along with Mortimer who is driving everyone bonkers by not going to sleep! Instead he is singing and making noise and not even the police can stop him!


Otto Goes to Bed by Todd Parr is a really fun and positive book. Otto is a dog who doesn’t want to go to bed, he wants to play, chase his tail and a bath and brushing teeth don’t help. Instead he figures out that there is something he likes about bedtime, dreaming! I like that this book addresses that going to bed feels like missing out on things for kids, I know I felt like that for years. Instead of blankly saying “Sleeping is great” or “You have to go to bed” this book finds something positive about going to bed . The illustration of Otto as a super hero dog makes my son howl with laughter every time.

 

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann has been one of my son’s favorite bedtime books for years. It is an adorable book about a zoo keeper who’s animals follow him home, and snuggle into bed. My son likes to point out mama, dada and he labels the little gorilla snuggling in bed as the baby! There is something very toddler like about that sneaky gorilla and now when my son is being mischievous we call him our “sneaky little gorilla”. It’s very sweet, and a nice calm book to read before bed or nap. Also see if you can find the tribute to Babar in one of the illustrations!

Good Night, Dinosaurs by Judy Sierra is a tongue twister and I love it! I have a hard time pronouncing dinosaur names, but the cute little rhymes she writes to go with each really help. The book is simple, parent dinosaurs tucking in and getting their little dinosaurs ready to fall asleep. Your child will love the catchy “Good Night Dinosaurs, Sleep Tight Dinosaurs, Good Night Dinosaurs, Goodnight!” I know I did.
I Don’t Want to Go to Bed! by Julie Sykes is a story about a tiger who refuses to go to bed. His mom decides to let him stay up. Little tiger goes around to all his friends and asks them to play but they are all getting ready for bed or already asleep. The jungle isn’t nearly as fun at night as he thought and it’s much colder too! He’s getting scared when he finds a new friend who takes him home just in time to fall asleep. My son liked this book and so did I it addresses a child’s feeling of missing out on fun and explains the reality which is that they aren’t missing out on anything at all.
Jake Stays Awake by Michael Wright made both my husband and I laugh hysterically my son liked it too, but we loved it. It’s about a little boy who can’t sleep without his parents and they don’t like sleeping with feet in their faces. Can you relate, we can which is why we found this book so funny. What I liked was that Jake wasn’t disciplined for wanting to sleep with his parents, and they tried and tired all different places to sleep, they were just being honest that it wasn’t working anymore! My son loved the page that they were all sleeping in garbage cans and I loved that Jake looked to be about 12 , it gives me hope that my son may sleep alone by puberty.

Good Night, Mr. Night by Dan Yaccarino This is another wonderful and calming bedtime book, Mr. Night quiets the animals , closes the flowers and gets the world ready to go night night! I love this book- I keep meaning to pick up the board book version! Like ” Goodnight Moon” there aren’t too many words, but the illustrations are perfect! My son likes to say “Come here Mr.Night” while getting into bed when we read this one.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague is a beautifully illustrated story about the tantrums and dramatics that dinosaurs put their parents through at bedtime. I really like this book because it asks if dinosaurs do all these naughty things and kids love to point out what the dinosaurs shouldn’t be doing. Of course in the end the dinosaur s remember their manners and go to bed with hugs and kisses and the lights off!

 

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Comments

  1. Infant Bibliophile says

    These sound like great choices, some which we haven't read. Thank you for the suggestions! We did a sleep post awhile back too. Jake's Awake is definitely going on my on hold list now. We coslept until a couple of weeks ago when we moved into the new house. We were ready for a rough transition, but we asked him where he wanted to sleep on his first night in the house, and he pointed to his room! The crib wasn't even put together, so he slept on his mattress on the floor. Every night since, even in the middle of the night when I'm exhausted (he nurses a lot), if I ask him if he wants to sleep in his room or with mommy and daddy, he points to his room. Now if we could figure out how to night wean, we'll be all set! Anyone want to tackle a children's book about weaning? ;)

  2. Amanda says

    I just love when Maddie 'reads' her books to me. It's too funny the important parts they remember and then she makes up stories about random things in the pictures too.

  3. Melissa says

    We'll have to check out some of the ones on your list! Some of our favorites are on there – Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Gorilla, etc. Lately, my 3 yr old has been asking for "And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street" by Dr. Seuss.

  4. Life as a Greenstreet says

    We have so many of those (and love them!) We have to add:
    Just Go to bed (Mercer Mayer)'
    Time for bed (Mem Fox)

  5. Anonymous says

    Lovely list with some favourites of our kids too.

    Would have to agree about Time for Bed (Mem Fox) but also need to add

    The Going To Bed Book (Sandra Boynton)
    and
    Nighty Night (Kerry Argent & Margaret Wild)

  6. Allie says

    Keep the suggestions coming I love them all- I need to make another list with all reader suggested ones.

    I love the Napping House but haven't read it in ages. Thanks for the reminder It's on my list!

    Lynn – Night weaning was hard for us, heck weaning was too. For us we did it very very gradually. I would go get him when he woke and snuggle first, if that didn't soothe him I'd nurse… slowly cutting it down in time. It was hard because I had to be fully awake to know what I was doing. Then once i got down to nothing , my husband had to go in. If I went in he wanted to nurse. It was so worth it though, I needed sleep that lasted longer than 3 hours at a time.

    • admin says

      Can the 7 year old read? I would have each choose one picture book and have the 7 year old help you read to them, then read chapter books with the 7 year old.

  7. Carrie Renda says

    If You Were My Bunny has been one of my son’s favorites since he was an infant. When he was 8 or 9 months old he would light up and smile if he just heard me say “If you were my bunny and I were your mama…” even in the middle of crying. And now, as a toddler, the only songs he wants me to sing to him at night are the lullabies from that book – any other lullaby gets an emphatic “no” when I start to sing it. ; )

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