40 Must Read Bedtime Books

bedtime book list for kids

Establishing a routine for reading every day is important and one of the easiest ways to do that is to read with your kids every night. No ifs, ands, or buts just grab a book or 10 every single night.  I have shared a lot of books over the years and some of the reviews below are from me but I wanted to widen the horizon a bit with this post and include favorite bedtime books from other education minded blogs. So below is a list of must read bedtime books to freshen up your go to pile on the nightstand. All our book lists include affiliate links including this one.

hug book

Hug by Jez Alborough
This simple book is great for my boys to read to their baby sister before she goes to bed. It has been a favorite in our house for every child. Review by Lemon Lime Adventures

greek myths

Usborne’s Greek Myths for Young Children by Heather Amery
One of our favorite myth books, the binding is already breaking apart. My boys are 3 and 4. Although often criticized for being a bit too violent, these mythical tales draw them in each night. There is something about these stories that captivate and hook my boys to want more and to ask insightful questions. Hands down, this book is one of our favorite myth anthologies. The stories ignite a sense of awe and wonder about the world and provoke a desire to learn that I never imagined was possible. The tales are colorful and written well. This book is great from preschool on up with older children able to read them on their own. Review by Carrots Are Orange

looking for sleepy

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 pajamas, 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!

pajama times

Pajama Time! (Boynton on Board)by Sandra Boynton
We love books by Sandra Boyton. One of our all-time favorites is Pajama Time! I love the sing-song way she tells this cute story about how the fun characters get ready to go to bed with a pajama dance song. Everyone can pajammy in whatever they’ve got – fuzzy, striped, red. Perfect for toddlers but still loved by my 6 year old too! Review by Fun Handprint & Footprint Art

Margaret_Wise_Brown_Big_Red_Barn

Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown is one of my very favorite books to read to my daughter before bed although it took a while before she warmed up to it. I was worried because I loved reading it to my son and couldn’t wait to share it with her.  The story is simple readers see a day in the life of a big red barn and all the animals inside. Each animal is introduced in the seamless text that reads like a melodic poem. It’s  calm , soothing and Felicia Bond’s illustrations are perfect, I love how the sky subtly changes as the night beckons.  A wonderful book for anytime, but especially poignant before bed.

goodnight moon

Goodnight Moon by 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.

 

sometimes i like to curl up in a ball

Sometimes I Like To Curl Up In A Ball by Vicki Churchill reminds us all what it is like to be little–and to want to run, stomp, twirl, and jump to our heart’s content–but at the day’s end it’s great to cozy up with our loved ones. Review by teachmama.com

llama llama

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Little Llama turns bedtime into big drama! Just one more drink? The rhyming text and familiar theme is sure to make this a favorite bedtime story for all young children. Review by Pre-K Pages

time+for+bed

Time for Bed by Mem Fox is a sweet, rhyming book that shows animals putting their babies to sleep. The kids like naming the animals and I like that it ends with a sweet picture of a mama putting her own child to bed. Review by LalyMom

corduroy

Corduroy by Don Freeman
Corduroy is a bear who longs for someone to take him home and one day it almost happened, but who would want to buy a bear with a lost button? That evening, Corduroy goes on a search for his button…. My 3 year old daughter loves to create the sounds of him yanking and pulling what he thought was his lost button. In the end, Corduroy finds a home “better than the palace in at the department store.” Review by School Time Snippets

kittens first full moon

Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
What a night! The Moon is full and kitten is feeling brave and hungry! He goes on a full moon adventure trying to reach that big bowl of milk he sees…in the sky! This is a wonderful night time book for children of all ages. Review by Sugar Ants

bed times

Can’t Sleep Without Sheep by Susanna Leonard Hill is an absolutely fantastic story about a little girl who needs to count sheep to get to sleep but there is one big problem the sheep are too tired to jump. They promise her to find  replacements but animal after animal is just not working out. I laughed out loud at many pages of this book  ( especially the chickens) and my daughter loved it even if she didn’t get all the layers of humor. Very sweet book .

bedtimes

Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban is a classic. Frances and her very loving mom and dad are struggling with bedtime. She goes to bed but then keeps getting out of bed with reason after reason as to why she can’t sleep. The start of this story is really sweet and her parents were kind and gentle with her trying to alleviate her fears without fixing  everything for her. As the evening wears on and her parents go to bed themselves their patience is tested. Now I am not a fan of spanking and I have never spanked my kids so I had t explain to them what a spanking was and why Frances didn’t want one. I don’t think that you should avoid this book if you are ideologically against spanking I think it’s a great opportunity to talk about different discipline techniques and a chance to talk about frustration and sleep when you aren’t frustrated because your kids can’t sleep.

if you were my baby

If You Were My Baby: A Wildlife Lullaby (A Simply Nature Book) (Simply Nature Books)by Fran Hodgkins
This is a fun book for little animal lovers. It captures gentle and playful moments between baby animals and their mothers. The Pleasantest Thing

the dream jar

The Dream Jar by Lindan Lee Johnson
When my daughter was having trouble with bad dreams this book was a big help. In The Dream Jar the main character has a very vivid imagination. Her older sister helps her use that imagination to shift her dreams. I love the sibling cooperation. The artwork is also fantastic and we had a great time making our own dream jars. Review by A Mom With A Lesson Plan

mama papa board book

Mama Mama/Papa Papa Flip Board Bookby Jean Marzollo
This book is two books in one. Read it one way for all of the ways mamas show love and care, then flip it over and read it the other way for all of the ways papas show love and care. The illustrations are beautiful – this is the perfect book to give new parents. Reviewed by Creative With Kids

favorites

You’re All My Favorites by Sam McBrattney is a favorite bedtime book of ours because the three little bears ask their parents questions our three little kids have asked us time and time again: ‘Who is your favorite?’ Mama Bear answers the same way I do! Review by teachmama.com

I love you stinky face

I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt.
This tender story puts a fun twist on the traditional “I Love You” bedtime story. My kids giggle all the way through! (And I love that the book isn’t overtly “boy” or “girl”, just plain great!) review by Not Just Cute

where is the poop

Where’s the Poop? by Julie Markes
I’m afraid to admit this but my daughter’s favorite books are about poop! We love potty humor in our house! This book is a bedtime favorite here. She especially likes to open and shut the door on the last page where the little girl is on the potty to give her privacy! review by Still Playing School

goodnight touch and feel

Good Night {A Touch & Feel Bedtime Book} by Melanie Mitchell
Good Night is a delightful bedtime story for little ones. Children are taken through the days and evenings of various fuzzy animals, culminating with a young child heading to bed in her soft blanket. A wonderful, snuggly rhyming book for young ones. Review by Wildflower Ramblings

mortimer

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

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.

goodnight gorilla

Good Night, Gorillaby Peggy Rathmann
I admit that I didn’t love this book at first. I was an English major; I like words! This book is mostly pictures. But when my 20-month-old started narrating the pictures for me, I knew it was a keeper! It’s always good to find books that truly engage young toddlers. Review by Nothing if Not Intentional

Goodnight-Goodnight-Construction-Site

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Dusky Rinker
Who would have guessed that bedtime rhymes and cement Mixers, bulldozers, and excavators would mix so well? Each of the vehicles settles in to rest at the construction site after a busy day, making it the perfect bedtime book for your construction vehicle lover! Modern Parents Messy Kids

steam train dream train

Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Dusky Rinker
Steam Train, Dream Train is another wonderful bedtime book from the author and illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. The text rolls along with a rocking, lulling rhythm as the gorgeous illustrations follow an animal railroad crew from work to bedtime through a dreamy, vivid night. — Play Trains!

Bedtime-for-Mommy

Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Bed Time For Mommy is a great book about a girl that is putting her mommy to bed and the fun routine they go through at bed time. It is fun and cheerful and was fun to see what things my girls do a bed time. Review by 3 Dinosaurs

who will tuck me in tonight

Who Will Tuck Me In Tonight?by Carol Roth

In Who Will Tuck Me in Tonight? Woolly the lamb is ready for bed but his mother isn’t there to tuck him in. Many other animals on the farm come to try and help Woolly get to sleep, but nobody can do it just right. This book brings a lot of giggles at bedtime, especially when we help sing the “lullaby” in our loudest duck voices. And it’s a story that has been requested over and over and over again by both of my kids. Fantastic Fun and Learning

All the world

All the World by Liz Graton Scanlon
A simple rhyming story that follows a few families and how their lives intertwine on a run of the mill summer day. All the world is a favorite because it speaks to all the commonalities in humankind: love, peace, hope, etc. My kids loved this from 18 months on. Your Kid’s Table

russell the sheep
Russell the Sheepby Rob Scotten
One of our favorite bedtime stories is Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton. Russell is having a hard time getting to sleep while the rest of the flock is snoozing. He tries all sorts of things to fall asleep and eventually finds a clever way to fall asleep just before the sun rises. This one is requested time and time again in our house. Recommended by Growing Book by Book

Dinosaur Vs Bedtime

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea is such a great book for toddlers. Dinosaur is a tornado full of energy much like a 2 year old and attacks each event in his day with serious gusto. When it’s time for bed he roars through bath and toothbrushing and then just roars like mad when it’s time for bed. Much like my little dinosaurs he eventually gets sleepy and unlike the rest of the day bedtime wins and he falls asleep. My kids love all the Dinosaur Vs. books and I do too. They are fun , simple and if you can manage a really loud gruff voice it’s that much more fun to read.

good night animal world

Good Night, Animal World: A Kids Yoga Bedtime Story by Giselle Shardlow is a favorite at our house. It is the perfect way to help my active child wind down for bed, as he moves through the gentle, engaging poses of this beautifully written book. – Leanna @ All Done Monkey

Good Night Dinosaurs

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.

 

10 wriggly

Ten Wriggly Wiggly Caterpillars by Debbie Tarbett
Ten Wriggly Wiggly Caterpillars is a fantastic counting book for preschoolers. It’s one of our favourite books appearing at first to have a sad ending as we count down the number of caterpillars as they disappear from view (enhanced by the model caterpillars used) but ending with a bright and beautiful pop up feature. With rhymes and counting it’s a great combination for preschoolers and you to read together at bedtime. Review by Rainy Day Mum

time to sleep my love

It’s Time to Sleep, My Love is my favorite book by Nancy Tillman. It has a nice lulling rhyme to it and a sweet pictures to go with it. I actually sing the words to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! LalyMom

harry and horsie

Harry and Horsie by Katie Van Camp
A wonderful and simple short bedtime story about a little boy and his best friend, a stuffed horse. Read about a great adventure they have together and the love he has for his horsie before finally settling in for bedtime! review by Little Bins For Little Hands

voyage to bunny planet
Voyage to the Bunny Planetby Rosemary Wells
Who hasn’t had One of Those Days before? You know the kind where everything goes wrong. In the three sweet books in this little series the bunnies have a bad day that is made right by a voyage to The Bunny Planet. Reading them feels soothing like a warm bath and a cup of cocoa. Creative With Kids

ouch in my pouch

There’s an Ouch in my Pouch!by Jeanne Willis
This is a book we all love reading together because of the wonderful rhythmic language. Willaby Wallaby is grumpy because there is an ouch in his pouch so off he hops to try to find a new home. He approaches Mummy Wombat and Mummy Possum but their pouches are no good and then he bumps into scary Ma Dingo. Luckily, Willaby bounces back to his mum and finds out that the ouch is just his new little sister. Mum explains that there’s always room for them both in her pouch but Willaby realises that he’s a big boy and he doesn’t need a pouch after all (he likes being free to do bounces and hops!) so he doesn’t mind sharing it with his sister. It gives you the opportunity to talk about Willaby feeling pushed out, how his mum still loves him and how he can do more things now he is a ‘big boy’. Simple enough for toddlers to grasp. Review by Cat from Yellow Days

bear snores on

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
It’s about a bear who is hibernating in his cave during the winter. Lots of animals find their way into the cave and essentially have a party while Bear sleeps. But what happens when Bear wakes up? Review by Inspirational Laboratories

goodnight mr night

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

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
by Jane Yolen
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night is a fun rhyming book that teaches good bedtime behavior. Both of my kids absolutely love the fun dinosaur illustrations and giggle through the entire book as the dinosaurs stomp, roar, and pout over bedtime. In addition to showing a variety of dinosaurs on every page, this book also includes a variety of families making it easy for children to relate this story to themselves and their families. The reinforcement of good bedtime behaviors makes this book or go to bedtime story. At the end of the story, it takes a big hug, and then one kiss more- then I’m hearing good night from my dinosaurs. If you are looking for a fun bedtime story that will help make your families bed time routine run smoother that I would strongly suggest checking out this book! Review by Parenting Chaos

Did we forget one of your favorite bedtime books ? Tell us all about it in a comment and we can keep this list growing!

Picture Books About Bunnies

easter books for kids about bunnies I love books about bunnies and am amazed at how many we have read over the years and these aren’t even all of them. Whether the Easter bunny visits your house or not you can find something for your home library here. This book list includes classic children’s books, Easter themed books, and just plain rad books with bunnies as characters. All our book lists contain affiliate links.

white-rabbits-color-book-alan-baker

White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker is a classic in my mind and if you have never read it you must. It’s not a complicated story, instead it’s a brilliant book and lesson about color mixing . The cover illustration of the bunny in the paint always makes me think of dying Easter eggs which is another great opportunity to teach about color mixing. Kids love this book and adults reading it will enjoy the fun and dynamic language used to describe the vibrant colors that the bunny plunges into.

Thunder Bunny

Thunder Bunny by Barbara Helen Berger was a big hit with my son although I think I over analyzed it or maybe just didn’t get it.  I kept trying to turn it into a metaphor and really the only way to look at it and its magical illustrations is how my son did with wide eyes and acceptance.  Thunder Bunny is a different kind of bunny but he is magnificent , kind of like this book. The text is melodic and the illustrations will keep the interest of a wide range of ages.

a boy and his bunny

A Boy and His Bunny by Sean Bryan is magical. It’s absurd and playful and struck a chord with the goofiness that we are often partaking in at our house these days. The text is filled with dry humor  but even if your child is too young to grab its subtlety they will still love how silly it is that this boy has a bunny on his head! The best part is the end and I don’t want to give it away but I will say a bunny isn’t the worst thing you can have on your head.

bunny's noisy book

Bunny’s Noisy Book by Margaret Wise Brown is a sweet book about a little bunny and all the sounds he hears throughout his day. As the little bunny hops from sun up to sun down you travel with him to experience the sounds and sights of a perfect spring day. The illustrations by Lisa McCue are rich and the bunnies are so cute . My son loved the pictures but wasn’t too into the story, I think that is just a matter of age ( he was 2 at the time of reading), but I would recommend this book for sure.

goodnight moon

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown isn’t an innovative choice but I make babies who love this book. My son could be “Goodnight Mooned ” to sleep as a baby if we simply recited the words and while my daughter isn’t at that point yet she sits happily listening to our voices as we read it to her. I will be the first to admit I didn’t always love this book but as a mom it’s been more than a book, it’s been a signal to my son that it’s bedtime and I hope that it becomes part of my daughter’s routine soon too.  The story is simple , it’s not even really a story so much as a baby bunny saying goodnight to all the objects in his room including the moon peeking in the window.

runaway bunny

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. I am trying to find the right way to say how much I dislike this book. I know many love it but I just can’t get on board. A few years ago my assistant teacher and I referred to it as “Run bunny run!” because this poor bunny is just trying to get some space from his mom. I know that some people adore this book and think that the sentiment of security is the one to focus on but I can’t write that I love a book when I don’t.

abc bunny

The ABC  Bunny by Wanda Gag was first published in 1933 and is delicious! Readers follow along with a little bunny all the way from a to z ! The rhyming text is bouncy and my son was fully engaged. I thought the black and white pictures may throw him off but he loved them and didn’t seem to notice that there was no color, they were beautifully done and that was all that mattered. I love the language used like the words dash, gale and jaunty. Good books are good books no matter when they were written, and readers will always love them, I loved this book.

ten little rabbits

Ten Little Rabbits by Virginia Grossman is a really beautiful and cozy counting book. The reader follows Native American rabbits from 1 who is traveling on the plains to 10 all asleep in their tee pees . My son loved the illustrations by Sylvia Long and after reading it he wanted to play hide and seek just like the rabbits in the book.

Peter Rabbit's Happy Easter

Peter Rabbit’s Happy Easter by Grace Maccarone is an interesting tale about how Peter Rabbit became the Easter Bunny.  The book has a few loose ends I really wish would be tied up but before I get to that let me give you a quick taste of the book. The story is how Peter wants to make his mom forgive him for being naughty so he steals ( although he doesn’t see it that way) eggs from neighboring farms to give her as a gift. Before he gives them to her paint falls on them and they get colored all different beautiful colors. His mom tells him not to steal and so he returns them at night becoming the Easter Bunny. Ok here are my issues…I don’t mind naughty characters, in fact I usually really enjoy them but sneaking back to return something you stole without apologizing left a bad taste. I know why the author wrote it like that to turn him into the Easter Bunny but it still didn’t sit well with me. The illustrations by David McPhail really stole the show , I thought they were beautiful.

bunny guess how much

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney is a modern classic. I am not sure that any book that has inspired a generation or two of parents to tell their kids that they love them “To the moon and back.” can be anything but. My daughter loves this book and the unconditional love that it portrays. I am not as big a fan. Please don’t hate me. I get that a child can never know how much a parent loves them , just thinking about how much I love my kids brings tears to my eyes ( seriously I am tearing up writing this) but Big Nut Brown Hare just won’t let the little bunny win. My opinion doesn’t matter though because my kids love it so much that I have read it more times than I can count!

my friend rabbit

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann is a cute book with award winning illustrations that follows a mouse and a rabbit who remain friends despite the rabbit’s uncanny ability to get into trouble. The little rabbit means well and his heart is true, the limited text and descriptive illustrations make this book great for a wide range of age groups and my son loved the Rhino!

little bunny's sleepless night

Little Bunny’s Sleepless Night by Carol Roth is a sweet story of an only child bunny who wants to share a room and go to sleep with someone else. He ventures out to a series of friend’s houses before eventually realizing that maybe sleeping alone in his own bed is what he really wants. My son loved it , he thought the skunk who sprayed by accident promoting the bunny to leave was hilarious and suggested that bunny should just climb into his mom’s bed. I like it because the bunny learns that he isn’t missing out on anything by not having someone to share a bedroom with , that he has the perfect spot for him after all.

moon-rabbit

Moon Rabbit by Natalie Russel is a calm, beautiful book about two rabbits who find each other and become great friends even thought they are from different places.  White Rabbit is a city rabbit and loves her urban home but is called away by the longing for company. She finds it in a park with Brown Rabbit who is wonderful and plays beautiful music. There is just one glitch White Rabbit misses the city.  I loved this book, my son liked it too but it almost made me cry. My husband and I are from different countries and long distance relationships are so hard , I wanted to jump in the book and tell White Rabbit that . I had to restrain myself  from saying ” The pressure will be too much , the limited time will make them argue and fight.” when my son pointed out that I shouldn’t be sad that White Rabbit leaves the park and goes home because he comes for a visit in the end. But if ever I have projected my on experience onto a book  this was it , wow. It  really is a sweet tale about friends who can be friends despite physical distance. Oh and the illustrations , they are the very definition of springtime. Lovely.A Very Big Bunny

A Very Big Bunny by Marisabina Russo is a nice book about two bunnies that don’t fit in at school.  This book opened a good dialogue between my son and I as we were reading about how both the tallest and the shortest bunny in the class got picked on.  The students in their class were mean but not purposefully bullying, they excluded these bunnies because they simply didn’t fit. The part that hit me the most was when the teacher lined the kids up by height, and Amelia the tall bunny was always last. It just made me think of how adults so often single kids out without trying to be terrible, but really hurting them. All that aside, the book itself comes to a nice conclusion and I think it’s worth grabbing for any child tall or short or in between.

the bunny book richard scarry

The Bunny Book by Richard Scarry is one of my very favorite children’s books. My daughter loves it too so we read it a lot. The story is about a little baby bunny and his family’s hopes and reams for him. Each family member has a dream for the little baby bunny from lion tamer to postal worker. Everyone has their opinion but baby bunny knows what he wants to be , a daddy. I love that this book makes being a daddy something to be when you grow up.

Easter books

The Best Easter Eggs Ever! by Jerry Smath is a cute Easter book . The story follows the Easter bunny and his three young assistant bunnies as they prepare for their big day. The Easter Bunny is getting tired and a little bored of his polka dot design for the eggs and decides to send out his assistants in search of new designs. The little bunnies head out with one egg and paints to all different places to find inspiration. When one of the little bunnies is captivated by the night sky she doesn’t notice how dark it is and how lost she has gotten. The Easter Bunny and his other assistants find her and in the morning the new designs are celebrated. My son loves an inside look at any sort of secret place like the Easter Bunny’s or Santa’s workshop so he was drawn into this book immediately. I liked the illustrations and how detailed they were , it certainly got me excited about Easter.

wee little bunny

Wee Little Bunny by Lauren Thompson is such a sweet little book that just oozes spring! Readers get to follow along with the wee little bunny as it frolics around with other animals and plays the day away. After a long day the bunny returns to it’s happy place to snuggle with it’s mama. Toddlers will connect with the bunny and this sweet little story. The illustrations by John Butler will make you want to reach into the pictures and try to pet the bunny’s soft fur, they are that vibrant!

bens bunny trouble

Ben’s Bunny Trouble by Daniel Wakeman is free of text but easily qualifies as an epic story.  No young adventurer would be board by this book about Ben who is searching for the right planet for his bunnies. This is a great “quiet time”or ” independent reading ” book for kids who aren’t yet readers since the pages are filled with comic book like illustrations by Dirk Van Stratlen with amazing detail. This is one of those books that each time you open it you notice something new. It is however way too long for most toddlers in its entirety , though still fun to hunt and peck a page here or there.

bunnies on the go

Bunnies on the Go: Getting from Place to Place by Rick Walton is awesome … with one little detail that drives me bananas. OK so the book is great , I loved the traveling theme and the text that had a page turning rhyme that revealed the next mode of transportation that the bunnies would be taking.  See if you can read it before your little detectives yell it out!  After a time or two you will loose with every turn of the page.  That little detail I didn’t like was the bunnies riding in the bed of a pick up truck. Yes the author said it was dangerous but I just wish it wasn’t in the book at all. I still read it and yes I think it ended up being a teachable opportunity but it left me wondering what the author was thinking besides looking for a rhyme. Check this one out for yourself , the great way outweighs the bad and I imagine we will be renewing this one for a few weeks!

bunny book 8

That’s Not My Bunny: Its Tail Is Too Fluffy (Usborne Touchy Feely) by Fiona Watt is a simple book that will have your toddler exploring textures while giggling about what is and isn’t a bunny.

read-to-your-bunny

Read To Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells is a simple little book that reminds parents to read to their children with adorable bunny illustrations. This is not a story , it’s a collection of reminders with great illustrations. My daughter LOVES bunnies and consequently she also loves Max & Ruby the cartoon based on this author/illustrator’s works so this book was an instant classic at our house. I liked it because it showed bunnies reading in all different settings and I could ask my daughter if she’d read here or there and suggest we read in new places. This book does a great job at promoting reading.knuffle bunny

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems is hilarious and heartwarming all at the same time. The story is about a lost stuffed bunny, and a dad that can’t quite understand what his toddler is trying to say to him. Luckily the mom speaks “toddler” and dad gets to be a hero by reuniting his daughter with her beloved bunny.

a bunny is funny

A Bunny is Funny by Harriet Ziefert and Fred Ehrlich is a good book but not really funny like the cover claimed, perhaps quirky.  It is still a wonderful book and not so much about bunnies, instead it about a lot of animals and the odd details about them that make them “funny”.  The illustrations are bold and the rhyming text is natural and written in a way that will keep a wide range of ages interested in this quirky look at familiar animals that we nonchalantly accept despite their unusual features.

Do you have a favorite bunny book? Tell me about it on my No Time For Flash Cards Facebook Page

Picture Books About Immigration

books about immigration I am an immigrant. My transition from my home country of Canada to the US was not traumatic but it wasn’t a walk in the park either. There are differences, there are adjustments and there are the blank stares when I say something like ” She dropped her soother.” to another mom at the park and realize after the awkward silence that I should have said pacifier or binky. Times like that make you feel different from everyone else.  I know that as far as immigrating goes I have had it easy. That makes me even more passionate about opening children up to stories about immigration and adjusting to life in a new country. These picture books are all wonderful. Most are specifically about immigration while others are about children who are trying to balance the two often conflicting cultures in their life.

Our book lists contain affiliate links.

How many days to america

How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Storyby Eve Bunting made my heart beat fast and stomach tie in knots. I was so worried for the young family that was fleeing their homeland in a small fishing boat. The book doesn’t tell you exactly where the family is from although it seems like they are from somewhere in the Caribbean. What it does do is provide readers with a sense of the urgency, sadness, and the trials along the way when you are a refugee.

Greenapple

One Green Apple by Eve Bunting is a treat. Sometimes learning about the world means learning about people next door to us.  The book is not about apples really at all, instead it’s about Farrah a little Muslim girl who has come to the United States from an unnamed country and her first day at school. The day is spent on a field trip to an orchard , where the children picked apples and made apple cider.The melting pot analogy is turned into an apple cider one as all the children throw their apples in and work together to press it into cider, even Farrah helps.

The Name Jar

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi is such a lovely book. The main character is Unhei a little girl who has just immigrated from Korea. She is trying to decide on an easy to pronounce American name and her new class helps by offering up suggestions and places them in a name jar. As she gets used to her new surroundings and develops friendships she realizes she doesn’t need an American name after all.  I really loved this book because there are so many great lessons about being yourself, about being supportive of friends and about being brave in new situations.

everybody_cooks_rice

Everybody Cooks Rice  by Norah Dooley is a fantastic book! The book follows a sister who is looking for her brother in their San Francisco neighborhood. As she goes from door to door each neighbor invites her in to eat some of their supper. Everybody is having some sort of rice dish even though they are all from different countries. My 6 year old really enjoyed this book and understood the message well , my 3 year old sat through it no problem too. There are so many future lessons about geography, nutrition, and travel packed in this one little book! Awesome find.the blessing cup

The Blessing Cup by Patricia Polacco made me cry. This book is the story of the author’s great grandmother and her family fleeing Russia as a child during the progroms. There are scary bits when the Czar’s soldiers are attacking the synagog but they are imperative to read. If you decide to read this story with your children you can’t leave them out. The brutality isn’t graphic but it’s important for children to understand why the family had to leave Russia. The goodness they encounter on their way to America will take your breath away and the tea cup that comes to represent this will make you look at your mom’s fine china in a different light. This book is long but appropriately so, I would share it with children in kindergarten or older who can have thoughtful conversations about such a thoughtful book.

My name is yoon

My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvits is a book about a little girl from Korea who is adjusting to her new life in America. When her father shows her how to spell her name in English she doesn’t like how it looks. It’s different, just like she is in her new country. At school she doesn’t write her name even though she is able, instead she experiments with other words wondering how her teacher will react when she does. Her teacher is patient and Yoon eventually decides that while her name may look different it is still her name and still has the same meaning. The illustrations have an amazing dreamlike perspective to them and balance out the big emotions in the text.

suki

Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki has been on my shelf for years. I really really like this book, the message is fantastic! Suki loves her Kimono, she doesn’t care that her sisters think it’s not cool to wear traditional clothes to school, her grandma gave it to her and she likes it. I love that she is depicted as confident but not 100% sure of herself, it allows readers to really connect, recognizing those times when we are putting up a brave face even if inside we aren’t so sure. Being yourself is hard and the author connects to that while still creating a strong lovely heroine.

Grandfather's Journey

Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say is a lovely book that combines simple text with breathtaking illustrations to immerse readers into its story. The story is about a young man in Japan who goes off to see the world. He sees many things, meets many people and decides to settle in California. Eventually his heart brings him and his family back home to Japan and the war changes their lives yet again. His stories of California inspires his own grandson to travel and after he does he understands his grandfather’s longing for both places. I think this is such an important point. Immigrants don’t lose the love of their homeland just because they have made another country their home. It’s a complex experience but this book nailed it.

Angel Child dragon child

Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Maria Surat is a heart wrenching and honest look at the struggles of a young girl from Vietnam as she goes to school in America. The story talks about her mother being far away and as a reader you think that maybe it’s because she is back visiting family in Vietnam. After being put in detention for fighting with a bully it comes out that they didn’t have enough money for all the children and mom to join their father. The bully turned friend helps raise money to bring her mom to America so the family can be reunited. It’s a great lesson for children about being empathetic and realizing that others may be facing struggles much greater than they let on.

apple pie fourth of july

Apple Pie Fourth of July by Janet S. Wong is an awesome book. I am always awed by authors who can tackle complicated “adult” issues in the pages of a children’s book successfully. In this case the issue is first generation identity and immigration, at least that’s my take. The little girl in this book is sulking around her parent’s store on the 4th of July. They are busy making Chinese food for customers she is sure won’t come, she wonders who would want Chinese food on such an American holiday? Of course there are layers about her connection to her ancestral culture and her own national pride. As a proud owner of a green card and a Canadian passport I relate to this story and think there are many children who will as well.

all the way

All the Way to America by Dan Yaccarino is a wonderful story about immigration and family tradition. My kids both liked the story of the Yaccariono family and how they came to settle in America from Italy. Throughout the story there is one little shovel that gets used for all different things generation after generation. It’s a great symbol for how family roots can stay strong even if how we express them changes. I liked being able to compare it to my own immigration to the United States and how different it was for me in 2003 vs the author’s great grandfather over a hundred years earlier. Good book to talk about how people came to the United States and why people move from country to country.

11 Books About Flowers

books about flowers for kidsOur crocuses popped up this week and my daughter and I can’t get enough of how cute they are. You can see them on our Instagram too. I know many of you still have snow but hopefully these books about flowers can bring some spring into your house even if the flowers haven’t popped up in your garden yet. All our book lists contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. If you have a favorite book about flowers that we haven’t shared leave a comment so we can keep building this list.

A-Gardeners-Alphabet

A Gardener’s Alphabet by Mary Azarian is a fresh and richly illustrated alphabet book. What I think the main benefit of this book is , is that the words chosen for each letter are not the same old ones you see over and over in alphabet books. The words used are things like Japanese Garden for J, Lawn Ornaments for L and my favorite was Underground for U with a cool illustrations of worms, root vegetables and plant roots as well.

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle is a story about a tiny seed who unlike the other seeds from his flower makes it against all odds to continue the cycle of life. I really enjoy this book and love how it shows all the obstacles along the way for a simple little seed. My children both really like this book and I like how it connects kids to nature.
rumph
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is a book about a woman Miss. Rumphius who follows her heart. She  and travels the world , lives by the sea and then does exactly what her grandfather tells her she must do, makes the world more beautiful. What I adore about this book isn’t just that the main character is sure of herself in that quiet way that only really confident people can be it’s that it’s a call to action. How are you going to make the world a more beautiful place? Her grandfather didn’t suggest that she had to make a beautiful home, or make a beautiful family he placed the full weight and expectations of going out into the world and making it better.

 

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert is a wonderful book to use for teaching about flowers and colors. The illustrations are bold and bright, perfect for curious little minds. I have always liked this book because you can sit down and read about each flower at length or flip through simply noting the colors.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, loosing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can . Thankfully my son has yet to experience this all too common, but still so heartbreaking experience . I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author.

The_Story_of_Ferdinand

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf is a classic tale about doing your own thing and not letting any amount of pressure change you. Ferdinand is a bull but just because he is doesn’t mean he wants to fight in the bull ring. Ferdinand loves to smell flowers, not fight. I love the message this book has about being who you are no matter what environment you are in . Kids love this book because it’s funny , the text is just the right length and the illustrations are so expressive.

counting wildflowers

Counting Wildflowers by Bruce McMillan is a simple book but it stands out for me because it is interactive with 20 circles to touch on every page that fill up as you count flowers on each page. The reader can count the blooms, and then count again with the circles , all the way up to 20. When you are trying to reinforce a skill like counting the use of repetition is really helpful. Simple but great.

falling flowers

The Falling Flowers by Jennifer B. Reed .The story is very sweet, it’s about a grandmother taking her young granddaughter on a surprise outing in Tokyo. It turns out that she is taking her to see the cherry trees in full bloom just as her grandmother had done with her. It’s a nice look at the softer side of Tokyo , a city I know I always imagine as only steal, cement and neon lights!

the gardner

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart Is a really touching book that I would happily recommend for school age children. It’s a beautiful story about a little girl during the depression who is shipped to the city to work in her uncle’s bakery because both her parents are out of work.  She is obviously nervous but knows that it’s something she has to do.  She takes a little of the country with her in seed packets which she plants in the city while she learns about baking and becomes friends with her uncle’s employees. This is more a story about making the most of hard times, and would be a great way to talk about the Great Depression with your child. There are so many little things in the illustrations by David Small to talk about , from a picture of FDR to traveling by train and  the general sense of sadness . It doesn’t leave you depressed though, its message is ultimately one of hope.

Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington is really useful not just about teaching about flowers and gardens, but also about patience and the annual cycle of a garden. Zinnia plants and waits, waters, enjoys her flowers, then they die, she collects the seeds and plans her garden for next year. I love that the main story is perfect for my almost three year old but there is much more for older children with longer attention spans. There is a little journal with notes about what’s happening with her garden, and various facts about plants as well. Like in so many of her books the author celebrates hard work and her characters take great pride in what they do. A fantastic message for readers, big and little. I also love the mix of illustration and photographs in this book especially, it gives the illustrations depth and a really interesting look.


The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jennifer Wojtowicz is one of those books that stays with you. Rink is a little boy who’s family is strange, Rink is no exception, with every full moon he sprouts flowers from his head. At school he is an outsider and only when a new girl comes to school does he make a friend. He reaches out to her because she too is an outsider, not at school but in her own family. In the end the kindred spirits celebrate their uniqueness. This odd romantic story will warm your heart and serves as a great lesson about how we all feel different and like an outsider sometimes. The illustrations by Steve Adams will stun you, they were so vibrant and paired so perfectly with the text.

Favorite Books To Read Together

best children's books No matter what every night we read. Our days can be crazy but every night at 7:30 you will find my husband and I reading bedtime stories with our kids. Like many of you we have our favorite books to read and enjoy together. All of these 20 books are incredibly enjoyable to read which is why they are our favorites. Some of these books beg for you to use a funny voice, to sing the words, and to use over the top facial expressions. Some of these books will pull on your heartstrings and be sentimental favorites for years to come. None of these books have ever gotten lost at our house because they are always on someone’s nightstand waiting to be read again.

I welcome you to share your favorite read-aloud titles in comments to keep this list growing. All our book lists contain affiliate links.

how big is a pig

How Big Is a Pig? by Claire Beaton is a favorite in our house. I love the felt illustrations, the detail amazes me and helps distract me from noticing that I have read it 20 times in as many minutes. The story itself is great too, it focuses on opposites in the farm yard with a zippy rhyming text. My daughter loves taking this one in the stroller while I run and because it’s a board book I can give it to her without worrying that after a few miles it’s ripped and ruined.

moo baa lalala

Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton always makes me laugh. There is something about the facial expressions of these animals that have always cracked me up, and lets be honest if the book is good for the adult reading it, it’s always a plus. This is such a fun read for everyone involved and is a great book for babies and toddlers and my son loved reading it to his little sister for a long time.

Margaret_Wise_Brown_Big_Red_Barn

Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown is one of my all time favorite books to read with my kids.  The story is simple readers see a day in the life of a big red barn and all the animals inside. Each animal is introduced in the seamless text that reads like a melodic poem. It’s  calm , soothing and Felicia Bond’s illustrations are perfect, I love how the sky subtly changes as the night beckons.  A wonderful book for anytime, but especially poignant before bed.

whoever you are by mem fox

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. Every time I read this book I get goosebumps. The text reads like a beautiful poem and has a way of letting kids know that this message matters. The book is simple and talks about the differences of little children all over the world, but focuses on what they all have in common. Children of various cultures are shown , smiling, laughing, crying and the reader can see that even if the clothes , or houses or food are  different the insides are the same. I always choke up reading this book because it’s so beautiful and a great reminder for all of us that while we so often focus on what we see as different most of what we have is in common.

daddy hugs

Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz is a cute little counting book for toddlers. I gave it to my husband in 2007 for his first father’s day to read with my son and my son hated it. However in the years since it’s become a favorite and my daughter has always loved it. We read it together yesterday cuddled up in our big chair.

Tacky The Penguin

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester is such a cute and funny story, your kids will love it!  Tacky is an odd bird and that is exactly what saves Tacky and his perfectly not odd companions when hunters come looking for perfect penguins. This is a sweet look at being different and being happy as pie about being different.  My son loves this book and will often point out that Tacky is proud to sing just the way he wants. I love that it can preach to kids without preaching at all. Using a silly voice for Tacky isn’t required but it is highly recommended.

Brown Bear Brown Bear

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. is a book that can go with a baby from infancy through toddlerhood and into the preschool years. The bold colors of the illustrations by Eric Carle are perfect for catching infant’s attention and will continue to grab it through the years. With the turn of each page the reader is left wondering what’s next, and if the reader is my son he will cut you off to tell you what’s coming next before you have a chance to turn the page. There are other titles in the series , including ; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? , and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? but this one is my very favorite!

chica chica boom boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is one of my absolute favorite books ever. Many alphabet books are great tools but this one not only entertains it never gets old. Its text is musical , its premise is brilliant in its simplicity and kids love it. My favorite line is ” Skit skat scoodle doot. Flip flop flee. ” I hope I am conveying how much fun this book is to read out loud. I have never had a class who didn’t like it and if you don’t have it, you should!

dig-dig-digging

Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo is one of the few books we have that we have bought twice. Our first copy was so well loved that we knew when it could not be read anymore that it would be immediately replaced. This book is imbedded in my brain ( and heart) because both my children have gone through a phase where it’s their absolute favorite. The book takes readers through different vehicles like firetrucks, rescue helicopters and of course bulldozers. The text is repetitive and will get stuck in your head for days but it’s OK because your kids will recite it along with you.

I love you stinky face

I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt is a wonderful mushy book that will still appeal to kids that aren’t really into mush. A little boy in his PJs asks his mom if she will still love him even if he was a series of terrible monsters. I love that the little boy in the book keeps trying to find ways to make him unlovable and the mom keeps finding ways to love unconditionally. There is a deeper meaning here and moms will see past the fun illustrations to the real heart of this book, which is no matter what we love our children. When I found this in a thrift store and read it quickly, I couldn’t look at my son in his stroller throwing puffs on the floor without tearing up and have been getting chocked up reading it to both my children for many years since.

Everywhere Babies

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee has never been far from my daughter’s reach. The books is all about babies and all the ways they are different as well as all the ways they are the same. The text is an absolute pleasure to read out loud and has always had a calming effect on my daughter. She loves the illustrations and I appreciate the diversity of all the different families and babies. If I had to choose one book to label as my daughter’s all time favorite, this would be it.

mortimer

Mortimer  by Robert Munsch is a fun bedtime book. I can’t remember the first time I read this book, but whether reading it to a group of preschoolers or to my kids 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.

Paper_Bag_Princess

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch has enchanted me for years. I bought it while volunteering as a leader in training at a day camp when I was a teen. It’s followed me to many schools, children I babysat and finally my own son. I can’t remember one child ever not liking it. It’s a story of Elizabeth a princess who outwits a dragon to rescue her prince. I love that the author has switched the typical damsel in distress and has the princess as the heroine. Some parents have expressed concern about Elizabeth calling the prince a “Bum” in the end of the book, personally I love it. I have always used it to explain why she was so angry, and as a reminder why calling names hurt. That said I think she is totally justified !

Goodnight-Goodnight-Construction-Site

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker will have to be renewed from the library while I wait for my copy to come from Amazon. This book is starting to get pretty popular and rightfully so, it’s a lovely book. In it busy little construction vehicles wind down for the night and fall asleep. I never thought I would say an excavator was cute but the one in the book is. It’s a wonderful bedtime book and your child will enjoy winding down with the sleepy bulldozer and his friends. My daughter completely adores this book.

Where_The_Wild_Things_Are

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is one of those books that makes me cry just when I think of it. If you aren’t familiar with this book it’s not sad. It’s about a little boy who is acting up and gets sent to his room. While in his room his imagination runs wild and he is transported to a world where there are no rules , no parents and no consequences for bad behavior. Ultimately though Max’s heart pulls him back home where he is loved most of all, even when he’s wild. I think this is an amazing love story about parents and children and unconditional love. Nothing beats reading this and having a little wild rumpus dance before bed with your own little wild things.

dinosaur vs the potty

Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea was responsible for me losing my voice last year. My kids love, no ADORE this book.  My son ends up in stitches every time we read it and my daughter laughs at him eas muh as she laughs at me reading it.The thing about this book is you must read it with gusto for it to reach it’s full potential because its story isn’t deep it’s really just about a destructive dinosaur who doesn’t go pee when he should. Sound familiar? Kinda like little kids who dump toys, bang and stomp and deny that they have to use the potty until the very last minute. It struck a chord at our house and I have a hunch it may at yours too.

Dinosaur Roar

Dinosaur Roar! by Paul and  Henrietta Stickland and is a board book that I’ve read often enough that I don’t need to look at the book to recite the text. The premise is simple, using two different dinosaurs every page illustrates a pair of opposites. Toddlers and young preschoolers adore this book and I can’t blame them, it’s adorable and a great tool for teaching about opposites.

Alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst was a childhood favorite that I have enjoyed sharing with my own kids. This book is beautiful, even though it may take a few reads to see it’s not a story about a whining little boy so much a lesson that sometimes things do not go our way. Days can suck. It’s just the way it is. As a child I related to Alexander’s feelings of frustration and things being unfair. How often to you hear a child say “No Fair!” probably a lot. This book taps into that feeling, being little is hard but just because you are mad, or your day was bad doesn’t mean you get your way. Great book to talk about anger and frustration with your child, and it’s funny too.

dont-let-the-pigeon-drive-the-bus

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems might not need much of a review as I don’t know many parents who haven’t laughed along with their kids reading this book. But if you have never read this book let me tell you about it and why so many of us think it’s hilarious. The book opens with a bus driver asking readers to do him a favor and not let the pigeon drive the bus. This sets the stage for a wonderfully interactive reading experience with a very poorly behaved pigeon who keeps asking readers to let him drive the bus. Love this book.

trashy town

Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha is my favorite garbage truck book , and yes I have read a lot. Mr. Gilly is a hard working garbage man with one task, to clean up Trashy town. The text is so melodic I find myself singing while reading ” Dump it in, Smash it down, drive around the trashy town” . It’s not all trash all the time for Mr. Gilly though, after a hard days work cleaning up Trashy town he gets into his bubble bath ! My kids both absolutely adore this book.