The tradition of reading a bedtime story has been around for generations. Sitting on the bed with a parent reading a brightly colored picture book before being tucked into bed is a memory that many adults carry with them. Reading to your child is critically important for language development and is also a great bonding experience for parent and child. Choosing a to read as part of your child’s bedtime routine also helps set a pattern and makes bedtime a more enjoyable prospect to your little one.
Here are 5 of a remixed article we posted a few years ago of the best bedtime stories: those that focus on sleep or what happens at night. Some are classics, some are newer titles; some are for babies, some are for preschoolers, but you’re sure to find 1 or 2 to fit the bill.
Pajama Time! by Sandra Boyton
(ISBN 9780761119753, Workman Publishing Company, Inc.) “It’s Pajama Time! Jamma, Jamma, Jamma Jamma, PJ!” Sandra Boyton’s books are favorites of many children. This is a fun board book for little kids. It makes putting on pajamas a game or a party. With it’s fun mantra, “It’s pajama time,” and the little pajama dance called the “pajammy,” kids have fun with this book.
Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan
(9780670012954 Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated) Little Owl spends the night visiting his nighttime animal friends throughout the forest. The artwork is fantastic, and this is a good choice to introduce new animals to your child, like the possum, the raccoon, moths, and crickets. Little owls asks his mother how the night ends, but as she tells him, day breaks and he has fallen asleep.
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and Beth Krommes
(9780547577692 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) This is the 2009 Caldecott Winner. It takes you through the house and the things found within a house, to a little sleeping boy who flys out into the nighttime on the back of an owl. After seeing what happens at night, he is returned to the house. The short sentences are good for younger children with shorter attention spans, and the detail in the pictures give children plenty to explore.
I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll and Howard McWilliam
(9780979974625 Flashlight Press) This is a great book for older children, especially those that might be struggling with fear of the dark. In this story, a little boy gets a note from the monster under his bed saying that the monster is going on vacation. The little boy realizes he can’t sleep without his monster. So, he interviews other monsters for the position, but there is a problem with each one that makes them funny rather than scary. In the end, his monster returns and he can fall asleep.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
(9780694003617 HarperCollins Children’s Books) This classic children’s book is a bedside staple in many homes. In this simple story, a little bunny says goodnight to all the things he sees on his way to bed. Don’t be surprised if your child starts saying goodnight to the objects in your house on his way to bed after reading this book for several nights. The book is so loved by children, that there is even a plush bunny in striped pajamas that you can buy for your child.