Goodnight, Everyone: Books for Bedtime

 

Reading before bedtime is a wonderful way to wind down after a long day: cuddling close over a book and talking a little bit before settling down to sleep. The books don’t have to be sleep-themed, of course, but here are a bunch that are:

Classic bedtime books

  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
  • Llama, Llama, Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
  • Time for Bed by Mom Fox

Amusing

  • How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen
  • I Don’t Want to Go to Sleep! by Dev Petty
  • Good Night, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony
  • Everyone Sleeps by Marcellus Hall
  • Goodnight Already! by Jory John
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems

Role Reversal

  • How to Put Your Parents to Bed by Mylisa Larsen
  • Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! by Todd Tarpley
  • The World Champion of Staying Awake by Sean Taylor
  • Monster Needs His Sleep by Paul Czajak
  • If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed by Denise Vega and Zachariah Ohora

Animals and the World

  • Goodnight, Everyone by Chris Haughton
  • Sleep Like A Tiger by Mary Logue and Pamela Zagarenski
  • Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle
  • A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na
  • A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes
  • All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep by Crescent Dragonwagon

Gentle/Sweet

  • City Moon by Rachael Cole
  • You and Me, Little Bear by Martin Waddell
  • Goodnight, I Love You by Caroline Jayne Church
  • Time for Bed, Sleepyheads by Norman Chartier
  • Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger
  • Sweet Dreams, Little Bear by Tim Warnes

Cars and Trucks

  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Car by Kate Dopirak
  • Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Not Specifically Sleep Themed, But Good for Bedtime

  • I Love You As Big As the World by David Van Buren
  • Mommy Hugs/Daddy Dreams/Mommy Snuggles by Anne Gutman
  • You Are My I Love You by Maryann Cusiano Love
  • Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
  • Where the Wild Things Are -and- In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  • Beekle by Dan Santat
  • Henry & Leo by Pamela Zagarenski
  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead and Erin Stead

Related: Board books for babies and toddlers (June 30, 2017)

Note: Reading at bedtime might not work for every family. Babies, especially, might be too fussy in the evening to be able to focus on looking at pictures or listening to a story (though there are some board books that have song lyrics as the words, like What A Wonderful World and Baby Beluga, so those are worth a try). Read to/with kids at whatever time(s) of day work best for them and for you; in our house, we read at the table, as well as between meals, and before bed. There’s no wrong time to read (unless that time is “never”).

What are your favorite bedtime books?

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