19 Bedtime Stories to Read to Your Little Children

Last Updated on January 3, 2020 by Danielle

Bedtime stories

Vote for your favorite children’s bedtime stories.Writing children’s books is not an easy task because the author needs to understand the developmental stage they are writing for. Children are more likely to lose interest in a story if they find it too boring or don’t understand it. All the authors of the books listed below have gone above and beyond in children’s literature. Many of these stories teach a lesson that can be valuable to parents facing a certain challenge with their little ones; others are time-honored tales perfect for bedtime reading.

Reading before bed is something parents and caregivers have been doing with children for generations. Not only does it help calm kids down to soothe them to sleep, but it also has the benefit of accelerating learning in certain areas. Most profoundly, reading to kids at bedtime can help them master their language faster, which is a huge part of early learning development. It can lower stress and increase the bond between child and parent.

These books have become staples on children’s bedroom shelves over the years, and now it is time to select the best of the best. Look over this list of 19 Bedtime Stories to Read to Your Little Children, and choose which one is you and your child’s favorite!

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19 Bedtime Stories to Read to Your Little Children

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 109
The Pout-Pout Fish (A Pout-Pout Fish Adventure)

Deep in the water,
Mr. Fish swims about
With his fish face stuck
In a permanent pout.

Can his pals cheer him up?
Will his pout ever end?
Is there something he can learn
From an unexpected friend?

Swim along with the pout-pout fish as he discovers that being glum and spreading "dreary wearies" isn't really his destiny. Bright ocean colors and playful rhyme come together in this fun fish story that's sure to turn even the poutiest of frowns upside down.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 74
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Brown Bear and Friends)

A big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck--all parade across the pages of this delightful book. Children will immediately respond to Eric Carle's flat, boldly colored collages. Combined with Bill Martin's singsong text, they create unforgettable images of these endearing animals.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 10

Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, the nationally bestselling and celebrated creator of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, and Kitten's First Full Moon, Chrysanthemum is a funny and honest school story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance to share all year round.

Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. "You're named after a flower!" teases Victoria. "Let's smell her," says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?

This popular picture book has sold more than a million copies and was named a Notable Book for Children by the American Library Association. "Perfectly executed in words and illustration, Chrysanthemum exemplifies Henkes's talent for creating true picture stories for young audiences."—The Horn Book

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 32
How to Babysit a Grandma

When you babysit a grandma, if you're lucky, you'll have a sleepover at her house! And with the useful tips found in this book, you're guaranteed to become an expert grandma-sitter in no time. (Be sure to check out the sections on: How to keep a grandma busy; Things to do at the park; Possible places to sleep, and what to do once you're both tucked in for the night.)

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 37
Goodnight Moon

Share this timeless classic with a new generation of readers!

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. "Goodnight room, goodnight moon." And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room—to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one—the little bunny says goodnight.

In this classic of children's literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 2
I Wish You More

Some books are about a single wish. Some books are about three wishes. The infallible team of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have combined their extraordinary talents to create this exuberant book of endless good wishes. Wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength, laughter and peace. Whether celebrating life's joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of everyday moments, this sweet and uplifting book is perfect for wishers of every age. Plus, this is a fixed-format version of the book, which looks nearly identical to the print version.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 16
Love You Forever

A young woman holds her newborn son And looks at him lovingly.

Softly she sings to him:
"I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be."

So begins the story that has touched the hearts of millions worldwide. Since publication in 1986, Love You Forever has sold more than 15 million copies in paperback and the regular hardcover edition (as well as hundreds of thousands of copies in Spanish and French).

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 27
The Wonderful Things You Will Be

From brave and bold to creative and clever, Emily Winfield Martin's rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, and sometimes humorous, illustrations, and a clever gatefold with kids in costumes, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids—both young and old. A great gift for any occasion, but a special stand-out for baby showers, birthdays, and graduation. The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a loving and truthful message that will endure for lifetimes.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 7

An ark-full of energetic animals get ready for sleep. It’s the perfect end-of-the-day book for young children. With over five million copies in print, THE GOING TO BED BOOK is listed among Publishers Weekly’s Bestselling Children Books of All Time.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 24
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Rise and Shine)

For the first time, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is now available in e-book format, perfect for storytime anywhere. This classic story of a famished caterpillar who eats his way through a week of various foods makes the perfect addition to your child's digital library, easily available to read again and again.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 4
Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach (My First I Can Read)

New York Times bestselling author and artist James Dean brings readers some fun in the sun! Pete the Cat is one groovy cat at finding shells and building sand castles at the beach. But when it gets too hot, there’s only one way to cool off—jump into the ocean! Except Pete might be a scaredy-cat when it comes to the water.

Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach is a My First I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for shared reading with a child.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 7
Terry Treetop and the lost egg: the lost egg (Bedtime Stories Children's Books for Early & Beginner Readers)

Terry goes camping and helps a lost egg get back home
Terry joins his family for a camping excursion. A lost egg sends him on an adventure in nature, where he meets different animal moms and learns about their eggs, their life cycle and their habitat. Terry manages to help someone in need, while gaining beautiful friendships along the way.

Terry Treetop and the Lost Egg teaches your child about natural habitats and explains about animals’ lives and about motherhood. It builds your child’s confidence and demonstrates the power of friendship, kindness and persistence.

This sweet children's book is written especially for children aged 2-8. It’s a suitable read-aloud for preschoolers and a great self-read book for beginner readers. Adorable rhyming and 18 beautiful colorful illustrations that children simply love.

Join Terry Treetop for another adventure
Terry Treetop is a boy with red hair and freckles who loves climbing trees, making new friendships, visiting new places and helping out friends in need. Each of Terry’s adventures is an opportunity to learn valuable life skills through a precious story that will leave you and your child smiling.

Terry Treetop encourages your child –
To actively pursue their aspirations, needs and dreams
To make a real effort for what’s important to them and not be easily discouraged
To be helpful, kind and considerate of others
To respect animals and enjoy nature
To trust themselves and remain optimistic even when things are hard



Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 0

From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come.

Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter's dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.

At his grandfather's house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.

Meanwhile, Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 6
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are

Lucy is teased by a boy at school because she is different. She has the courage to be true to herself and to make the right choice when that same boy needs her help.
This book has also been adapted into a children’s musical touring the country.
Maria Dismondy writes realistic fiction picture books that empower children with
timeless messages.
She teams up with educational collaborators to create Readers Guides for families
and teachers to “Go Beyond the Book”
Find out more at www.MariaDismondy.com

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 1
The Mitten

When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing.

One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse and what happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax.

As the story of the animals in the mitten unfolds, the reader can see Nicki in the boarders of each page, walking through the woods unaware of what is going on.

Once again Jan Brett has created a dramatic and beautiful picture book in her distinctive style. She brings the animals to life with warmth and humor, and her illustrations are full of visual delights and details faithful to the Ukrainian tradition from which the story comes.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 0
Sneezy the Snowman

B-R-R-R-R! AH-CHOO! Sneezy the Snowman is cold, cold, cold. To warm up, he drinks cocoa, sits in a hot tub, stands near a warm fire – and melts! But the children know just what to do to build him up again – and make him feel "just right". Hilarity chills the air with playful mixed-media illustrations by Stephen Gilpin as Sneezy attempts to warm himself with some silly results.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 1
Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale (Tomas Rivera Mexican-American Children's Book Award (Awards))

In this allegorical picture book, a young rabbit named Pancho eagerly awaits his papa's return. Papa Rabbit traveled north two years ago to find work in the great carrot and lettuce fields to earn money for his family. When Papa does not return, Pancho sets out to find him. He packs Papa's favorite meal--mole, rice and beans, a heap of warm tortillas, and a jug of aguamiel--and heads north. He meets a coyote, who offers to help Pancho in exchange for some of Papa's food. They travel together until the food is gone and the coyote decides he is still hungry . . . for Pancho! Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the hardship and struggles faced by thousands of families who seek to make better lives for themselves and their children by illegally crossing the border.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 2
Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums: And How She Outgrew Them

When Jilly, a happy little kangaroo, has a series of Terrible Temper Tantrums, her parents lovingly help her through them. Children will be very familiar with the frustrations that trigger Jilly's upset feelings, and will applaud her dawning understanding that seeking help and a hug is far superior to the misery of a temper tantrum.

Feb 27, 2018 - amazon.com - 1
Most Magnificent Thing, The

A little girl and her canine assistant set out to make the most magnificent thing. But after much hard work, the end result is not what the girl had in mind. Frustrated, she quits. Her assistant suggests a long walk, and as they walk, it slowly becomes clear what the girl needs to do to succeed. A charming story that will give kids the most magnificent thing: perspective!

Which of these books is your favorite? Does your child have a favorite on this list? Maybe you have read Goodnight Moon so many times you can do it without looking at the pages. Does your child reach for The Very Hungry Caterpillar every night for story time? Maybe I Wish You More helps to warm your heart and lull your child to sleep.

These books are high on the “must-have” list of books to stock your child’s bookshelf, but there must be one that stands out among the pack. Take a moment and vote for your favorite bedtime children’s book today and see if your favorite comes out on top!

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