It’s time to refresh the stack of bedtime stories on your bedside table with a few choices from our ultimate list below

From 60-year-old classics to sleepy lullabies and laugh-out-loud favorites, we’ve got something for everyone—the kids may start begging you to put them to bed. Scroll down for the list.

Babies & Toddlers

photo: Knopf Books for Young Readers

The Book of Sleep

Settle in for sweet slumber with Il Sung Na's debut children's book, The Book of Sleep. The sweet story follows an oil as he flies over the forest as fellow animals prepare for a night of rest. Told with "soothing" text and gorgeous depictions of a starry night, your littles will be sawing logs in no time. 

Ages: 2-3

Get it here, $6.52

photo: Chronicle Books

Pigs in a Blanket

You know you're in for a real treat when the fun of the book begins before even opening the first page. In this board book by Hans Wilhelm with illustrations by Erica Salcedo, kiddos open the "blanket" flaps of the book to discover three cozy pigs. As they turn the pages of Pigs in a Blanket, readers are greeted with fun rhymes as the three piggies start their day, embark on an adventure and eventually go to sleep. With colorful illustrations, this book will help reinforce daily rituals like getting dressed for the day, playtime, brushing teeth and winding down back to bed.

Ages: 0+

Get it here, $6.29

Goodnight Moon

The greatest bedtime book of all time is still as quirky and delightful as it was in 1947. Reading the familiar text together night after night is deeply satisfying, as is looking for the little mouse on each page and watching the light “in the great green room” grow darker and darker.

Ages: 1-5

Get it here, $9.99

Time for Bed

“It’s time for bed, little sheep, little sheep / The whole wide world is going to sleep.” What’s better for bedtime than cozy scenes of baby animals and their mothers, paired with musical, fun-to-read, couplets? The book concludes, appropriately, with a human mother and child.

Ages: 1-5

Get it here, $5.59

The Napping House

A cumulative story that one by one, sleepy people and animals climb onto Granny’s big bed to slumber, until the very last, smallest one wakes everyone up. The restful blue palette lightens as the book progresses and day approaches.

Ages: 1-5

Get it here, $6.79

Just Go to Bed

The Little Critter books may not be fresh, original, or trendy but there’s something about those scraggly, overall-clad characters that kids just adore. In this installment, our hero is cranky about having to go to bed and trots out one creative, hopeful scenario after another to delay the inevitable. Patient Dad has a comeback for each one.

Ages: 1-5

Get it here, $3.19

Hush Little Ones

Soft illustrations of cuddly baby animals and a sing-songy rhyme on every page make for a sweet and simple bedtime book. Animals range from the expected—mice, birds—to the more exotic—penguins, whales, and kangaroos.

Ages: 1-5

Get it here, $6.74

Big Red Barn

Watch all the animals prepare for bedtime on the farm in this classic from the author of Good Night, Moon. The colorful illustrations and appealing rhyme (which is just off-kilter enough to remain interesting) are ideal for babies and toddlers.

Ages: 1-5

Get it now, $4.49

Sleep My Bunny

You may recognize the illustrations of author Rosemary Wells (of Max & Ruby fame) in this lovely bedtime book for little ones. Inside this bunny's cozy house, the family is going to the timeless tradition of bedtime. Follow along at each step, which will help your own child learn a routine of his own: eating dinner, cleaning up the toys, taking a bath, listening to a story. A charming addition to your bookshelf.

Ages: 2-5

Buy it now, $10.91.

photo: Penguin Young Readers

Bedtime Classics: Alice in Wonderland

Classics are reimagined in this new series of board books that take famous books and re-tell them with inclusive and charming illustrations. Two of these sweet books are available now, and there's more to come in 2020. 

Ages: 2 & up

Buy it here, $7.29.


Kids who love musician Laurie Berkner will enjoy snuggling down with a literary version of her song Pillowland. With magical, lush art by French artist Camille Garoche, Pillowland carries readers away to a feather-fluffed dream world where bedtime is always a grand adventure.

Ages: 2-8

Get it here, $10.79

Night Night, Jungle

From the tired toucan to the sleepy sloth, kids are encouraged to say goodnight to all the jungle animals as the moon rises. Set in sweet, rhyming prose, this new edition to the Night Night series from author Amy Parker will be enjoyed by your littlest readers. 

Ages: 0-4

Buy it here, $8.49

The Quiet Book

This is a lovely recitation of the quiet things in life: “coloring in the lines quiet,” “right before you yell, ‘SURPRISE!’ quiet,” “bedtime kiss quiet.” The tone and gentle illustrations (featuring porcupines and teddy bears and other humorous animals) make it just right for settling down before sleep.

Ages: 2-8

Buy it now, $6.99

Kitten’s First Full Moon

Kitten mistakes the moon for a large bowl of milk and tries, in vain, to reach it. Although not strictly a bedtime book, the theme of the beautiful moon that hangs over each page oozes cozy, cuddly sleepytime feelings.

Ages: 2-6

Buy it now, $8.66

The House in the Night

The unique look of this book, with its black-and-yellow scratchboard illustrations, is what will draw you to it first. The text, a cumulative poem beginning, “Here is the key to the house,” is simple and elegant and matches the pictures to a tee.

Ages: 1-6

Order it now, $7.29

photo: Chronicle Books

Reading Beauty

If you cringe at your child's adoration of all-things princess, check out this modern fairy tale that puts a fresh, empowering spin on the classic Sleeping Beauty. Lex, a book-loving space princess, sets off on an adventure to break her own curse with the help of her adorable side-kick pup. It's the perfect story for crown-wearing bibliophiles (and want-to-be space explorers). 

Ages: 2 & up

Find it here, $17.99

The Going to Bed Book

Extreme silliness, Sandra Boynton-style, and fun and short enough to be read every night, for years. The animal passengers of a large ocean liner brush their teeth, change into their pajamas and, of course, exercise, before winding down to “rock and rock and rock to sleep.”

Ages: 1-5

Buy it here, $5.99

Good Night, Gorilla

As the zoo closes, clever Gorilla escapes from his cage and follows the zookeeper around, letting all the other animals out, too; hilariously, all of them end up following the zookeeper home to bed—unbeknownst to him. Because all the text in the book consists of goodnight greetings, parents will need to narrate the story in their own words.

Ages: 1-4

Buy it now, $6.69

Hush Little Baby

Marla Frazee’s detailed, humanistic illustrations bring new life—and humor—to the familiar folk song. There’s a lot more going on here than usual, starting with a big sister who wakes up the baby in the cradle, much to the exhausted parents’ chagrin.

Ages: 2-7

Find it here, $6.69

LLama Llama Red Pajama

The Llama Llama series was an instant hit, owing to the meter and rhyme that don’t miss a beat, making them easy and fun to read aloud. Here, little Llama lies awake in bed, scared, listening to Mama washing dishes and talking on the phone in the kitchen. Will he ever be able to fall asleep?

Ages: 2-7

Buy it here, $7.29

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Jerry Pinkney has become deservedly famous for his many illustrated picture books, including The Lion and the Mouse, which won the 2010 Caldecott Medal. Twinkle Twinkle sets the classic lullaby to rich, gorgeous paintings of an idealized nighttime world. Set sail for dreamland!

Ages: 1-5

Buy it now, $6.19


“Here’s a little baby, 1-2-3” begins each scene of this wonderful rhyming concept book from a beloved British author-illustrator. Marveling at the delightfully Anglo home scenes, follow the baby through his day until his mother places him, sleeping, into his crib. The cutout on each page will keep younger readers engaged.

Ages: 1-5

Find it here, $6.39

Pajama Time!

If your kids need to get their sillies out before snuggling down, look no further! No one does goofy, expressive animals and infectious, top-tapping rhyme like Sandra Boynton. Here, she gives pajamas the silly treatment: “Pajammy to the left. Pajammy to the right. Everybody’s wearing them for dancing tonight.”

Ages: 1-5

Buy it here, $6.91

Goodnight Goodnight Sleepyhead

In board-book format, a little girl settles down for bed, saying goodnight to each of her favorite playthings (picking out one body part for each—“Goodnight fingers” for the doll, “Goodnight lips” for the fish). The soft illustrations have a lovely vintage vibe.

Ages: 1-5

Buy it now, $7.99.

Good Night, Sleep Tight

Bonnie and Ben got the good babysitter tonight, and he entertains them with one silly Mother Goose rhyme after another. The simple refrain is addictive and you will find yourself chanting it as you go about your day.

Ages: 1-6

Buy it here, $11.11

Preschool & Elementary Age

Bears in the Night

This Berenstain Bears classic from 1971 holds up today as you go out the window, down the tree, over the wall and...up...spook...hill. 

Ages: 2-6

Find a copy here. $7.99


How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

Don’t even bother checking this out if you’re worried about your kids learning bad bedtime manners from the masters! Children will laugh with vicarious glee to see young dinosaurs (with, oddly, human parents) behaving very badly, then coming around and doing it right.

Ages: 2-6

Find it here, $10.88

Guess How Much I Love You

It may not be flashy or funny, but there’s a reason this one is still a favorite since it was published in 1994. The combination of the elegant pen-and-ink pictures (reminiscent of Winnie-the-Pooh), gentle brown and green palette and the loving, ultra-simple storyline is exquisite.

Ages: 2-5

Buy it now, $10.62.

Close Your Eyes

Little Tiger is nervous about going to sleep, but his mother soothes his concerns with wisdom, whimsy, and reassurance. The vibrant paintings with bright swaths of primary colors will please young eyes as the loving text lulls them to sleep.

Ages: 2-6

Buy it now, $7.99

Rock-a-Bye Room

Fanciful and whimsical pictures complement the musical text of a mother singing a child to sleep. Especially adorable is the scene of the snoozing trains and tractor covered by quilts.

Ages: 2-6

Order it here, $17.95

photo: Chronicle Books

What Color Is Night?

In this debut picture book by author Grant Snider, readers explore the shapes and colors of nighttime from an entirely new—and delightful—perspective. A comforting bedtime story, the narrator takes children on a friendly exploration of the colors of the night, from a glowing moon to the bright lights of a big city. 

Ages: 2-4

Buy it here, $15.99.

Bear Snores On

Bear’s friends arrive in his cave, one by one, until there’s a party going on—but Bear won’t wake up! A catchy rhyme and endearing illustrations make this a favorite for bedtime and story time alike (If your kids are fans, you’ll want to check out all the follow-ups in the series.).

Ages: 3-6

Buy it here, $6.58

The Night Is Yours

Follow Amani as she plays a game of hide-and-seek at night with the friends in her apartment complex and calls to the moon to light her way as she finds each "hider." A celebration of friendship and empowerment, loving who you are, and the beauty of the night sky, this sweet tale is accompanied by lovely illustrations and told in rhyming prose that's perfect for a bedtime story.

Ages: 3-7

Buy it here, $12.78

The Dark

Lemony Snickett's take on a bedtime story of sorts is illustrated by famed children's book artist Jon Klassen in this delightfully different way of looking at darkness. In this book, The Dark becomes its own thing, not something scary but something with its own personality. Winner of the Blue Ribbon Picture Book Award. 

Ages: 5-6

Get a copy here. $11.38

Fight the Night

This classic from beloved Strega Nona author Tomie dePaola was first published in 1968 and tells the story of Ronald, who knows in order to stay up past bedtime, you've got to fight the night. 

Ages: 4-8

Get your copy here. $17.99


Kiss Good Night

Chubby, cuddly Sam and his big, shaggy mama make a comforting, engaging pair in a bedtime book that reinforces the importance of routine. The contrast of the wild storm outside and the cozy interior will make bedtime seem a happy and safe place for toddlers and preschoolers. A great choice for kids who have the nighttime jitters.

Ages: 3-6

Buy it here, $6.69

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime

Dinosaur has never lost a fight—but bedtime will be his biggest challenge ever. Loud, fast and funny, this is one you’ll want to start, not end, with (It’s also a fantastic read-aloud for a classroom visit.).

Ages: 3-7

Buy it now, $6.99.

Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep

Your own kids might not get along this well—but we can all dream! When little Willa can’t sleep, her big brother Willoughby steps in, gently pointing out all the happy things around her, to help bring on the Sandman. Adorable Willa, with her floppy ears and stuffed animal look, will captivate listeners.

Ages: 3-7

Buy it here, $12.64

In the Night Kitchen

In perhaps the most unusual of our bedtime book suggestions, Mickey dreams a crazy dream in which he helps out the breakfast cake bakers in a most spectacular way. This fun bedtime story is another blast from the past that has held up nicely.

Ages: 3-7

Buy it now, $13.44

No Go Sleep!

In a twist on a familiar bedtime story, instead of the child saying goodnight to his surroundings, here we have all the things around the child saying goodnight to him: “And the stars said, ‘We will twinkle and sprinkle sweet dreams to you. And a car driving by said, ‘Beep beep, sleep, sleep.’” The illustrations, wonderful sketches with a watercolor rinse, are by a well-known editorial cartoonist, and look it.

Ages: 3-7

Buy it here, $10.58

A Bedtime for Bear

Poor beleaguered Bear. First Mouse shows up unexpectedly on his doorstep (Bear was sure his visit was scheduled for another night). Then Mouse can’t seem to keep quiet, and Bear can only go to sleep in absolute silence. But then Bear hears another sound, and suddenly he’s glad Mouse is there to help.

Ages: 3-7

Order it now, $6.98

Night Lights

Every page here has just one word (or phrase): streetlight, headlight, lantern light, firelight, candlelight, etc.—each one a different kind of light. Combined with the illustrations, they tell the story of a child’s special day, from biking home with mom to blowing out the birthday candles and finally, going to sleep under the moonlight. Magical.

Ages: 3-8

Order it now, $5.48

Don’t Turn the Page

Any book starring porcupines is a contender right from the start! This one has also got a simple story about a child who doesn’t want Mama to finish the bedtime book (because that means bed), and a special twist at the end.

Ages: 3-8

Grab it here, $11.90

There's a Nightmare in My Closet

Mercer Mayer is known mostly for his Little Critter books (and one of those is on this list, too), but this picture book is special, funny and tender. It belongs in every child’s library.

Ages: 3-7

Buy it here, $6.19

Where the Wild Things Are

It’s hard to pinpoint the best feature of this eternal classic: Is it the beautiful prose, the repetition of key phrases or the poignant moment when naughty Max suddenly ”was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all?” Regardless, indulge in nostalgia and make it part of your bedtime routine.

Ages: 3-7

Find it here, $13.29

photo: Nosy Crow

Have You Seen My Blankie?

Princess Alice has lost her blankie and when she finds it in the arms of a dragon, she sets out to find him his own lovey. Told in rhythmic style, this beautifully illustrated book is not only the perfect bedtime story, but is also one of kindness and friendship.

Ages: 2-5

Get it here, $14.43

Touch the Brightest Star

In this interactive bedtime book, children are invited to participate in the closing of the day. They press a firefly, blow a breeze, pat a deer, blink their eyes to fill the sky with stars and trace the Big Dipper on the page. It’s a lovely way for parents and children to welcome the night.

Ages: 3-7

Buy it now, $9.98

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site!

“The sun has set, the work is done; / It’s time for trucks to end their fun.” Take a tour of a bustling building site as Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer and Excavator finish up their jobs and go to bed. Truck enthusiasts will ask for this one every night—and day, too.

Ages: 2-6

Buy it here, $7.95

Bedtime for Frances

Frances and her bedtime delay tactics are as utterly funny and enchanting as they were 55 years ago, and the minimalist illustrations by Garth Williams (of The Little House books fame) are perfect enough to frame.

Ages: 3-7

Buy it now, $6.19

The Berenstain Bears: In the Dark

Like all Berenstain Bears books, this one is on the long side, is filled with dialogue, complex situations and offers a message. When you need something a bit meaty to lull little people to sleep, this is just the ticket (and the don’t-be-afraid-of-the-dark theme doesn’t hurt).

Ages: 3-7

Buy it now, $4.36

 Kitten and the Night Watchman

Author John Sullivan's Ezra Jack Keats Award-winning story is based on his real-life watchman experience, with his stray sidekick cat, Bebee. But what happens when the watchman’s new friend goes missing? A feel-good, good-night read.

Ages 4-8.

Buy it here, $15.30

Moon by Alison Oliver

Beautifully written and illustrated by Babylit books illustrator Alison Oliver, Moon is all about getting into the woods to find your inner (gentle) beast. Head into the fantastical forest with Moon this summer and encourage kids to connect with their wild side. 

Ages: 4-7

Get it here. $11.99

photo: Downtown Books

The Big Book of Super Hero Bedtime Stories

Wind down from your busy day with something a little different: The Big Book of Super Hero Bedtime Stories gives kiddos a glimpse into the night time routines of their favorite super heroes: does the Green Lantern act as his own night? Does Batman sleep upside down? Because after a day of fighting crime or working their day jobs, just like kids, even super heroes need a good night's sleep.

Ages: 4+

Find a copy here. $16.99

photo: Candlewick

A Bedtime for Bear

A fun, graphic novel-style book (multiple boxes per page, speech bubbles, sound effects) gives new life to a familiar story of a bear who just wants to sleep. The festive snowy outdoor scenes will put kids in a holiday mood, so save this one for winter.

Ages: 3-7

Get it here, $6.98

Tomorrow I'll Be Brave

From award-winning lettering artist Jessica Hische comes her debut children's book, Tomorrow I'll Be Brave. Inspired after the birth of her own daughter, Hische wanted to give kids an opportunity to reflect on their day, to understand that tomorrow is a new beginning and that self-forgiveness is the best gift you can give yourself. Filled with strong words like Brave, Confident, Creative, Smart and Curious and complemented by gorgeous illustrations, Hische's first foray into children's literature is a success.

Ages: 3-7

Order it here, $11.68

photo: Chronicle Books

Tomorrow Most Likely

Dave Eggers is at it again with his newest release for kiddos ages 3-5, Tomorrow Most Likely. Publishing this month from Chronicle Books, this new read illustrated by Lane Smith reinvents the classic bedtime book. Instead of focusing on what happened that day, the little boy protagonist focuses on the future and imagines all the fun, dreamy and whimsical things that might happen tomorrow. 

Ages 3-5

Buy it now, $8.99 

Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?

Little Bear is afraid of the dark, even when Big Bear keeps getting him bigger and bigger night lights. So Big Bear brings him to see the biggest light there is—the moon. As cozy and comforting as a cup of cocoa after dinner.

Ages: 3-7

Buy it now, $6.95

Max and Ruby’s Bedtime Book

Every kid loves to hear stories about themselves, and Max and Ruby are no exceptions. Here, Grandma recalls their adventures in making a restaurant, swimming at the lake, and refusing to go to school. Rosemary Wells’s signature brightly colored illustrations are as pleasing to the eye as ever.

Age: 3-7

Order it now, $8.46

photo: Harcourt Children's Books

In a Blue Room

Alice, bouncing on her bed way past bedtime, wants blue, only blue. But as her mother brings her one special sleep-inducing gift after another (flowers, tea, an extra quilt, a wind chime), her room becomes beautifully suffused with all different colors. Finally, as she nods off to sleep, the moon comes in and makes everything blue.

Ages: 3-7

Get it here, $35.27

Little Fox and the Missing Moon

The mystery-loving fox from Apples for Little Fox is back in this book by Ekaterina Trukhan. Follow along as Fox dreams the moon is missing, and he and his friends go on a quest to return it to the sky.

Ages 3-7

Order it here, $12.32

photo: Templar

Night Knight

Even knights have to go to bed; the only difference is, it’s way more grand and exciting when you’re a knight! A little boy demonstrates some magical thinking as he brushes his teeth, puts away his things, and says goodnight to his pet (a dragon), all in a fantastical medieval setting.

Age: 3-7

Get it here, $11.44

photo: Templar

By the Light of the Moon

Snuggle up under the light of the moon with this sweet bedtime book. Bright and bold colors tell the tale of a little frog singing alone in a swamp. As his pals join in, nothing sounds quite right until every voice is included––even a tiny firefly. A story of the power of little voices, By the Light of the Moon will take a permanent place in your heart and your bedtime rotation.

Ages: 3-7

Get it here, $16.99

Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey

This sweet entry, perfect for right before the lights go off, shines with vintage-style illustrations that seem to step right out of a Little Golden Book. Gentle verse imagines a series of sleepy children, each holding a stuffed animal, on a special voyage with their stuffie come to life.

Ages: 3-7

Grab it here, $14.24

photo: Simon & Schuster


Written by Kenyan-born actress Lupita Nyong'O, this is as much her personal story as it the story of young Sulwe, a girl whose skin is the color of midnight. The stunningly gorgeous illustrations by Vashti Harrison are reason enough alone to want this book in your library, but the story itself is beautifully told; it's about differences, acceptance of oneself no matter how we think others see us, it's about wanting to fit in and yet being unique. A vital message for every kid out there, regardless of race or gender. Read it today with your kids. 

Ages: 4-8

Buy it now, $11.14

photo: Hachette Book Group

Bedtime for Superheroes

From saving the city to trying to avoid being slimed, being a superhero is a hard job! That's why it's important to have a good routine once the day is done. From dinner to bath to reading a book, even superheroes need to recharge their batteries. This adorable picture book from YA author Katherine Locke is sure to be a new bedtime favorite. 

Ages: 4-8

Available at, $17.49.

Interrupting Chicken

Another loud and jolly entry (it may not soothe kids to sleep, but it’s sure to make bedtime fun), this one stars an overeager chicken who just can’t keep from interrupting dad as he tries to read bedtime stories. Guess who ends up falling asleep first?

Ages: 4-8

Buy it now, $7.59

photo: Little, Brown and Company

A Big Bed for Little Snow

Little Snow gets a big bed, but he can't seem to resist jumping on it. Every time he jumps, feathers fall out...this beautiful story from Caldecott Honor winner Grace Lin pairs the natural mischief of a sweet young child with the magic of winter for a story you'll want to read every cozy night or snowy day. 

Ages: 4-8

Find it here, $13.39

photo: Simon & Schuster

Hibernate With Me

This adorable book by Benjamin Scheuer will soothe any anxious child with its rhythmic words that we’re betting you won’t be able to help but sing to your little one. And the illustrations by Jemima Williams are just as comforting. For anyone who has ever felt a little scared or lost or shy (and we can all relate to that) this book reminds us all that we can hibernate together, where it’s cozy and safe. 

Ages: 4-8

Get it here, $17.99

Monsters Are Afraid of Babies

Everybody knows ... monsters are afraid of babies! From the way babies howl to how sticky and stinky they are, monsters have a great fear of these crawling little creatures. Adorable, funny, rhyming prose will delight your kids as you reassure them not to fear (babies OR monsters). Written by Nicholas Tana and illustrated by Elise Leutwyler and Jessica Abbott. 

Ages: 4-6

Find it here, $14.99

I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed

The Charlie and Lola books are wildly popular with kids of all ages—and with adults, too, because the stand-out voice and witty dialogue are truly a pleasure to read. Here, stubborn Lola refuses to go to bed, and her fabulously sympathetic big brother Charlie steps in to help.

Ages: 4-8

Buy it here, $7.99

No More Monsters Under Your Bed!

We love our kids' wild imaginations but when those imaginations conjure up images of monsters under the bed and prevent your little from falling asleep at night, it's time to bring in reinforcements. Turn to this magical book by Jordan Chouteau with illustrations by Anat Even Or, to help your kiddo conquer her fears. With goofy monster illustrations and even a real no-more-monsters patch your child can wear to bed, this book is sure to drive away those monsters in no time.

Ages 4-8

Buy it now, $13.60

photo: Candlewick

Wild Honey from the Moon

How far will one mother shrew go just to help her sick son? She'll go to the moon, and back. This beautifully illustrated book by amazingly self-taught author/illustrator Kenneth Kraegel is as touching and moving as it is visually pleasing. 

Ages: 4-8

Find it now, $17.99 

photo: Candlewick Press

The Shortest Day

Written by Newbery Medal winner Susan Cooper and illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Carson Ellis, this magnificent book based on Cooper's "The Shortest Day" a poem written for John Langstaff's Christmas Revels. It is the story of the shortest day, of the Solstice, and how our Yuletide traditions have evolved from the desire to burn against the impending darkness of winter. Absolutely gorgeous. 

Ages: 4-8

Buy it now, $16.19

photo: Interlink Publishing Group, Inc.

The Reader

The Reader is an ode to joy for young bookworms, celebrating the thrill of diving into a good book—especially when you really should be asleep. It is the story of a gender-neutral reader who chooses adventure over naptime, and you get to go along for the ride as the reader swims with whales, chases jaguars, and climbs dinosaurs as big as mountains.

Ages: 3-8

Buy it here, $17.95

Ira Sleeps Over

Ira’s sleeping over at his friend’s house for the first time ever. But should he bring his teddy bear? Or will Reggie make fun of him? A winning, chatty voice, wonderfully sketchy illustrations (circa 1972), and a surprise ending make this a hit with kids and adults alike.

Ages: 4-8

Buy it now, $6.96

photo: Scholastic

My Daddy Snores

A humorous take on the perils of sleeping near a snoring parent, My Daddy Snores will give the entire fam a chuckle. When daddy snores, the walls shake and no one seems to get any rest, not even the family pets. 

Ages: 3+

Get it here, $21.95

Upper Elementary & Middle Grade

photo: HarperCollins

Goodnight Already!

Bear is so tired, he feels he could sleep for months. His neighbor Duck, on the other hand, has never felt so awake. Maybe he’ll just go see what Bear is up to. A hilarious all-dialogue story, great fun to read aloud and reminiscent of Elephant and Piggie.

Age: 4-8

Get it here, $7.94

Astronaut Annie

Annie’s career day at school prompts her family to guess all of the things Annie wants to be when she grows up—and her family puts their own hopes and dreams into her. She’ll tell the world her story like her reporter grandfather, soar high like her basketball star mom, bake brave like her grandma. But Annie’s dream of being an astronaut takes all those things and more. Bonus info about famous female astronauts and facts about the moon, make this the perfect book for any aspiring astro-lover of any age or gender.

Ages: 6-8

Order now. $12.99

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

Read your little rebel to sleep with these bedtime stories and she’ll dream the impossible. This “most funded book in crowd funding history” features short, page-long bios on 100 seriously smart, driven women from around the world, so your little dreamer can learn what it takes to reach the same heights as Freda Kahlo, Jane Goodall and the Williams’ sisters, to name a few. Dream big, kiddos!

Ages: 3-100

Buy it here, $20.14

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, 2: 100 More Stories of Extraordinary Women

Don’t let the title fool you: this recent sequel to the Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls collection is appropriate for boys and girls, anytime, day or night. Beautifully illustrated, the book contains 100 outstanding women from Beyoncé to Nefertiti. We promise you'll learn something, too! And with 100 different women, the book will last you all summer long (unless you devour it, like we did, in one sitting). A great book to keep on hand for future essays!

Ages: 3-100

Get it here, $14.99

photo: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

The Night Gardener

Breathtaking illustrations take center stage in The Night Gardener. Overnight a wise owl has been sculpted into the tree outside William's window, the first of many to come that will bring color and beauty to his drab town. But who is this mysterious gardener who only works at night?

Ages: 4-8

Get it here, $3.90

Harold and the Purple Crayon

The classic story of Harold and his artistic adventures has been entertaining kids for over six decades. Follow along as our pajama-clad hero has an expedition of colorful proportions. From drawing landmarks to creating his own purple picnic to finding his way back to bed, this lovely tale should be on every bookshelf.

Ages: 4-8

Order it here, $5.39

Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story

We're not sure what we love the most about this charming bedtime story: the gorgeous illustrations, the sweet storyline that follows the world as it turns in for the evening, or the guided meditation at the end that helps your little wiggle worms settle down for the evening.

Ages: 4-8

Grab it here, $8.97

The Night Knights

Sleeping in the dark can be scary. From monsters under the bed to things that go bump in the night, kids have all sorts of spooky bedtime fears. But never fear, the Night Knights also show up at night, charged with the valiant challenge of protecting kids as they make their way through dreamland. A new release from author Gideon Sterer with beautiful illustrations drawn by Cory Godbey.

Ages: 4-8

Buy it here, $13.19

Goodnight Darth Vader

Bedtime can test any parent’s patience—even Darth Vader. This instant classic by Jeffrey Brown examines how the Sith Lord gets his wild ones in bed. The answer? With a bedtime story full of droids, Yoda, robots, rebels, and furry critters, of course.

Ages: 4-8

Buy it now, $10.93

Charley's First Night

Henry brings home a new puppy, and his first challenge will be figuring out how to get Charley to sleep in a strange, lonely house. His parents said no dog in his room, but that’s the only place Charley wants to sleep. It’s told in lyrical prose and complemented by light, enchanting watercolors.

Ages: 4-8

Buy it now, $15.99


Follow the adventures of little Sandy, in whose bedroom tiny stars appear every night. She turns them into magical creatures who stay with her until she falls asleep, and in the morning, she brings them back to life with magical illustrations. It's when a little girl named Morfie shows up at school, and she knows all about the pictures, that things get really interesting. There are a few scary aspects to this beautifully illustrated graphic novel, so we recommend this for your very oldest kids. 

Ages: 10 & up 

Order it now, $7.99

photo: Harper Collis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis' classic tale is a must for pre-bedtime reading. Enjoy a chapter a night as you follow Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy through a magical wardrobe and into Narnia where they battle trials of good and evil. This gateway book is the perfect introduction to the entire series, The Chronicles of Narnia.

Ages: 8+

Get it here, $4.49

photo: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The Princess Bride

Told much in the same humor and whit as the classic film, The Princess Bride is an adventure beyond compare. Pirates, princesses, miracles and of course true love abound in this action-packed novel that is bound to make your kiddos excited for bedtime reading.

Ages: 7+

Get it here, $23.01

photo: Dover Publications

My Father's Dragon

The 1948 classic, My Father's Dragon, has been a family fave for decades. Follow Elmer Elevator as he strikes out to rescue a baby dragon from Wild Island, where he is selfishly enslaved. Armed with lollipops, rubber bands and chewing gum, Elmer and his adventure will charm your kiddos like he has done for over 50 years.

Ages: 6-10

Get it here, $14.95

—Emma Bland Smith with Gabby Cullen, Karly Wood and Amber Guetebier

Featured image: iStock



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