The best bedtime stories books for kids

Alexandre Lacroix Author Of Dragons in Love
By Alexandre Lacroix

Who am I?

I’m the happy father of five children, born between 2000 and 2017. So in my adult years, I have quite constantly lived in the company of young children, and I’ve started inventing stories for them. I have now six albums published in France, all of which were originally imagined for my kids just before we switch off the light for sleeping. Born in 1975, I live in Paris, I’m the chief editor of Philosophie magazine (a monthly publication with 50 000 readers), and I’ve published twenty novels and essays alas not available in English. I’m the president and co-founder of a creative writing school located in Paris, Les Mots.


I wrote...

Dragons in Love

By Alexandre Lacroix, Ronan Badel (illustrator),

Book cover of Dragons in Love

What is my book about?

Strokkur is a little dragon, living alone with his daddy. Then, he’s got a problem: when a charming little girl grants him a kiss on his cheek, he feels his fire burning inside… He’s terrified, a dragon shouldn’t be in love, otherwise, he may hurt the one he loves with his flames… Like in his previous adventure, Dragons. Father and Son, also illustrated by Ronan Badel, Strokkur we’ll have to solve a moral dilemma.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Fog Island

By Tomi Ungerer,

Book cover of Fog Island

Why this book?

I was a friend of Tomi Ungerer since he used to answer metaphysical or philosophical questions asked by children in Philosophie Magazine, each month, in a special chronicle. Fog Island is less famous than Otto or the Three Robbers, but it’s an ode to Ireland where he used to live. The magic island in his story actually exists: Tomi Ungerer has drawn the rocky “Evil’s Tooth” that was planted in the ocean, just in front of his house. A beautiful tale with a realistic background.


Blaze and the Castle Cake for Bertha Daye

By Claude Ponti, Alyson Waters (translator),

Book cover of Blaze and the Castle Cake for Bertha Daye

Why this book?

Claude Ponti is now in charge of the answers to the children's questions in Philosophie Magazine. Maybe less diffused in the Anglophone world than Ungerer, he’s clearly a great artiste, one of the biggest, with an extravagant and surrealistic imagination, and this album, in particular, is a masterpiece.


The Highway Rat

By Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler (illustrator),

Book cover of The Highway Rat

Why this book?

I have all the albums of Julia Donaldson, and I must say that I appreciate her work a lot, she plays with sonorities like in nursery rhymes. The Highway Rat is especially praised by my kids, and I think it’s because the hero is openly cruel and abominable, stealing the food of other animals with no pity at all… And, well, he’s arrogant and shameless but obviously punished at the end.


The Tunnel

By Anthony Browne,

Book cover of The Tunnel

Why this book?

What does happen when you get into a dark tunnel? When you quit reality to enter the realm of dreams and nightmares? A great story by the great Anthony Browne, which also deals with the relationship between sister and brother.


A House in the Woods

By Inga Moore,

Book cover of A House in the Woods

Why this book?

There are multiple possible interpretations for this very well illustrated story: it’s above moving from one habitation to another, but also on, a more symbolic level, about reconstituted families. At least, this is the sense it has for the adult because for children it’s much simpler, we see here sympathetic animals building a house in the forest.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in bedtime stories, sibling, and islands?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about bedtime stories, sibling, and islands.

Bedtime Stories Explore 8 books about bedtime stories
Sibling Explore 143 books about sibling
Islands Explore 37 books about islands

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Bedtime Daddy!, Where are you Lydie?, and Pooh! Is That You, Bertie? if you like this list.