The best children's picture books to read aloud

Who am I?

Since an early age, I loved getting lost in a good story and knew I wanted to be a writer one day. As an adult, I tried writing in many genres but it was when I had my children that I knew I wanted to write children’s bedtime stories. I loved that special time at the end of a busy day when I could snuggle down with my children and get lost in a story with them. I now write children's bedtime stories for a podcast called Koko Sleep. The stories are written in a soothing way and are designed to help the listeners drift easily to sleep.

I wrote...

You Can't Eat a Princess!

By Gillian Rogerson,

Book cover of You Can't Eat a Princess!

What is my book about?

When King Cupcake is captured by hungry aliens, it's up to his feisty daughter, Princess Spaghetti, to save him! So she blasts off into space to show those naughty aliens who's boss. But how can she stop them from having the king for dinner? Only by introducing them to something even tastier than people: chocolate! A laugh-out-loud funny, mouthwatering picture book that's truly out of this world!

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).

I Don't Care! Said the Bear

By Colin West,

Book cover of I Don't Care! Said the Bear

Why this book?

This is one of the first books I read to my children at bedtime. It's an amusing rhyming story with a wonderfully funny ending. My children loved joining in with the rhymes and would add funny voices for each animal. They always pretended to be surprised by the ending and would try not to giggle too early when I turned to the last page. This is a family favourite and brings back great memories. 

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

By Michael Rosen, Helen Oxenbury (illustrator),

Book cover of We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Why this book?

This is such a great book to read aloud but even better to act out. I remember sunny days in the garden with my children where we would read the book and travel through the pretend swishy grass and through the mud in search of the bear, and how when we found the bear, we would run all the way back home laughing the whole time.

Bedtime for Rosie Rabbit

By Patrick Yee, Lucy Coats,

Book cover of Bedtime for Rosie Rabbit

Why this book?

My eldest daughter is called Rosie and she absolutely adored this book. It has lift-the-flaps inside which children always love. It's a simple story about a rabbit getting ready for bedtime, and it gently encourages children to have a bedtime routine. I read it every night and it wasn't long before my daughter knew the words and she started reading it to me. It is such a treasured book and I still have it in my family box of memories.

Where's Spot?

By Eric Hill,

Book cover of Where's Spot?

Why this book?

My youngest daughter loves dogs and this book became a firm favourite with her. We ended up getting more books in this series including a waterproof one for bath times. This is another lift-the-flap book and my daughter delighted in pretending not to know what was under each flap. Again, like her older sister, it wasn't long before she started to read the book to me. 

We're Off to Look for Aliens

By Colin McNaughton,

Book cover of We're Off to Look for Aliens

Why this book?

I worked as a classroom assistant for ten years and read a lot of books to the younger children, and this one was always a favourite for them. The children loved the funny rhymes and there would be lots of giggles because they knew what was going to happen next. The illustrations are amazing and they inspired the children to draw their own aliens. This book was read so many times that the pages started to fall out, but they were lovingly put back by the children.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in bears, dogs, and extraterrestrial intelligence?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about bears, dogs, and extraterrestrial intelligence.

Bears Explore 48 books about bears
Dogs Explore 252 books about dogs
Extraterrestrial Intelligence Explore 31 books about extraterrestrial intelligence

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, Where the Wild Things Are, and When Green Becomes Tomatoes if you like this list.