The most recommended books about bedtime

Who picked these books? Meet our 34 experts.

34 authors created a book list connected to bedtime, and here are their favorite bedtime books.
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Book cover of A Bed for Bear

Susan Marie Chapman Author Of Grumpy the Iguana

From my list on for parents to read to their children.

Who am I?

My name is Susan Marie Chapman and I am an award-winning Children’s Book Author. I have written over fourteen children’s books. I grew up on a farm surrounded by animals and nature and my seven sisters and brothers. Wow!! My goal is to get as many books into the hands of children that I possibly can. You see, reading books, especially picture books, is a way for a child to see the world through the pictures and words of a book. It creates imagination and excitement and fun and questions which lead to answers which makes you smarter. So read, read, read, until you run out of books, which will never happen.

Susan's book list on for parents to read to their children

Susan Marie Chapman Why did Susan love this book?

This is a great tale of a Bear named Bernard who thought there must be a better place to hibernate for the winter than a bear den. He has the perfect sleeping arrangement in mind. He wants a quiet, dry, not windy, extra room and some company, kind of place. Well, Bernard thought it would be easy, not so. He tried the frog’s lily pad and it was too wet. He sat in a bird’s nest with a bird but it was very windy, and so on. He finally meets a mouse who asks Bernard to describe the perfect sleeping arrangements. The mouse leads Bernard to the only place that would be perfect for a bear to sleep in. I love the message of this bear tale. It is about being yourself and not trying to be like everyone else. When you try to fit in, you realize that you…

By Clive McFarland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Bed for Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Children will fall in love with Bernard, the sleepy bear with a simple wish, in A Bed for Bear. It's time for Bernard to hibernate, but the bear cave is too crowded, too quiet, and too uncomfortable. So Bernard sets out to search the forest for the perfect bed for winter. But all he discovers are spots too windy, too wet, and too wild for him until he realizes that the perfect bed for a bear was right in front of him all along. With simple text and evocative illustrations by debut author-illustrator Clive McFarland, this heartwarming picture book is…


Book cover of Bedtime Daddy!

Janet Sumner Johnson Author Of Help Wanted, Must Love Books

From my list on children and their fathers.

Who am I?

As a picture book author and mom, I am constantly inspired by the world around me. I love watching my children, and I love how they adore their dad and he adores them in return. So many of my stories have been inspired by their interactions. While I am no expert on fatherhood, I have been fortunate to have had a loving dad who played “Monster in the Middle,” who took us for rides on his motorcycle, and reminded us that we could accomplish anything we put our mind to. I love books that remind us of the power of a loving father-child relationship and hope you, too, will be lifted by these joyful stories.

Janet's book list on children and their fathers

Janet Sumner Johnson Why did Janet love this book?

Bedtime, Daddy! is a role reversal book where baby bear puts daddy bear to bed. This book had me giggling the whole way through because I was there for it all. Daddy needing to use the bathroom one last time. Needing a drink of water. Asking ALL the silly questions. Kids and parents alike can relate. But what shines through is the love between daddy and kid. Just adorable all around!

By Sharon Giltrow, Katrin Dreiling (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bedtime Daddy! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Putting Daddy to bed can be hard work. Especially when he starts crying! This story will show you how to wrestle your daddy into his pajamas and read just one more bedtime story. "I'm thirrrrrrrrssssssty," says Daddy. "I need to poop ... I'm hungry ... But I'll miss you," he says, while he looks at you with cutie eyes. You'll have to battle the bedtime excuses and use go-away monster spray until Daddy finally goes to sleep. Bedtime can be a mission for many, but with these gorgeous illustrations of a little bear and his dad, this is the perfect…


Book cover of Thank You and Good Night

Julie Fortenberry Author Of Darcy's First Sleepover

From my list on picture books about sleepovers.

Who am I?

One of my favorite childhood memories is of kindergarten painting time. The teacher let us use thick tempera paint on big sheets of paper and actual easels! My abstract paintings have been in the Whitney Museum of American Art. But for the last 17 years, I’ve been painting for preschoolers and kindergarteners. My own stories are often inspired by my children and tend to be about leaving the comfort of home for the first time. I’m the author and illustrator of Darcy's First Sleepover, Pearl Goes to Preschool, The Artist and the King, and Lily’s Cat Mask which received a Kirkus starred review and was added to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. My next book, Grandpa and Jake, will be out in March of 2022.

Julie's book list on picture books about sleepovers

Julie Fortenberry Why did Julie love this book?

This is a lullaby of a book. Cozy all the way through. Three adorable animal friends spend the night together playing, doing yoga and the chicken dance, watching a shooting star, and, before drifting to sleep, giving thanks for the many things they are grateful for. The comforting sounds of the words are reminiscent of Goodnight Moon. The illustrations are graceful and simple. Patrick McDonnell is peerless.

By Patrick McDonnell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thank You and Good Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

The sun set, the moon rose, and Clement buttons his favourite pyjamas, ready for bed. But then his friends arrive for a surprise pyjama party! Together they play, snack and practice yoga before wishing on a shooting star and finally getting tucked into bed. But not before saying thank you for all of the wonderful and simple joys they've shared.

Inspired by the internationally acclaimed MUTTS series, this warm and engaging picture book is perfect for sharing at bedtime.

Introducing bestselling author and cartoonist Patrick McDonnell to the UK for the first time.


Book cover of The Magic in Me

Maia Haag Author Of My Very Own Name

From my list on personalized bedtime storybooks.

Who am I?

Maia Haag is the president and co-founder of I See Me! Personalized Books & Gifts. She had the idea to write her own personalized children’s book while on maternity leave. She and her husband, who is a graphic designer, published My Very Own Name, which launched their company. Maia has written over ten engaging, uniquely personalized stories that make each child feel special. She’s even written a personalized book for dog lovers If My Dog Could Talk—based on her own family pet!

Maia's book list on personalized bedtime storybooks

Maia Haag Why did Maia love this book?

It’s more important than ever for young children to learn to value and celebrate what makes each of us unique and different. This personalized story teaches your child to value what makes him or her special. The story also teaches your child to love and appreciate the diversity that children across the world bring to make the world a vibrant place: different languages that we speak, hobbies that we have, various skin tones, different hairstyles, and different ways that we love other people. 

By Timi Bliss, Kamala Nair (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Magic in Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Rudie Nudie

Alys Mendus Author Of Searching for the Ideal School Around the World: School Tourism and Performative Autoethnographic-We

From my list on picture books for a 2.5 year old.

Who am I?

With our 2.5-year-old we read all the time. She is a great critic, letting us know if the book is to be read ‘again’ or to be put ‘away!’ As well as a PhD in Education, I am also a trained teacher, having worked with preschoolers running Steiner Waldorf inspired parent and child groups and playgroups, so I am fascinated by the power of story. I try and choose books that are inclusive and age-appropriate, keeping the child in a magical space, as well as allowing for lots of laughs! I also love to share books that I am happy to read three times in a row!

Alys' book list on picture books for a 2.5 year old

Alys Mendus Why did Alys love this book?

Two young children jump out of the bath and run around their home naked until they get dried and dressed in their pyjamas and go off to sleep. We love being ‘nudie nudie’ in our house and the fun rhyming words in this book are regularly recited as we play! We also love the Rudie Nudie Christmas edition that came out in 2020. As someone from the UK living in Australia I love the details in this book that let me know it is set in Australia such as the house having a screen door to keep all those pesky mosquitoes out!

By Emma Quay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rudie Nudie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A delightful Rudie Nudie celebration of the joy of Christmas from award-winning creator Emma Quay.



Yoo-hoo, Rudie Nudie.

Rudie Nudie, where are you?

It is very nearly Christmas Day

for Rudie one and two.

It's Christmas Eve and two little rudie nudies are on the run again!

From bestselling author-illustrator Emma Quay comes the perfect book to share this holiday season.

AWARDS

Shortlisted - Speech Pathology Book of the Year 2021


Book cover of Big Dog and Little Dog

Trudy Krisher Author Of Bark Park!

From my list on children's books featuring dogs.

Who am I?

I belong to a family of dog lovers – Oscar, the black cocker spaniel; Buddy, the brown-and-white beagle; Riley, the buff cocker spaniel; Buffy, a black boxer mix, Milo and Max, Golden retrievers. In fact, cavorting with Riley at a San Francisco park was my inspiration for Bark Park. I also love children, especially my grandchildren Connor and Kasey. When Kasey, at five years of age, read my book Bark Park aloud for the first time, my heart swelled with joy! It took me back to my own young daughter Laura whose first all-by-herself read-aloud had been: Go, dog, go!  So it’s only natural for me to combine my two great loves – dogs and children – with these book recommendations.

Trudy's book list on children's books featuring dogs

Trudy Krisher Why did Trudy love this book?

This very easy early reader is a good choice for launching a child into reading. It follows Big Dog and Little Dog through their day as they eat, play, and – finally – sleep cuddled up together at night. This oh-so-simple story with its oh-so-simple illustrations provides a charming plot and a sense of reading mastery for the oh-so-very early young reader.

By Dav Pilkey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Big Dog and Little Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Big Dog and Little Dog are canine companions who stick together through thick and thin. In this, their first adventure, Big Dog and Little Dog are hungry! And as any good dog knows, friends who chow down together nap together.


Book cover of Who Loves Me?

Maia Haag Author Of My Very Own Name

From my list on personalized bedtime storybooks.

Who am I?

Maia Haag is the president and co-founder of I See Me! Personalized Books & Gifts. She had the idea to write her own personalized children’s book while on maternity leave. She and her husband, who is a graphic designer, published My Very Own Name, which launched their company. Maia has written over ten engaging, uniquely personalized stories that make each child feel special. She’s even written a personalized book for dog lovers If My Dog Could Talk—based on her own family pet!

Maia's book list on personalized bedtime storybooks

Maia Haag Why did Maia love this book?

This personalized storybook is soothing to young children because it shares the names of everyone who loves the child. When you order the book, you’ll provide the names of family members, relatives, and even the family pet, and the book will feature rhymes about how much those people adore your child. 

Book cover of A Good Night Walk

Kenneth Kraegel Author Of Mushroom Lullaby

From my list on bedtime books for young children.

Who am I?

I write and illustrate picture books. Before I was a father I just thought of the picture book as my chosen art form. When I became a dad, I saw first-hand how important picture books are in the lives of young children and the people who read to them. They become family friends. For the youngest kids, bedtime and nap-time are rituals performed many times a day, which means those books get read over and over. In doing so, I found some favorites that I still enjoy reading today, even if I am reading to myself!   

Kenneth's book list on bedtime books for young children

Kenneth Kraegel Why did Kenneth love this book?

A good goodnight book slows things down, quiets down the room and the people in it. This book does just that. When nap-time and bedtime were frequent and important in our home we really loved this book. You go for a walk and when you are back home you are ready for bed. Decrescendo. 

By Elisha Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Good Night Walk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed author-illustrator Elisha Cooper paints the quiet magic of a good-night walk as the neighborhood settles into itself at the end of the day.

As a child and parent walk down the block to the bay and turn to walk back home, evening falls upon the neighborhood. As the walk begins, the squirrels are in the yards, the boys are mowing lawns, a neighbor is baking a pie, and someone is mailing a letter. When the child and parent turn to walk back home, the apple pie is down from the windowsill, the leaves are raked up, and the postman…


Book cover of The Going to Bed Book

Kenneth Kraegel Author Of Mushroom Lullaby

From my list on bedtime books for young children.

Who am I?

I write and illustrate picture books. Before I was a father I just thought of the picture book as my chosen art form. When I became a dad, I saw first-hand how important picture books are in the lives of young children and the people who read to them. They become family friends. For the youngest kids, bedtime and nap-time are rituals performed many times a day, which means those books get read over and over. In doing so, I found some favorites that I still enjoy reading today, even if I am reading to myself!   

Kenneth's book list on bedtime books for young children

Kenneth Kraegel Why did Kenneth love this book?

I didn’t think much of rhyming picture books until I became a father. Whether I was savoring the bedtime experience, impatient to get on to the next task or about to fall asleep myself, the rhythm of this (and all of Boynton’s books) pulled me into the moment and made me an engaged reader. And Boynton’s books are as fun to look at as they are to read. 

By Sandra Boynton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Going to Bed Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Getting ready for sleep is tons of fun in this Sandra Boynton classic.

The sun has set not long ago.
Now everybody goes below
to take a bath in one big tub
with soap all over-SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB!

This classic bedtime story is just right for winding down the day as a joyful, silly group of animals scrub scrub scrub in the tub, brush and brush and brush their teeth, and finally rock and rock and rock to sleep.


Book cover of You Nest Here with Me

Maria Gianferrari Author Of Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story

From my list on read aloud bird books for kids.

Who am I?

I may not be an expert ornithologist, but I am an avid “birdologist” to borrow a term from Sy Montgomery—one who is awed and fascinated by all things bird. Bird-watching is meditative—it helps me to be present and to feel joyful. I love reading, learning, and writing about birds too! I am the author of these bird books: Hawk Rising, illustrated by Brian Floca, Whoo-Ku Haiku, illustrated by Jonathan Voss, and the forthcoming You and the Bowerbird, illustrated by Maris Wicks. I love writing about the natural world and its inhabitants as well as dogs—another love of mine!

Maria's book list on read aloud bird books for kids

Maria Gianferrari Why did Maria love this book?

Yolen and Stemple are a mother-daughter dream team duo and creators of many bird books including Yolen’s classic, Owl Moon. This birdy-lullaby has a soothing read-aloud rhythm as a mother tucks her tired nestling-child in bed. She recounts the places where various birds nest, from pigeons on ledges and catbirds in hedges, to owls in oak tree boles and hawks on telephone poles bound by the reassuring refrain, "You nest here with me.” Sweet’s blue-green color palette offers a calming and soporific counterpart and a nod to night-time. Learn more about the featured birds, their diet and nesting habits, and this birding family in the book’s back pages.

By Jane Yolen, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Melissa Sweet (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Nest Here with Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Now available in a board book edition, this lyrical bedtime book is an ode to baby birds everywhere and to sleepy children, safe in their beds. As a mother describes how different species of birds nest, secure and cozy with their mama birds, she tucks her own child into bed with the soothing refrain -- "you nest here with me" -- easing her little one and readers alike to slumber. Accompanied by beautiful artwork by award-winning illustrator Melissa Sweet, mother and daughter Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple have combined their poetry writing and love of birding in this board book…