The best books about sleepovers

3 authors have picked their favorite books about sleepovers and why they recommend each book.

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Crystal Is My Friend

By Shirley Gordon, Edward Frascino,

Book cover of Crystal Is My Friend

What are the compromises you make when your best friend sleeps over? As the host, must you let your friend decide everything you do? This is a realistic story about friendship. Kids will understand the feelings that Susan has as she reluctantly lets her friend, Crystal, call the shots. It’s a lively story with fun, loose illustrations by Edward Frascino.


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.

I wrote...

Darcy's First Sleepover

By Julie Fortenberry,

Book cover of Darcy's First Sleepover

What is my book about?

Description from the publisher: Every night at home, Darcy brushes her teeth with strawberry toothpaste; she snuggles in bed with Little Cat, and she falls asleep to the sound of her dad washing the dishes. But tonight, Darcy is having her very first sleepover! Even though it’s at her cousin Kayla’s house, it still feels a little daunting. Kayla has peppermint toothpaste, a baby bear named Charlotte, and howling winds outside her window. Darcy misses her dad and her own cozy bedroom. Should she ask her aunt to take her home?

This rewarding tale celebrates the excitement of new experiences and the power of quiet growth. Backmatter also included shedding light on steps parents can take when helping kids prepare for their first sleepover!

Ira Sleeps Over

By Bernard Waber,

Book cover of Ira Sleeps Over

I discovered this book at a library storytime when I was five. The kids were invited to wear their pajamas, making it feel just like a sleepover! I was the perfect age for this story, as I had just made my first best friend in my kindergarten class and was starting to do sleepovers for the very first time. Revisiting this story as an adult, I'm struck by how well it captures the intensity of what should be a very simple decision: bring a teddy bear to a sleepover or not. The author understands how high the stakes are in childhood friendships, where one moment of embarrassment can feel like the end of the world! 


Who am I?

I feel passionate about the topic of friendship because I haven’t been a great friend to all the people that have mattered to me. I’ve learned the value of friendship by making a lot of mistakes. I’m very lucky to be in my 40’s, have an amazing family, and still have a few individuals that I’ve known my entire adult life, who I still talk to on a regular basis. These people are really good friends, because, to be honest, they’ve seen me at my worst, and still love me. I consider myself a wealthy man, in no small part because of my friends. 


I wrote...

A Friend for Yoga Bunny

By Brian Russo,

Book cover of A Friend for Yoga Bunny

What is my book about?

In his second outing, Yoga Bunny finds a new friend... Bear! Bear is nervous about her birthday party and Bunny shows her how he uses yoga to feel more relaxed. He then invites her to do yoga with him and some other animals the next day. When she doesn’t show up, Yoga Bunny is sad at first, but then let's go and wishes her the best. I hope this will show young readers an important aspect of friendship: we can’t always fix our friend’s problems, and they won’t always do what we want. But if we stay open and respect what they’re going through, everything will turn out for the best.

Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear

By Mônica Carnesi,

Book cover of Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear

Beatrice and Bear are two very different animals who, despite those differences, play together all summer and fall. When winter comes and it’s time for Bear to hibernate, Beatrice, a bunny, wants to hibernate too. Of course, she’s way too active to sleep all winter. How can she share her winter with Bear? By making a scrapbook with pictures of all the things she does while he’s sleeping! When Bear wakes, she shares her winter adventures with him. Beatrice’s scrapbook “was the perfect gift to read together again and again.” Charming illustrations, and an endearing tale about enduring friendship.


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.

I wrote...

Darcy's First Sleepover

By Julie Fortenberry,

Book cover of Darcy's First Sleepover

What is my book about?

Description from the publisher: Every night at home, Darcy brushes her teeth with strawberry toothpaste; she snuggles in bed with Little Cat, and she falls asleep to the sound of her dad washing the dishes. But tonight, Darcy is having her very first sleepover! Even though it’s at her cousin Kayla’s house, it still feels a little daunting. Kayla has peppermint toothpaste, a baby bear named Charlotte, and howling winds outside her window. Darcy misses her dad and her own cozy bedroom. Should she ask her aunt to take her home?

This rewarding tale celebrates the excitement of new experiences and the power of quiet growth. Backmatter also included shedding light on steps parents can take when helping kids prepare for their first sleepover!

Froggy's Sleepover

By Jonathan London, Frank Remkiewicz (illustrator),

Book cover of Froggy's Sleepover

First off, I love Jonathan London’s illustration style. Froggy is a goofy, energetic animal character with his own series. In this story, he’s fired up and packing for a sleepover at Max’s house. But bedtime is different at Max’s, where Froggy’s comfy routine is upended. When Max starts telling ghost stories, Froggy wants to go home. And so, they decide to sleep over at Froggy’s instead. Then it’s Max who feels out of place and wants to go home. So, it’s back to Max’s. Then back and forth between houses until morning, when, finally, they fall asleep at Max’s. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to be away from home--a common feeling told with humor.


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.

I wrote...

Darcy's First Sleepover

By Julie Fortenberry,

Book cover of Darcy's First Sleepover

What is my book about?

Description from the publisher: Every night at home, Darcy brushes her teeth with strawberry toothpaste; she snuggles in bed with Little Cat, and she falls asleep to the sound of her dad washing the dishes. But tonight, Darcy is having her very first sleepover! Even though it’s at her cousin Kayla’s house, it still feels a little daunting. Kayla has peppermint toothpaste, a baby bear named Charlotte, and howling winds outside her window. Darcy misses her dad and her own cozy bedroom. Should she ask her aunt to take her home?

This rewarding tale celebrates the excitement of new experiences and the power of quiet growth. Backmatter also included shedding light on steps parents can take when helping kids prepare for their first sleepover!

Thank You and Good Night

By Patrick McDonnell,

Book cover of Thank You and Good Night

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.


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.

I wrote...

Darcy's First Sleepover

By Julie Fortenberry,

Book cover of Darcy's First Sleepover

What is my book about?

Description from the publisher: Every night at home, Darcy brushes her teeth with strawberry toothpaste; she snuggles in bed with Little Cat, and she falls asleep to the sound of her dad washing the dishes. But tonight, Darcy is having her very first sleepover! Even though it’s at her cousin Kayla’s house, it still feels a little daunting. Kayla has peppermint toothpaste, a baby bear named Charlotte, and howling winds outside her window. Darcy misses her dad and her own cozy bedroom. Should she ask her aunt to take her home?

This rewarding tale celebrates the excitement of new experiences and the power of quiet growth. Backmatter also included shedding light on steps parents can take when helping kids prepare for their first sleepover!

Rabbit and Robot

By Cece Bell,

Book cover of Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover

Cece Bell knows how to write for kids! This story definitely spoke to the kid in me from the ever-relatable sleepover woes to the cutest little details such as how Robot wants nuts and bolts as a pizza topping! The art and text is soft and approachable for early readers and masterfully crafted by a kid-lit giant.

Who am I?

My kid side loves robots and the possibilities they bring! My author side enjoys exploring what makes a reader “care” for a character that’s human, animal, and machine alike. And my parent side is ever interested in childhood with technology – the bad AND the good. Childhood today is very different from the childhood I experienced, but that doesn’t mean my experience was better, more correct, or even healthier. It’s just different! Kids today will remember their childhoods just as fondly as I remember mine. I aim to celebrate kids today and not to demonize the reality of their tech-infused world. I believe this list does just that!

I wrote...

Doll-E 1.0

By Shanda McCloskey,

Book cover of Doll-E 1.0

What is my book about?

Charlotte's world is fully charged! With her dog at her side, she's always tinkering, coding, clicking, and downloading. She's got a knack for anything technological--especially gadgets that her parents don't know how to fix! Then, she receives a new toy that is quite a puzzle: a doll! What's she supposed to do with that? Once she discovers the doll's hidden battery pack, things start to get interesting...while her faithful canine sidekick wonders if he'll be overshadowed by the new and improved Doll-E 1.0! With a little ingenuity and an open mind, everyone can be friends in this endearing, modern tribute to the creative spirit of play.

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