My Household’s Top Favorite Bedtime Books

Our house was blessed with many books adorning our bookshelves throughout our kid’s rooms and all around the house. Thanks to family, friends, and awesome rummage sales and library book sales we have a hearty collection of great books – big and small! It was important to my husband and me to read to our kids every night and to instill that love of learning from day one, and sometimes even in the womb! I even read my thesis paper to my daughter several times while she was in the womb so that way she could hear my voice and how fun it was to write and read.                        

Over the years we have found some favorites through our collection. I hope you open your reading collections to these books, either purchased, borrowed, or gifted.

  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
    • Breathing fire is super cool when you are a dragon, but not when it is after eating spicy salsa! Well in this story the dragons get the tummy troubles and it makes for a fun reading experience as you delve into what can happen when you’ve got too spicy salsa! Reading this book with lots of animated voices and interaction with your kids ties them in and they will want to read it again and again; laughing and giggling all the way to bedtime.
  • Goodnight, Daniel Tiger by Angela C. Santomero, Illustrated by Gord Garwood
    • This book is adapted from the show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS (modeled after Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood). They take the episode where Daniel Tiger is getting ready for bed and incorporate the songs from the show. With the lyrics written out you can either read or sing the songs to help reinforce bedtime routines; either make up your own melody or watch the episode on PBS to get the tunes. Daniel Tiger goes through the steps of going to bed by “bath time, PJs, brush teeth, story and song and off to bed” as the mantra of the routine. It makes it a fun way to recognize your routine, keep it fun, and sooth to bed.
  • In the Night Garden by Barbara Joosse, Illustrated by Elizabeth SaylesBeautiful poetry, fun animal sounds, and whimsical illustrations capture a sleepy child into the fun world written by Barbara Joosse. Three little girls in the story use their imaginations to envision their worlds as if they were a bear, a whale, and a dog. Each girl has her own personality and animal and while reading the stories you get a chance to say the fun animal noises, whooshing sounds and other onomatopoeia examples throughout the book. Then saying goodnight to the characters is a fun way to work your way to bedtime.
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
    • Always a classic, one that a lot of parents have read to their kids and even a first book for some kids learn to read on their own! Lots of repetition, fun words and places that you would probably not eat green eggs and ham (or any type of food for that matter) makes kids laugh and learn along the way. It is a fun book that can even change with each reading depending on how you voice the characters, which kids find hysterical. My favorite is making “glub-glub” noises and making my voice sound like it is going under the water when he does towards the end of the book. Enjoy this book before bed or any time throughout the day!
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Pictures by Clement Hurd
    • Another classic, one that is read by many parents and grandparents to get their children and grandchildren to bed. Simple colors, shapes, cute characters and lots of simple sentences make this a wonderful book to read before bed. The story is calming and looking for the things the book states helps capture kid’s attention and make them focus on something other than being tired. Lowering your voice and talking quietly and softly towards the end is almost like singing them a song and lulls them right to bed.

Remembering the books you read as a child, share those ones with your children and grandchild… that’s what makes the books extra special. Find time to read with your little ones and they will find a love of reading!