The Best Books for Children’s Bedtimes

The bedtime story can be one of the highlights of the day for both parents and children. It’s an opportunity for interaction and imagination. Sometimes it can be a challenge to engage children or to encourage them to forget the things they don’t like about bedtime such as settling down and turning the lights out. We’ve got some terrific reading recommendations to help pacify, sooth and make the dark a lot less scary!

The Littlest Dreamer books, A Bedtime Adventure, and A Bedtime Journey (Egmont) provide a fantastical yet also settling journey into dreamland. Talents Suzanne Smith and Charlotte Cooke have created distinct dream worlds where tots can ride over rainbows on ponies, enjoy cupcake feasts with woodland animals, and save their pets from fire-breathing dragons. They are magical feats of escapism that will help your littlest dreamer drift off. The books even include special stickers to reward children for getting into bed and staying put.

A classic bedtime read about settling down to sleep is Jill Murphy’s Peace at Last (Macmillan), the story of Mr Bear who is looking to find a quiet place to escape Mrs Bear’s snoring. Mr Bear goes from room to room in search of some much needed repose. He has to contend with Baby Bear pretending to be an aeroplane, not to mention the tick tock and the cuckoo of the cuckoo clock! The charming story and illustrations demand repeat reads.

For children who don’t like it when the lights are turned down, it can be hard to make a friend of the dark. Fortunately there are some fantastic reads that deal with this dilemma. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark (Egmont) tells the story of Plop the baby barn owl who is like every other barn owl there ever was except for one thing – he is afraid of the dark! Many little ones will feel an affinity with Plop as he faces his fears. This much-loved classic that has now delighted generations of children is available as an exquisite board book edition, perfect for sharing with little hands, or as part of the Egmont Modern Classics range for older children.

For kids who don’t like going to bed, Goodnight Moon (Two Hoots) by Margaret Wise Brown is another perennial classic: a rhyming book about a bunny who says goodnight to all the familiar things around him as the night grows darker; its words will leave a reassuring glow long after the lights have gone out.

From a classic to something entirely new, The Night Box (Egmont) is the story of Max, the custodian of night. Max has a key and a box of midnight blue. When he turns the key in the lock – WHOOSH! Day slips inside as night sweeps out. From debut author Louise Greig, winner of the Manchester Writing for Children Prize, and super talented illustrator Ashling Lindsay, this very special book captures the magic and beauty of night.

All these titles will give your children sweet dreams and bring the fun and make believe back to bedtime.

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