Bedtime: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about bedtime?

Bedtime is a special time and one that we often spend reading with our children. Any book is fun to read before bed, but there is a great list of books that have been made especially to soothe and calm our children before they go to sleep. We hope you find your new favorite as you scan the list below!

Top 10 Books About Bedtime

The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

To the Sea book
#2
To the Sea
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn’t just any new friend: he’s a blue whale, and he can’t find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it’s not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.

Hop Along Boo, Time for Bed book
#3
Hop Along Boo, Time for Bed
Written by Mark Sperring and illustrated by Mandy Sutcliffe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is an AMAZING book that I never get tired of reading and my toddler never gets tired of listening to. He’ll ask for this book again and again and again and when we had a couple night stay in the hospital earlier this year, this is one of the three books we grabbed as we ran out the door. The illustrations are peaceful and dreamy (the parades of children in their pajamas are my favorite!) and the rhymes are calming and lullaby-esque.

Join Belle and her bunny, Boo, as they follow ballerinas, cowboys, pirates, and others through dreamy fantasies to a cozy bed of their own. Gentle rhymes and luminous illustrations will help little ones wind down and tuck in for a good night’s sleep. This lullaby journey is as captivating and soothing as any parent or child could want — by the end, there won’t be an open eye in the house!

Belle & Boo is a British lifestyle brand known for original, nostalgic ‘story book’ illustrations of children. Visit them at belleandboo.com.

The Snatchabook book
#4
The Snatchabook
Written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Where have all the bedtime stories gone? A delightful addition to the picture book canon about the love of reading One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down…when a Snatchabook flew into town. It’s bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.

More Than Balloons book
#5
More Than Balloons
Written by Lorna Crozier and illustrated by Rachelle Anne Miller
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from Grammy

This charming story of the boundless love of a parent for a child makes for ideal bedtime reading. The creative rhymes and consistent meter are remarkable, as are the many details for spying and identifying on each page. There is a great variety of animals rendered in a warm palette of colors participating in a wide range of experiences throughout the seasons of the year. Plenty to discuss, and even use as a springboard for your own adventures.

Balloons love the moon, and a tuba loves a tune, but these don’t compare to the love we have for you. Award-winning poet Lorna Crozier uses evocative rhyme, complemented by Rachelle Anne Miller’s whimsical imagery, to provide babies and toddlers with common concepts that explain just how great love is.

You Are Special book
#6
You Are Special
Written by Max Lucado and illustrated by Sergio Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Every day the small wooden people called Wemmicks do the same thing: stick either gold stars or gray dots on one another. The pretty ones―those with smooth wood and fine paint―always get stars. The talented ones do, too. Others, though, who can do little or who have chipped paint, get ugly gray dots. Like Punchinello.

In this heartwarming children’s tale from best-selling author Max Lucado, Eli the woodcarver helps Punchinello understand how special he is―no matter what other Wemmicks may think. It’s a vital message for children everywhere: that regardless of how the world evaluates them, God cherishes each of them, just as they are.

This tale originally appeared within one of the chapters in the award-winning children’s bestseller Tell Me the Secrets.

The Going-To-Bed Book book
#7
The Going-To-Bed Book
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

Lots of bedtime stories are kind of slow and sweet. This one is lots of fun. The rhymes are great as it goes through a (semi) normal bedtime routine, with a little bit of wit and humor. We like reading this before bedtime.

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.

When the World Is Ready for Bed book
#8
When the World Is Ready for Bed
Written by Gillian Shields and illustrated by Anna Currey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I. Love. This. Book. The illustrations are beautiful, and I love that this bedtime book goes through a beautiful routine from sunset and eating dinner to discussing the day, reading a book, giving kisses, and falling asleep. The whole thing is beautiful!

A rabbit family prepares for bed by cleaning up toys, folding clothes, talking about the events of the day, and reading a book.

Lion's Lullaby book
#9
Lion's Lullaby
Written by Mij Kelly and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I absolutely love the illustrations in this sweet bedtime book! It’s filled with the cutest animals and has a lovely rhyme and flow. There’s not a huge story line to this one, but it’s fun to go through all the animals and ask who puts them to bed. :)

With the help of hugs and lullabies, a young girl tucks her stuffed animals into bed, one by one, in this cuddly good-night read. Holly Clifton-Brown’s soft palette and adorable illustrations paired with Mij Kelly’s comforting rhyming text set the perfect tone for bedtime.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site book
#10
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The #1 New York Times bestseller As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight. One by one, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator finish their work and lie down to rest—so they’ll be ready for another day of rough and tough construction play! With irresistible artwork by best-selling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld and sweet, rhyming text, this book will have truck lovers of all ages begging for more.

Books About Bedtime and Animals

Lion's Lullaby book
#1
Lion's Lullaby
Written by Mij Kelly and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I absolutely love the illustrations in this sweet bedtime book! It’s filled with the cutest animals and has a lovely rhyme and flow. There’s not a huge story line to this one, but it’s fun to go through all the animals and ask who puts them to bed. :)

With the help of hugs and lullabies, a young girl tucks her stuffed animals into bed, one by one, in this cuddly good-night read. Holly Clifton-Brown’s soft palette and adorable illustrations paired with Mij Kelly’s comforting rhyming text set the perfect tone for bedtime.

All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep book
#2
All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep
Written by Crescent Dragonwagon and illustrated by David McPhail
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Now in board book format, this lyrical animal ABC book is just right for bedtime—or anytime! From antlered antelope to zzz-ing zebra, all the awake animals are getting sleepy in this abridged board book edition of a favorite bedtime alphabet book, from an acclaimed author and bestselling illustrator. This exquisite celebration of language and nature is perfect for lulling little ones into a cozy, soothing slumber.

Rock-a-Bye Farm book
#3
Rock-a-Bye Farm
Written by Diane Johnston Hamm and illustrated by Alexi Natchev
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This sweet, rhyming bedtime book is perfect for animal lovers. The farmer helps all of his animals get to sleep before going to bed himself. The illustrations are sweet and perfect for bedtime.

From a baby to a horse, the farmer is rocking everybody to sleep on this farm! Originally published in 1992, Rock-a-Bye Farm is filled with sweet lullabies. Little Simon is bringing this humorous and touching bedtime story back in a board book format with beautiful new illustrations.

Honorable Mentions
  1. When Your Monkeys Won't Go to Bed - When your monkeys won’t go to bed, you’ll have to use lots of tricks to make them sleepy! This charming and hilarious board book highlights the many ways to tire out two wide-awake monkeys! Do your monkeys go wild at bedtime? When your monkeys won’t go to bed, you’ll have to be smart. After you race them upstairs and trick them into the tub, it’s time to convince them to get into bed. Let them pick out a good book—or five—and snuggle in close. But be careful…or you just might fall asleep, too!

  2. Cow Can't Sleep - Belle can’t sleep. The hay is too scratchy. So she tiptoes around the farm to find the perfect place to sleep. But what if the best sleeping spots are already taken? Belle causes an uproar on the farm…until finally she finds the perfect place to sleep! Good night! Bright, hilarious digital artwork gives just the right touch to this silly bedtime story.

  3. The Big Book of Bedtime Stories - This delightful treasury of stories features charming characters and beautiful illustrations - each with a hidden message. The Big Book of Bedtime Stories introduces young children to the pleasures of reading and includes eight stories to choose from. Each story is perfect for reading together and is just the right length for bedtime. All the other dragons laugh at The Littlest Dragon because he can’t breathe fire. But when winter comes all the other dragons catch colds. Will the Littlest Dragon be able to breathe fire after all? When William’s baby brother arrives, his Mom and Dad are too busy to read him a bedtime story, so William sets off to find a new home in There’s No Place Like Home. Superchimp is the mighty hero of the jungle. But when Superchimp hears a booming sound, it stops him in his tracks…. Just who is this brave chimp is so frightened of? In Kindness is Magic Wolf finds poor Little Owl has fallen from her tree. He decides to help her learn to fly. Can wolf hide his frustration and will Little Owl ever make it home? Archie’s big brother Oliver has returned from a party with a party gift bag. Archie begins collecting a bag of treasures all of his own. When a magpie steals Archie’s Bag of Treasures, who will help him get it back? Max and Bear are best friends. Every evening Bear tells Max the best bedtime stories. One day Bear gets tangled up in a kite and flies far away from home. How will Bear find his way home to tell Max his bedtime story? All the animals are frightened of Snip Snap Croc. She could gobble them up in one bite. But who do these eggs belong to? The animals are about to learn that even Snip Snap Croc has a softer side. A child describes her pet chameleon and its funny color changing habit. She loves her pet, but her mom is less convinced because it keeps getting lost! Can they find a way to stop losing the chameleon in My Colorful Chameleon?

  4. Dream Animals - Ideal for bed time reading, Dream Animals convinces children to close their eyes and discover who their dream animal might be—a fox? a bear? a narwhal?—and what dream it might take them to. With a perfect nighttime rhyme and gorgeous illustrations, this book is irresistible.

Want to see 25 more children's books about bedtime and animals?

How about children's books about animals?

Books About Bedtime and Sleep

Sheep Go to Sleep book
#1
Sheep Go to Sleep
Written by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

At the end of the day, tired sheep return to their shed but none can sleep until the collie arrives, giving a hug, a drink of water, and more until all have begun to snore.

Sleep, Baby, Sleep book
#2
Sleep, Baby, Sleep
Written by Maryann Cusimano Love and illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

When you think of bedtime books you may think of lullabies and bedtime routines, but this book is different. It begins with sleep, baby, sleep, but goes through a whole series of hopes the parents have for the child: rising, soaring, laughing, climbing, growing and so much more. It is a wonderful book.

As their baby sleeps, the parents wish for their child the many characteristics found in animals, such as being gentle as a lamb, having the sight of a hawk, and the peacefulness of a snowy dove.

Everyone Sleeps book
#3
Everyone Sleeps
Written and illustrated by Marcellus Hall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

“A wide-awake dog looks for a friend in a nighttime world full of sleeping animals”—

Honorable Mentions
  1. Olive the Sheep Can't Sleep - Adorable Olive had a long day and is tired. She settles in for a good night’s sleep, but it isn’t easy. Using techniques based in neuroscience to help children relax, fall asleep, and stay asleep, author and child psychologist Clementina Almeida presents a charming bedtime story teaching parents techniques to help their child turn off . Why is it sometimes so hard for little ones to fall asleep? “Because,” says Almeida, “the world never ceases to surprise them, . . . their mind cannot ‘disconnect.’”

  2. Will You Help Me Fall Asleep? - Tomorrow is the annual boat race and Monty needs as much energy as possible to make sure he crosses the finish line first. He tried closing his eyes, counting sheep, and reading a book, but nothing will help him fall asleep. In this interactive follow-up to Can I Tell You a Secret?, Monty the frog asks for your help once again. This time he is struggling to go to sleep before a very big day. Both relatable and fun for children and parents, this adorable picture book is perfect for naptime, bedtime, or anytime!

  3. Once Upon a Zzzz - Once upon a time, an author took a snooze and an illustrator took the reins telling the story—exactly the way she wants! Featuring a llama princess, a scheming penguin, space travel, and maybe even a ninja—or, wait, a dragon!—this rambunctious, clever, no-holds-barred meta-story will have young readers giggling from start to finish.

  4. Russell the Sheep - This is Russell. Sometimes Russell is just a little bit out of step with the rest of the flock. All the sheep are falling asleep — except Russell. What’s a sheep to do? Russell tries everything … until, at last, he falls asleep.

Want to see 20 more children's books about bedtime and sleep?

How about children's books about sleep?

Books About Bedtime and Kisses

If Animals Kissed Good Night book
#1
If Animals Kissed Good Night
Written by Ann Whitford Paul and illustrated by David Walker
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Rhyming text explores what would happen if animals kissed like humans do, from a slow kiss between a sloth and her cub to a mud-happy kiss from a hippo calf to his father.

Baby Bedtime book
#2
Baby Bedtime
Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Emma Quay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join these adorable elephants for a lyrical good night routine in this tender bedtime tale from the bestselling author of Time for Bed and Hello Baby! After all the kissing, and the hugging, and the rocking, and the snuggling, there at last comes a time for—sleeping. From beloved, bestselling picture book author Mem Fox, this cozy, dreamy bedtime book is a soothing lullaby that’s just right for lulling little ones to sleep.

You Are My Kiss Goodnight book
#3
You Are My Kiss Goodnight
Written and illustrated by Marianne Richmond
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

A twist on classic Marianne Richmond books like You Are My Heart, You Are My Kiss Good Night offers parents a way to wind down the day with a little one, reminding everyone of the love and care that they share. With Marianne’s trademark feel-good writing and beautiful illustrations, You Are My Kiss Good Night is a new addition to the nighttime category that delivers a way for parents to express their love to children in a sweet and memorable way.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Little Sleepyhead - A board book for the most cuddly bedtime ever! Tired little eyes, ready now for bed, Tired little everything, precious sleepyhead. By the end of a busy day, little knees are tired from crawling, little arms are tired from stretching—even little lips are tired from blowing kisses. But with the help of gentle verse, and art as sweet as a bedtime lullaby, tired little eyes will quickly give way to sleep. Shhh . . .

  2. A Kiss Goodnight - It’s bedtime for Little Hare, but first he needs a goodnight kiss! It’s almost time for bed, but Little Hare isn’t sleepy! Luckily Mommy Hare knows just what her bouncy hare needs before he goes to bed. Enjoy this wonderfully cozy story—perfect for bedtime!

Want to see more children's books about kisses?

Books About Bedtime and Family

Bear Is Not Tired book
#1
Bear Is Not Tired
Written and illustrated by Ciara Gavin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Bear and his duck family do everything together. That is, until winter arrives. Bear is supposed to hibernate this time of year, but he doesn’t want to miss out on any of the fun. But can Bear really stay awake all winter long? Gentle humor and endearing illustrations bring a delightful twist to a bedtime routine that children and their parents will easily recognize.

Goodnight Whispers book
#2
Goodnight Whispers
Written by Michael Leannah and illustrated by Dani Torrent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

You are strong. You are brave. You are so incredibly good. On an ordinary night in an ordinary house, a father’s ordinary words do something extraordinary. Lulled to sleep by these whispered affirmations, his baby girl grows into a fun-loving child, a confident teen, and then a courageous young woman. As she ventures forth into the world on her own, her father’s affectionate affirmations—now carried in memory—bolster her through life’s challenges and, like whispers on the night wind, come full circle to strengthen her aging father and young son of her own. With breathtaking illustrations from Spanish artist Dani Torrent, Goodnight Whispers is a heartwarming story about a father’s love and the power of affirmation.

Little Hoot book
#3
Little Hoot
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

It’s not fair! All Little Owl wants is to go to bed at a reasonable hour, like his friends do. But Mama and Papa say little owls have to stay up late and play. So Little Owl spends all night jumping on his bed, playing on the jungle gym, and doing tricks on his skateboard—but he’s hooting mad about it! Children who have a hard time going to bed will love this fun twist on the universal dilemma.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits - Follow one family of rabbits as they do all their favorite things in this sweet, poetic story from award-winning author Douglas Florian, now in board book format! The habits of rabbits are many, not few, with plenty of things that they love to do! This lyrical story follows a family of rabbits throughout the seasons as they have fun doing everyday things like digging holes, building snow rabbits, thumping their feet, and more. And at the end of the day, when it’s time to say goodnight,” there is one habit of rabbits that’s not to be missed. . . .

  2. Rabbit Pie - The perfect recipe for bedtime! Six adorable rabbits are just one ingredient needed for sweet Rabbit Pie! Combine with a sprinkling of kisses and some warm milk for the ideal bedtime story. Told like a recipe, with delightful illustrations showing the preparations for bedtime, this charming picture book will enchant parents and children alike. With a sturdy board book format that will withstand plenty of use by babies and younger children this new format edition of an already popular title makes the perfect addition to any bookshelf!

  3. The Runaway Hug - “Mommy,” said Lucy. “Can I have a hug before I go to bed?” When Mommy jokes that she only has one hug left, Lucy decides she must keep Mommy’s last hug safe. As Lucy shares the hug with everyone in her large and loving family, she is always careful to get it back . . . until the canine member of the family refuses to play along! Highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling picture-book creators Nick Bland and Freya Blackwood collaborate for the first time on this charming story, which celebrates the imaginative powers of children and the extraordinary love to be found in ordinary bedtime routines.

  4. Night-Night, Forest Friends - As the sun sets, animals all over the forest get ready for bed. Papa rabbit tucks his babies in among the leaves, fuzzy bears settle in their den, and little foxes snuggle together under the moonlight. Up above, an owl hoots a lullaby. The gentle rhyming text and soft illustrations in this charming book will help little ones settle down for a cozy night.

Want to see more children's books about family?

Books About Bedtime and Games

Goodnight Football book
#1
Goodnight Football
Written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In rhyming text a child, home from a game, bids goodnight to all the sights and sounds of a school football game.

Goodnight Hockey book
#2
Goodnight Hockey
Written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A young fan cheers on his hometown hockey team, and then returns home to snuggle into bed.

Goodnight Soccer book
#3
Goodnight Soccer
Written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From the opening kickoff to the final goal, a young girl says goodnight to her most beloved sport: soccer. With delightful, rhyming text and energetic art, this bedtime book captures the thrill and excitement of the world’s most popular sport. Full color.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Goodnight Baseball -

  2. Hide and Seek - The mischievous stars of Seen and Not Heard climb out of their paintings for another nighttime adventure in this gently spooky bedtime story. A midsummer moon shines on Shiverhawk Hall, where portraits of children come alive on the wall. As night falls, the playful painted residents wake up for another Gorey-esque rhyming caper. When the DeVille twins are nowhere to be seen, the other children escape their frames in search of two girls in white dresses — and, possibly, a midnight game in the garden. Out in the night air, through the maze, and into the woods they go, looking for their mysterious friends. Will they be able to find the twins before the sun rises? Charming and eerie without ever being too scary, Katie May Green’s second tale is perfect for Halloween story times and bedtime read-alouds after a long day of play.

Want to see more children's books about games?

Books About Bedtime and Bunnies

When the World Is Ready for Bed book
#1
When the World Is Ready for Bed
Written by Gillian Shields and illustrated by Anna Currey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I. Love. This. Book. The illustrations are beautiful, and I love that this bedtime book goes through a beautiful routine from sunset and eating dinner to discussing the day, reading a book, giving kisses, and falling asleep. The whole thing is beautiful!

A rabbit family prepares for bed by cleaning up toys, folding clothes, talking about the events of the day, and reading a book.

When the World Is Ready for Bed (padded board) book
#2
When the World Is Ready for Bed (padded board)
Written by Gillian Shields and illustrated by Anna Currey
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-6

Now in padded board book edition - a lovely, soothing lullaby with the familiar feel of a classic.As the whole world gets ready for bed, so does an adorable bunny family—brushing teeth, closing curtains, and sharing a story. The complete text of this sleepy, soothing book is captured in a new padded board book edition with sturdy pages and rounded corners.

Everybunny Dream! book
#3
Everybunny Dream!
Written and illustrated by Ellie Sandall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s time for bed! Bunnies and foxes cozy up after a busy day in this fun, colorful picture book that is perfect for bedtime from the author of Everybunny Count! and Everybunny Dance!

Cuddle up And snuggle tight, And close your eyes, And say goodnight.

It’s time for the bunnies to brush their teeth, clean their paws, and comb their tail. And before they fall asleep, they’ll have time to curl up for one last hug, and one last story shared with some unexpected friends. Everybunny is welcome to join in this bright and cheery bedtime tale before dozing off into sweet dreams.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Tickle My Ears - In Tickle My Ears, it’s getting late and Little Rabbit must go to bed. Can you help him? When Little Rabbit asks “Tickle My Ears?” a wonderful new bedtime ritual begins: Clap your hands, fluff the pillow, give Little Rabbit’s ears a tickle, stroke his back, pull up the covers and a goodnight kiss. And don’t forget to turn out the light: here’s the switch! Enjoy this sweet interactive animation where you can tuck Little Rabbit in, tickle his ears, kiss him goodnight and turn off the lights here.

  2. The Rabbit, the Dark, and the Cookie Tin - Rabbit doesn’t want to go to bed, so he decides to kidnap The Dark and trap it in a cookie tin so he can stay up all night long. But then The Dark reminds Rabbit of all the good things that darkness brings. What about all the nocturnal animals? And surely you can’t have a yummy breakfast of toast and honey and fresh orange juice unless you’ve been to bed? But the BEST thing about the dark, of course, is reading a really good bedtime story!

  3. I Love You, Bunny - Sometimes Suzie gets scared in the night, but Bunny White is always there to look after for her. One night, a strange shadow creeps into the room, and Bunny White is nowhere to be found. I Love You, Bunny is a beautiful debut about overcoming being afraid of the dark, illustrated in a classic, nostalgic style. The heartwarming story is perfect for before bed reading, and Alina Surnaite displays a rare drawing talent reminiscent of Shirley Hughes and Martin Waddell.

Want to see more children's books about bunnies?

Books About Bedtime and Stars

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star book
#1
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Written by and illustrated by Sylvia Long
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-12

In this tenderly illustrated edition of the classic rhyme, award-winning artist Sylvia Long touches the hearts of readers yet again. Her detailed watercolors depict a group of animal friends as they make their way home under the night sky to complete their bedtime rituals.

Ten Wishing Stars book
#2
Ten Wishing Stars
Written by and illustrated by Kate Stone
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Star light, star bright…these wishing sheep will light up your night! Fluff up your pillow and turn down the lights. Counting sheep has never been so illuminating. Count down to bedtime with ten dreamy sheep as they each make a wish on a glow-in-the-dark star. A perfect book to read by nightlight!

Light Up the Stars! book
#3
Light Up the Stars!
Written and illustrated by Gabriele Clima
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Paint the sky with rainbows and make the stars shine with this novelty board book! Kids just pull the tabs to make colorful flowers bloom, help a ship sail the ocean, and light up an entire city. At the end, you can shut a boy’s eyes to put him to sleep at night . . . and wake him in the morning. It’s magical!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Crinkle, Crinkle, Little Star - Take an interactive journey through the night sky in an innovative, tactile board book, a special book that engages three senses—seeing, touching, and hearing. With its gorgeous, full-spread illustrations of constellations and beloved bedtime lullaby reimagined, Crinkle, Crinkle, Little Star is the perfect book to rock babies to sleep. Here’s Taurus the bull, strong and fast. Cetus the whale, waving a mighty tail. Orion, with bow and arrow in hand. Babies can trace the imaginary lines that turn random stars into ancient constellations—and, in a special treat, create a crinkling sound by tracing the channel of shimmery material underneath the last illustration in the book. That same mysterious, compelling crinkling sound persists when baby and parents hold the book and rub the crinkly material on the back cover.

  2. Starry Skies - Every night, the sky is filled with stars that tell a thousand tales. Brave warriors, regal queens, fierce beasts — they all parade across the starry skies each night. In Starry Skies you’ll discover some of the most famous constellations and learn how to find them in the night sky. With brilliant illustrations by Nila Aye, you will see the shapes of each constellation, and imagine what they might look like when you look up into the dark sky above. This introduction to astronomy is all you need to start learning about stars, so get ready, star hunters, and look to the skies!

  3. The Lost Star - What happens when a star falls to earth . . . and doesn’t know how to get back home? A magical, mysterious story that’s perfect for bedtime. One night, when the moon is shining and a dormouse is having fun with the fireflies, she spots a gentle glow in the woods. The light comes from a golden star that has fallen to Earth and needs to get back home. Dormouse and her woodland friends do their best to help the star return to the sky, but one by one they fail . . . and the star grows paler and paler. Will the mysterious Frog finally succeed? Filled with atmospheric illustrations and soothing, dreamlike text, this heartwarming picture book will enchant children.

  4. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star - Board Book edition. In this expanded version of the favorite nursery rhyme, Iza Trapani takes the earliest readers on a journey across the night sky. With playful verse and bright illustrations Iza Trapani introduces us to our irresistible young heroine as she wishes upon a mischievous, twinkling star. Granting her wish, the little star takes her on a dazzling and daring trip among swirling planets and beaming stars for one magical night. This new spin on the much-loved classic is a wonderful gift for even the littlest stargazers.

Want to see more children's books about stars?

Books About Bedtime and Imagination

Steam Train, Dream Train book
#1
Steam Train, Dream Train
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

An unabridged board book version of the bestselling hardcover, perfect for small hands! The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, and kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls (while zebras referee). Dreamy illustrations and gentle rhyming text make this a beloved bedtime favorite for budding train enthusiasts everywhere.

Circus Girl book
#2
Circus Girl
Written and illustrated by Clare Pernice
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When a little girl plays dress up in her leotard and socks she becomes Circus Girl star of the show. Even her toys morph into her dreamscape of circus acts. At each page turn she jumps and tumbles, flies through the air, juggles, spins, balances and contorts. Vibrant and winsome, modern and timeless the illustrations and words convey a captured childhood moment with directness and simplicity.

Moonlight Bear book
#3
Moonlight Bear
Written and illustrated by Rosie Wellesley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A gentle soothing story for young children at bedtime with lovely soft artwork by the popular illustrator of The Very Helpful Hedgehog and The Very Best Sheepdog. A special glow-in-the-dark moon on the cover adds to the fun. Eva drifts off to sleep with her favourite teddy bear. When she wakes in the night. Bear is gone. She looks all over her room only to find that her teddy has turned into a real bear.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Love You, Blankie - A flowing sail, a hot air balloon, a fluffy cloud, a glowing moon… with a little imagination, a blankie can be anything! This sweet and playful board book will encourage little ones to think big as they head off into dreamland. On each page, a young child uses his cozy yellow blankie in a new way, taking him everywhere from under the sea to high among the stars. As bedtime nears, the blankie turns into a balloon, a cloud, and a shooting star, eventually placing him safely into bed where he can keep dreaming and snuggling, too. Debut author Sheryl Haft and artist Jane Massey have crafted an adorable story around a universal bedtime theme. Featuring a soft padded cover, this is the perfect book to inspire sweet dreams.

  2. King Jack and the Dragon - Jack, Zack and Caspar build a castle fort, then spend a day fighting dragons and beasts, but at day’s end giants carry away first Sir Zack, then Caspar, and only King Jack is left to face the night creatures alone.

  3. A Bear Hug at Bedtime - On my way to bed, I play with a tiger, a lobster and a bear – and lots of other creatures too. But why are they so familiar? In this celebration of imaginative play, a young child is surrounded and enriched by an extended and diverse family. Inclusive and playful, this is the ideal bedtime read.

  4. Rumble Grumble . . . Hush - In a spare, lyrical text, young listeners and readers will follow a little boy through his day, from early morning till bedtime, and watch as what fills his active imagination becomes real. Toys grow to life-size: a tin monkey plays a real drum and fiddle—rat-a-tat, toot!—a stuffed lion roars—rumble, grumble—and a dump truck empties its load—BANG! But when quiet time comes, and a hush settles over his bedroom, animals nap, and the boy becomes absorbed in other activities, like reading and drawing. Here is an irresistible read-aloud by a picture-book master that captures all the joy of a child’s play, and renders a boy’s imagination real.

Want to see more children's books about imagination?

Books About Bedtime and Counting

Let Me Sleep, Sheep! book
#1
Let Me Sleep, Sheep!
Written by Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Leila Rudge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Amos is counting himself to sleep. It’s a good plan, until the cranky sheep land in his bedroom — and start in with their many demands. It’s bedtime for Amos, who smiles as he closes his eyes and counts some fluffy sheep trotting away in the grass. Until suddenly . . . THUD. And then another. “Not again!” says the first sheep, now on Amos’s floor. “I was having my wool clipped,” grumbles the second. None too happy at being interrupted, the woolly pair fire a battery of questions at Amos, most importantly: “Where’s the fence?” So Amos sets out to build one to their specifications, then is asked to test it out, of course. . . . In this laugh-out-loud read-aloud, a couple of crafty sheep put a child through his paces — and show that a tuckered-out kid at bedtime is a win-win all around.

10, 9, 8...Owls Up Late! book
#2
10, 9, 8...Owls Up Late!
Written by Georgiana Deutsch and illustrated by Ekaterina Trukhan
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Laugh and count along with ten silly, sleepy owls in this adorable countdown to bedtime book! Ten little owls are playing in a tree, hopping and hooting happily. But Mama Owl calls from down in the nest, “It’s bedtime now; it’s time to rest.” Peek through the pages and spot the mischievous owls in this fun counting book, perfect for bedtime!

Sleepyhead book
#3
Sleepyhead
Written by and illustrated by Flora Chang
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A first book for bedtime to share with your little one! Children can look, point, touch, count, and say goodnight to all their animal friends! This sturdy board book is perfect for teaching little ones about different facial features. Children can point to the lion’s sleepy eyes, and then identify their own eyes. Plus, the peekaboo mirror at the end will delight and surprise!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Fred and the Bedtime Elephants - When Fred can’t sleep, his mom suggests counting sheep. But sheep are boring, so he tries to count elephants instead. He didn’t realize that elephants are sneaky, troublesome animals! Soon they’re wreaking havoc on his whole house, and Fred has to find a way to get rid of them, or he’ll never go to sleep.

  2. Can't Sleep Without Sheep - Whenever Ava can’t sleep, she counts sheep. But Ava takes so long to fall asleep, it’s the sheep that are growing tired-until finally, they quit! When the sheep promise to find a replacement that Ava can count on, chaos ensues as chickens, cows, pigs, hippos, and more try their hand at jumping over Ava’s fence. Finding the perfectly peaceful replacement for sheep might not be so easy after all. With irresistibly adorable art, this delightful take on a familiar sleep tactic is sure to become a bedtime favorite.

  3. 10 Little Ninjas - A charming bedtime counting book about ten sneaky little characters who aren’t ready to go to sleep… until daddy calls the sensei to send them back to bed. It may be bedtime, but these little ninjas aren’t tired. They’re sliding, swinging, and slipping out of bed! Can Daddy and the sensei ever tuck them in? Filled with mischievous fun, 10 Little Ninjas will take young readers from playtime to bedtime again and again. Kids will love the astronauts, tigers, cowboys, dragons and more!

Want to see more children's books about counting?

Books About Bedtime and Nature

Nature's Lullaby Fills the Night book
#1
Nature's Lullaby Fills the Night
Written by Dee Leone and illustrated by Bali Engel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Shh - listen. Can you hear the quiet, loving sounds of the nighttime world? From moths fluttering their powdery wings, to a nightingale’s sweet trills, to swaying willow trees softly shushing, shushing everyone to sleep, this rhythmic, rhyming lullaby will soothe and calm little ones.

Twilight Chant book
#2
Twilight Chant
Written by Holly Thompson and illustrated by Jen Betton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

As day slips softly into night, sharp eyes catch glimpses of the special creatures who are active at dusk. Lyrical text and lush art capture the richness and life of this magical time in a sumptuous picture book that will inspire budding naturalists and anyone who has ever chased a lightning bug at twilight. An author’s note about twilight is included.

Good Night, World book
#3
Good Night, World
Written by Willa Perlman and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

This Classic Board Book edition of Good Night, World is a charming bedtime book that celebrates the wonders of the natural world. Good night sun and other stars, good night Saturn, Venus, Mars. Elsewhere in the world it’s light, it’s morning there, but here it’s night. As the sun sets from east to west, this soothing board book takes children on a magical round-the-world journey to bid good night to the world’s natural wonders, from plants and animals to mountains, oceans, and wide desert plains. Willa Perlman’s soothing, lyrical text combines with Carolyn Fisher’s sweeping illustrations to paint a vivid picture of everything, everywhere going to sleep—including an imaginative little boy.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Sunrise, Moonrise - Day turns into night and some animals drift to sleep while others spring to life in this beautiful high-contrast board book. Sun rises. Bird sings. And so the day begins in this beautifully simple board book with bold artwork and lyrical text that shows us the passing of time in the day. Fish swim under a blue sky, squirrels dream as the sun sets, the moon rises as stars blink, and an owl hoots when night falls. With word repetition and a single tree that houses both the bird who sings as the sun rises and the owl who hoots after the moon rises, little ones can begin to understand that the day begins and ends in the same way.

  2. Touch the Brightest Star - This interactive bedtime story proves nighttime isn’t scary at all. The gentle journey from sunset to sunrise shows even the youngest children the magic of the nighttime sky—and lets them make magic happen! A companion to the popular and acclaimed Tap the Magic Tree. This board book edition is the perfect size for little hands.

  3. Sleepyheads - Get ready for bed with this soothing sleepy story—now available as a Classic Board Book! The sun has set, and sleepyheads all across the land are tucked into their cozy beds. Rabbit is snoozing in the weeds, and Duck is snuggled in the reeds. Bear is nestled in his cave, and Otter is rocking on a wave. But there’s one little sleepyhead who’s not in his bed. Where, oh where, could he be? This sweet and snuggly bedtime book with irresistible illustrations by Joyce Wan is the perfect read-aloud story to prepare little ones for a cozy night’s sleep.

  4. Kitty Alone - Kitty Alone is the latest in a series of captivating picture books, each based on a beloved songtale from the great American folk music heritage. This beautifully illustrated version sets the song in the Appalachian Mountains and uses a bobcat, called a “woods ghost” by locals, as the title character. Like the other titles in the First Steps in Music series, Kitty Alone includes song history and notation, along with a free download link for the song, sung by Jill Trinka.

Want to see more children's books about nature?

Books About Bedtime and Love

Guess How Much I Love You book
#1
Guess How Much I Love You
Written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Sometimes, when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how much you treasure them. But, as Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover, love is not an easy thing to measure! For two decades, Sam McBratney’s timelessly endearing story, beautifully rendered in Anita Jeram’s exquisite watercolors, has captured the deep and tender bond between parent and child. Guess How Much I Love You is one of the world’s best-loved picture books.

Bedtime Blessings book
#2
Bedtime Blessings
Written and illustrated by Marianne Richmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Dear God, It’s the end of the day and time for my prayer to say thanks for your blessings and heavenly care Bedtime Blessings offers a peaceful way to end the day with a special child, through this heartfelt prayer of gratitude and wish for God’s blessings on others, too. Created to help grow a joyful spirit of contentment in even the youngest child, this sweet blessing will guide them into dreamland with a heart full of thanks and love.

Dark-Sparkle Tea: Bedtime Poems book
#3
Dark-Sparkle Tea: Bedtime Poems
Written by Tim J Myers and illustrated by Kelly Cunningham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

Bedtime poems to tickle kids’ imaginations, nourish their love of language—and send them happily to sleep at bedtime. In this snappy, snoozy, collection, poet and father Tim J. Myers delivers poems to meet kids’ every bedtime mood. Share sweet, silly, touching poems about the bedtime shenanigans of smelly baby skunks or electric-guitar-playing hamsters with luminous pastel illustrations that enhance the moonlit mood.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Goodnight Mr. Darcy - The adored children’s classic Goodnight Moon gets a classic lit makeover in this charming parody of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice novel. All of Austen’s much-loved characters are at the Netherfield Ball- In the great ballroom, there was a country dance, and a well-played tune, and Elizabeth Bennett; and Mr. Darcy surprised, by a pair of fine eyes … And don’t forget Jane with a blush and Mr. Bingley turned to mush, and a gossiping mother and father saying hush.

  2. I Love You More Each Day - Join Mommy Bear and Little Bear on a beautiful journey of love and discovery! Join Mommy Bear and Little Bear on a beautiful journey of love and discovery. With beautiful illustrations and a sweet message, this story is perfect for parents to read to their special little one at story time, bedtime, and any time in between!

  3. Hush! - A lullaby which asks animals such as a lizard, monkey, and water-buffalo to be quiet and not disturb the sleeping baby.

Want to see more children's books about love?

Books About Bedtime and The Moon

I See the Moon: Rhymes for Bedtime book
#1
I See the Moon: Rhymes for Bedtime
Written and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A beautifully illustrated collection of favorite rhymes for little ones preparing for bedtime. Rosalind Beardshaw’s artwork features wonderful natural scenes, with adorable sleepy animals and babies ready to be lulled to sleep. Includes: “I See the Moon,” “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” “Hush-a-Bye, Baby,” “Golden Slumbers,” “Bed in Summer,” “Star Light, Star Bright,” “Girls and Boys Come Out to Play,” “Hush, Little Baby,” and “Good Night, Sleep Tight”

I Took The Moon for a Walk book
#2
I Took The Moon for a Walk
Written by Carolyn Curtis and illustrated by Alison Jay
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Embark on a dreamy, nighttime jaunt with a young boy and the moon. Overcoming a fear of the dark and discovering the world at night lives at the heart of this poetic tale. Includes notes about the moon and plants and animals that thrive in the wee hours.

Max at Night book
#3
Max at Night
Written and illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

“It’s bedtime for Max the kitten, but something’s wrong; when Max goes to say goodnight to the moon, it’s nowhere to be found! Unable to go to sleep without closing his nighttime ritual, he embarks on a journey to find the moon and say goodnight”—

Honorable Mentions
  1. Good Night, Beautiful Moon - Welcome to Puffin Rock—home to two young puffins, Oona and Baba. Join them on their adventures from the Netflix series, Puffin Rock. Oona can’t wait to see the moon tonight because it will be a supermoon—super big and super bright. But Oona doesn’t normally stay up so late. Can she stay awake until moonrise?

  2. Moon River - Two drifters, off to see the world / There’s such a lot of world to see We’re after the same rainbow’s end, waiting, round the bend / My Huckleberry Friend, Moon River, and me Follow a girl (accompanied by her teddy bear—“two drifters”) as she dreams about the wide and wonderful world. Cozy scenes of pajamas and bedtime make this a perfect story to share at the end of the night.

Want to see more children's books about the moon?

Books About Bedtime and Monsters

Monster & Son book
#1
Monster & Son
Written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

Despite having monsters in the title, this is a rather gentle going to bed book. I enjoyed the author’s incorporation of language such as “chase you into bed” and “gobbled down a snack” that shows a tender side of fatherhood while still reminding you of their monster side.

Romp along with parent and child yetis, werewolves, giant lizards, and more as they stir up some monster-sized fun! Readers big and small, young and old, wild and tame, will roar with laughter and take this book by the horns, teeth, and fur…discovering that monsters and humans aren’t so different—especially in the ways they love each other.

I Will Fight Monsters for You book
#2
I Will Fight Monsters for You
Written by Santi Balmes and illustrated by Lyona
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What if an entire world of MONSTERS lived underneath your floor? Martina is having trouble sleeping because she is afraid monsters might break through the floor and bring her into the monster world where she’ll have to learn how to scare humans. Meanwhile, Anitram, a little girl monster, is also having trouble sleeping. There’s a noisy little human jumping on the bed in the upside-down world under her floor! Martina and Anitram have more in common than they realize and when a mysterious hole opens up in the floor between their worlds, they are in for a big surprise! A beautiful and clever tale that makes a perfect bedtime story for anyone who is afraid of (or wants to become friends with) a monster!

My Tail's Not Tired book
#3
My Tail's Not Tired
Written by Jana Novotny Hunter and illustrated by Paula Bowles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How can any little monster possibly go to bed when their tail isn’t even tired? And when their knees still have plenty of bounce in them? And when their arms still want to fly like a jet plane? Bedtime is surely a long way off! Luckily, Big Monster has a strategy to outwit Little Monster, with the inevitable result! A humorous and charming bedtime story that adults and children will love to read - and play out - again and again.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Monster Trouble - Nothing frightens Winifred Schnitzel—but she DOES need her sleep, and the neighborhood monsters WON’T let her be! Every night they sneak in, growling and belching and making a ruckus. Winifred constructs clever traps, but nothing stops these crafty creatures. What’s a girl to do? (Hint: Monsters HATE kisses!) The delightfully sweet ending will have every kid—and little monster—begging for an encore.

  2. Goodnight Goon - The #1 New York Times bestselling picture book parody will have kids howling with laughter. Goodnight tomb. Goodnight goon. Goodnight Martians taking over the moon. It’s bedtime in the cold gray tomb with a black lagoon, and two slimy claws, and a couple of jaws, and a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo. But as a little werewolf settles down, in comes the Goon determined at all costs to run amok and not let any monster have his rest. A beloved classic gets a kind-hearted send up in this utterly monsterized parody; energetic art and a hilarious text will have kids begging to read this again and again.

  3. Brave Little Monster - BRAVE LITTLE MONSTER relates the humorous bedtime exploits of a young monster trying to go sleep while a scary little girl hides in his closet eating ice cream and a little boy colors under his bed. The wonderful illustrations by Geoffrey Hayes and fun storyline by Ken Baker make BRAVE LITTLE MONSTER a perfect bedtime story for little monsters everywhere. “Little monsters fear little girls and boys hiding in their rooms in this delightful parody of a nightly bedtime ritual

  4. Nothing Can Frighten a Bear - When Baby Bear hears a noise and fears a monster is near, the whole family gets out of bed and searches the woods to prove that monsters are not real.

Want to see more children's books about monsters?

Books About Bedtime and Facing Fears

Duck, Duck, Dinosaur and the Noise at Night book
#1
Duck, Duck, Dinosaur and the Noise at Night
Written by Kallie George and illustrated by Oriol Vidal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Feather, Flap, and Spike are spending their first night in their very own nest. They tell stories and snuggle up to get a good night’s sleep, until . . . GRRORE! What’s that scary-sounding noise? Young readers will find both humor and comfort in this cozy bedtime story, perfect for anybody who’s ever been nervous about a mysterious noise at night.

Goodnight Bob book
#2
Goodnight Bob
Written by Ann Hassett and illustrated by John Hassett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

It’s bedtime for Bob. But, oh no, he sees a pair of eyes in the dark! Who is it? With a flashlight, Bob discovers it’s a friendly creature wishing him goodnight. Goodnight, Bob! Then more eyes appear. Who is it now?

The King Who Banned the Dark book
#3
The King Who Banned the Dark
Written and illustrated by Emily Haworth-Booth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Once there was a Prince who was afraid of the dark—like so many children are. But this boy became King and actually did something about it: he banned the dark completely! Soon, the sleep-deprived, exhausted citizens are ready to revolt. Can the people help the King face his fears and see that you can’t appreciate the light without having the dark, too?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Good Night, Firefly - Here is a magical bedtime story, sure to inspire readers with its message of friendship and kindness. Nina is afraid of the dark. Luckily she has a nightlight, but one night the power goes out. What can Nina do to keep the shadows from creeping in? She catches a firefly to keep her company. But soon it’s clear that what works for Nina is not good for her new friend, and so Nina has to make a decision. This is a story that celebrates the joy of doing the right thing—even when it’s not easy to do—with stunning black-and-white illustrations and fireflies represented by glowing spots of color—perfect to capture the effect of this heartwarming fantasy for the youngest child.

  2. I'm Brave! I'm Strong! I'm Five! - It’s bedtime but Sasha can’t fall asleep because of the scary things she sees in her room. Luckily, she uses her imagination to battle her fears until she’s finally ready for sleep. Sasha has had Mama’s stories and Papa’s jokes and coffee kisses on both her cheeks, but she’s not tired. So she makes a star with her flashlight, a car with one headlight, and a lighthouse that blinks on and off. She checks out the noises outside her window and sees the moon—it is like a giant eye staring right at her! But when she closes her curtains, there are shadows and more noises and scary faces. Instead of calling to her parents, Sasha handles each situation herself because she’s brave, she’s strong, she’s five—and then finally, she’s ready for sleep. This energetic, gorgeously-illustrated bedtime book is perfect for young readers learning to conquer bedtime fears by themselves.

Want to see more children's books about facing fears?

Books About Bedtime and Adventure

Harry and Horsie book
#1
Harry and Horsie
Written by Katie Van Camp and illustrated by Lincoln Agnew
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a boy named Harry sneaks out of bed one night with his best friend, Horsie, to play with his Super Duper Bubble Blooper — an out-of-this-world adventure begins! Illustrated with retro-comic art, this is a charming story about the power of friendship and imagination from a talented new team.

Night Knight book
#2
Night Knight
Written and illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Come on a bedtime adventure with one little knight as he rides through forests to reach his bedroom, battles crocodiles to brush his teeth and climbs the tallest tower to get into bed. This exciting and imaginative bedtime tale is told through Owen Davey’s charming and witty words and illustrations — making this a perfect k-nightly read for every young adventurer.

Bedtime becomes an unforgettable k-nightly adventure!

The Darkest Dark book
#3
The Darkest Dark
Written by Chris Hadfield and illustrated by The Fan Brothers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Inspired by the childhood of real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield and brought to life by Terry and Eric Fan’s lush, evocative illustrations, The Darkest Dark will encourage readers to dream the impossible. Chris loves rockets and planets and pretending he’s a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem—at night, Chris doesn’t feel so brave. He’s afraid of the dark. But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is—and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Unstoppable Max - Max is a four-year-old whirlwind who doesn’t have an off switch! His socks are odd, his bedroom is chaotic, and his mind is so full of imaginative schemes that following even the simplest of instructions can end in mayhem. Max’s bedtime routine, so seemingly simple, becomes a military operation for Max with many obstacles to overcome - tidying his bedroom, putting on his pyjamas, and feeding his pet goldfish! Illustrated with non-stop energy by exciting new author/illustrator, Julia Patton.

  2. For All the Stars Across the Sky - In a tender bedtime ritual, a parent elicits wishes from her little one, sparking imaginary journeys together before it’s time to sleep. For all the stars across the sky, Big and little and bright, Here’s a wish from me to you, Before we say good night. “I wish that we could fly like birds!” says Luna when Mama asks her for her nightly wish. So off they go on an imaginary flight together, past mountaintops and fields and over the deep blue sea. Then Luna wishes they could swim like fish through the corals, shrink as small as ants on the vines, and grow as big as giants, stomping down the lane that leads to Luna’s very own bed. In a quintessential bedtime story, gentle art and a lyrical text take listeners on lighthearted flights of fancy and offer an ode to the unconditional love between parent and child.

Want to see more children's books about adventure?

Epilogue

32 books that are just too good to leave off of our bedtime list.

  1. The Storybook Knight - Even dragons love a good story… Leo was a gentle knight in thought and word and deed. While other knights liked fighting, Leo liked to sit and read… When Leo’s mom and dad pack him off to fight a dragon, he takes a shield, a sword―and a pile of his favorite books. But can a story be as mighty as a sword?

  2. Baby Bear Sees Blue - The Book Snob Mom - This is one of my very favorite “color” books—it’s calming, highly re-readable, unique and has amazingly illustrations! Plus, the repetition of the structure is great for little “readers”.

  3. 1-2-3, You Love Me - From one bear hug to twelve pretty red roses, 1-2-3, You Love Me will foster lots of hugs, kisses, and affection between parent and child while teaching young ones to count from one to twelve. With charming love-filled illustrations, sturdy pages, and clever rhyming text, this is the perfect gift for baby for Valentine’s Day or any time of year. Sipping on yummy shakes, cuddling puppies, counting the colors in a rainbow, and making music with friends are all ways that children can express their love for their friends and family with Jill Howarth’s delightful board book.

  4. Mommy's Best Kisses - Every mother knows that the sweetest way to say “I love you” is with a kiss. This loving book shows that animals know all about a mother’s love, too.

  1. Hush Little Baby - In this variation on the classic lullaby, a mother soothes her child to sleep with the promise of such things as a quilt, a banjo tune, and the sights and sounds of nature.

  2. Mother Goose's Pajama Party - “Star light, star bright, Come to story time tonight. Bring your friends and don’t be late. Meet at my house, half past eight.” Mother Goose has invited all her nursery rhyme friends to her house for a magical sleepover. See the Cow that jumped over the moon, who tells the Dish, who tells the Spoon, who are soon joined by Little Bo Peep, Miss Muffet, Georgie Porgie, and a whole troop of other nursery time friends. What starts with a lively parade to Mother Goose’s house ends in a cozy goodnight scene featuring everyone’s favorite nursery rhyme characters, the ideal note for bedtime. Includes an afterword with all the classic nursery rhymes featured in the book, making it a true treasury.

  3. Bedtime for Batman - “Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.”

  4. Good Night, Sleep Tight - B is for Bookworm - I like that this book includes a lot of different nursery rhymes and has pictures showing the story in the rhymes. This is also a great one to read about how fun babysitters can be! :) I did think it got a little repetitive as the story went along, but overall thought the book was pretty cute.

  1. Go To Sheep - There are many ways to go to “sheep” with this delightful bedtime board book that’s perfect for reading aloud! You can sheep in your pj’s or just underpants. You can sheep all alone but sometimes you can’t. There are lots of ways to go to “sheep,” and here to show you all of the ways is an adorable…sheep! This bedtime book is perfect for a giggle before little ones drift off to sleep, just as the sheep does in this charming board book.

  2. I Sleep in a Big Bed - Babies sleep in cribs. Do big kids? No! Big kids sleep in a big bed. Every child’s life is filled with milestones. Some happen easily; others need a little extra support. Artist and mom Maria van Lieshout has been there. Drawing upon her own experiences, she has created an engaging series of books that are just right for children on the brink of major changes and the caregivers who encourage them.

  3. How Do You Say Good Night? - Snuggle up and learn how to say “good night” in ten different languages with this heartwarming bedtime board book! A lovely bedtime follow-up to How Do You Say I Love You?, this sweet lullaby featuring adorable illustrations by Shirley Ng-Benitz is the perfect way for parents to wish their little ones a good night’s sleep. From Mexico, Vietnam, Kenya, and beyond, this charming board book teaches little ones how to say “good night” in ten different languages: Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swahili, Arabic, Vietnamese, German, and Korean!

  4. Good Night Sleepy Caterpillar - Follow one little caterpillar through the forest as she says good night to all of her friends! It’s been a long day for one little caterpillar. Follow her through the forest as she says good night to all of her woodland friends in this delightful peek-through bedtime storybook. With colorful illustrations and die-cuts on every page, this book will keep little hands busy before they have sweet dreams!

  1. I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed - “Whether they spot themselves in Charlie or Lola, young ones will enjoy this exuberant, hilarious spin on a bedtime story.” — BOOKLIST Night owl Lola likes to stay up coloring and scribbling and wriggling and bouncing and chattering. Lola never gets tired. How can big brother Charlie convince her it’s time for bed? Heralded by the WASHINGTON POST as “a delightful new voice in children’s books,” author-illustrator Lauren Child splashes her offbeat sense of humor and unique artwork all over this bedtime story. Laugh out loud at Lola’s imaginative antics, but save a cheer for kind, patient Charlie, the big brother we’d all love to have.

  2. The Night Dragon - “I wish I could fly, and breathe fire, and fill the sky with great grey, sooty clouds,” Maud said to her friend, Mouse. Maud is picked on by the other dragons, so stays cooped up in her cave, sad and lonely. But when the chance comes, will her friend Mouse help her pluck up the courage to fly? A beautiful picture book about individuality and friendship from Naomi Howarth, whose first book The Crow’s Tale was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

  3. Good Night, Pepe & Millie - It’s bedtime for Pepe and Millie! They put away their toys, brush their teeth, and change into pajamas. With fun sliders and lift-the-flaps, toddlers will love to help Pepe and Millie get ready for bed.

  4. Good Night - Buenas Noches - A bilingual slide-the-tab board book, with text in English and Spanish. Cleverly provides a number of gentle good night wishes for baby at bedtime, as baby along with the cat, the trees outside, and even baby’s house all close their eyes and fall asleep. The sliding tabs do the work of closing the eyes on illustrator Xavier Salomó’s simple but engaging art. Illustrator Xavier Salomó was born in Barcelona. He studied illustration, drawing, and printing at the Massana School of Barcelona and art history at the University of Barcelona. He’s worked as an illustrator and graphic designer for various advertising agencies and publishers. In 2006, he won the Junceda Prize for his book The Sounds of . . . Meritxell Martí was born in Barcelona, and is a writer and professor of humanities at the Open University of Catalonia.

  1. Sweet Dreams, Supergirl - A young Supergirl fan faces her most elusive adversary - sleep! As darkness falls, a young girl attempts to catch some Z’s while DC Comics’ SUPERGIRL tracks down an elusive enemy. With super hero traits, like BRAVERY, PATIENCE, and PERSISTENCE, they’ll both turn sleepless nights into sweet success and sweet dreams. Along with Omar Lozano’s action-packed art, bestselling author Michael Dahl (Bedtime for Batman, Good Morning, Superman, and Be a Star, Wonder Woman) delivers an imaginative bedtime book for fangirls and fanboys alike.

  2. Sweet Dreaming - “I can’t sleep!” said Molly. “You can,” said her Mom. “Just think of a story and sleep will soon come…” When Molly can’t fall asleep, her Mom has the perfect remedy: a soothing bedtime story! Mom dreams up a variety of sleep-inducing scenarios, but Molly manages to find something exciting and energizing in each one. Eventually, Mom’s stories work, just not in the way she expects…

  3. Goodnight Lab - In the great green lab There was a laser And a lab notebook And a picture of Einstein with a stern look It’s been a long day at the lab for this scientist. Now it’s time to say good night! Goodnight laser Goodnight notebook Goodnight picture of Einstein with a stern look While poking fun at the clutter and chaos of lab life, scientists of all ages will appreciate ending their day with this sweet parody. They’ll be rested and ready to return to the world of research in the morning!

  4. Sleep Tight, Snow White - Everyone has a hard time nodding off sometimes—from Prince Charming, who snores so loud it’s alarming, to Hansel and Gretel, who have Sleepytime tea in the kettle. With a good night’s sleep, even the Wicked Queen can have a new day, fresh and clean!

  1. Night Train, Night Train - Told in rhyming text, a train speeds through the night, revealing the sights and colors along the way to its young and sleepy riders.

  2. The Pout-Pout Fish and the Can't-Sleep Blues - Mr. Fish cannot fall asleep, but with help from his underwater friends, he finds a bedtime routine.

  3. Goodnight, Good Dog - “For one restless pup the waking world is too full of wonder to leave behind at bedtime, until he closes his eyes and finds comfort in his dreams”—

  4. Bears in Beds - Those adorable bears from Bears on Chairs return in an irresistibly sweet bedtime story. It’s time for Big Brown Bear to tuck all four little bears into their beds. Then he’s ready to climb into his own bed and turn out the light. Five warm beds, holding five sleepy bears, until a sound goes whoosh in the middle of the night, and all the bears wake up in a fright. Will they ever get back into bed? Luckily, Big Brown Bear knows just what to do! A fun, rhyming read-aloud that parents will love and tired little cubs will be happy to snuggle up with.

  1. I'm Not Sleepy - Every day your child is taking BIG STEPS forward—and this colorful board book, with vibrant art, cool novelty features, and valuable tips for parents on every page, helps them learn to go to bed without a fuss. It’s time for bed, but Ned’s NOT SLEEPY! Every parent has heard those words, and this engaging novelty book—with fun flaps and pull-tabs—helps them set up a good nighttime ritual. It covers everything from taking a bath and brushing your teeth to reading a story and humming a lullaby, while offering suggestions on how to calm children and prepare them for sleep.

  2. Pajama Time! - Pajama Time! is a good-night book with the irrepressible language, the inimitable illustrations, the irresistible cast of characters only Sandra Boynton could create. A jump-roping chicken and a pig on a swing. A Scottie in plaid pajamas and an elephant in a fuzzy one-piece with feet. And in sing-along nuttiness reminiscent of Barnyard Dance!, it’s time to head to bed-to the beat: Pajammy to the left. Pajammy to the right. Jamma jamma jamma jamma P!J! Everybody’s wearing them for dancing tonight. Jamma jamma jamma jamma P!J!

  3. Time for Bed - The newest book in the popular Baby Steps series, Time for Bed is a fun and simple step-bystep bedtime story for babies and toddlers. From bath time to story time, this book guides families through a healthy nightly routine. Time for Bed will help parents get their baby’s bedtime routine off to a great start.

  4. Goodnight, Mice! - Kiss Dad once. Cuddle Mum twice. Goodnight, Mum and Dad. Goodnight, mice. Its time to say goodnight but the four cheeky mice skittering and scampering and scurrying to bed don’t seem very sleepy! This warm, affectionate story is the perfect bedtime book for the whole family to share.

  1. Sleep Like a Tiger - 2013 Randolph Caldecott Honor Award In this magical bedtime story, the lyrical narrative echoes a Runaway Bunny – like cadence: “Does everything in the world go to sleep?” the little girl asks. In sincere and imaginative dialogue between a not-at-all sleepy child and understanding parents, the little girl decides “in a cocoon of sheets, a nest of blankets,” she is ready to sleep, warm and strong, just like a tiger. The Caldecott Honor artist Pamela Zagarenski’s rich, luminous mixed-media paintings effervesce with odd, charming details that nonsleepy children could examine for hours. A rare gem.

  2. A Thousand Billion Things (and Some Sheep) - Every day presents us with a wide range of choices including what to have to breakfast, what to wear and what to do in our spare time. Even deciding which piece of homework to tackle first presents a challenge. But when night comes and it’s time for bed, what choice is there but to lie in the dark … and count sheep? This book takes us through all the choices in a typical child’s busy day and presents the reader with a puzzle. On every spread there’s something specific to find amongst the thousand billion (well, almost) things in the bright and busy artwork.

  3. Tomorrow Most Likely - Rather than focusing on going to bed—and what kid wants to think about going to bed?—this book explores all of the dreamy, wonderful, strange things the next day might bring. Whimsical, witty, and hopeful, this revolutionary rewriting of a classic goodnight book from bestselling author Dave Eggers and award-winning illustrator Lane Smith is a bedtime story for tomorrow ever after.

  4. Hooray for Birds! - In an exuberant display of color, Lucy Cousins invites little ones to imagine themselves as brilliant birds. Birds of all feathers flock together in a fun, rhyme-filled offering by the creator of Maisy. From the rooster’s “cock-a-doodle-doo” at dawn to the owl’s nighttime “tuwit, tuwoo,” the cheeps and tweets of many bright and beautiful avian friends will have children eager to join in as honorary fledglings. This day in the life of birds will hold the attention of even the smallest bird-watchers, whether at storytime or just before settling into their cozy nests to sleep.

Did you enjoy our bedtime book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Additional book lists you might enjoy: