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Bedtime and Monsters: Books For Kids

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!

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Monster & Son
Written by David LaRochelle & illustrated by Joey Chou
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.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

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.

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Goodnight Bob
Written by Ann Hassett & 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?

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Bedtime for Monsters
Written & illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Bedtime for Monsters is Ed Vere’s hilarious monsterish tale - with a big twist! What if a monster were looking for a bedtime snack? And what if that snack just happened to be you? GULP! He’s getting closer and closer . . . and his tummy is rumbling REALLY loudly. You’d be very scared! BUT all this monster actually wants is a lovely monster-sized goodnight kiss. Night, night!

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Hey, That's MY Monster! (I Need My Monster)
Written by Amanda Noll & illustrated by Howard McWilliam
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Winner: CLC Seal of Approval 2017 Literary Classics Book Awards, Silver, Preschool/Early Reader Fantasy Finalist: 2017 Literary Classics Book Awards 2017 PNBA Long-List When Ethan looks under the bed for his monster, he finds this note instead: “So long, kid. Gotta go. Someone needs me more than you do. –Gabe” How will Ethan ever get to sleep without his monster’s familiar, comforting snorts? And who could need Gabe more than Ethan does? Gabe must have gone to Ethan’s little sister’s room! She has been climbing out of bed every night to play, and obviously needs a monster to help her get to sleep – but not HIS monster! Ethan tries to help his sister find her own monster, but none are the perfect blend of cute and creepy. Just when it seems that Ethan will lose his monster forever, an uninvited, tutu-toting little monster full of frightening fun ap­pears. Following in the spooky-silly tradition of I Need My Mon­ster, here’s another irresistible monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers.

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How I Met My Monster
Written by Amanda Noll & illustrated by Howard McWilliam
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

One night, when Ethan reaches under his bed for a toy truck, he finds this note instead: “Monsters! Meet here for final test.” Ethan is sure his parents are trying to trick him into staying under the covers, until he sees five colorful sets of eyes blinking at him from beneath the bed. Soon, a colorful parade of quirky, squeaky little monsters compete to become Ethan’s monster. But only the little green monster, Gabe, has the perfect blend of stomach-rumbling and snorting needed to get Ethan into bed and keep him there so he falls asleep—which as everyone knows, is the real reason for monsters under beds. With its perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this silly-spooky prequel to the award-winning I Need My Monster and Hey, That’s MY Monster! will keep young readers entertained.

I Will Fight Monsters for You book
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I Need My Monster book
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Good Dream, Bad Dream book
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Monster Trouble book
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  • I Will Fight Monsters for You - 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!

  • I Need My Monster - A unique monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this picture book relies on the power of humor over fear, appeals to a child’s love for creatures both alarming and absurd, and glorifies the scope of a child’s imagination. One night, when Ethan checks under his bed for his monster, Gabe, he finds a note from him instead: “Gone fishing. Back in a week.” Ethan knows that without Gabe’s familiar nightly scares he doesn’t stand a chance of getting to sleep, so Ethan interviews potential substitutes to see if they’ve got the right equipment for the job—pointy teeth, sharp claws, and a long tail—but none of them proves scary enough for Ethan. When Gabe returns sooner than expected from his fishing trip, Ethan is thrilled. It turns out that Gabe didn’t enjoy fishing because the fish scared too easily.

  • Good Dream, Bad Dream - Julio can’t sleep because he thinks he’ll have bad dreams. So his papa tells him a comforting secret: Anyone can summon mythic avengers to conquer their fears.Now those monsters under the bed and in the closet don’t stand a chance! Julio learns that his imagination is mighty and can turn all his dreams into good ones. This story has universal appeal with its vibrant comic book art and bilingual Spanish translation. We share common experiences, no matter where we’re from. And we all have unlimited power when we let our imaginations fly.

  • 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.

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My Tail's Not Tired
Written by Jana Novotny Hunter & 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.

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Go Away, Big Green Monster!
Written & illustrated by Ed Emberley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Caldecott Award-winning author-artist Ed Emberley has created an ingenious way for children to chase away their nighttime fears. Kids can turn the pages of this die-cut book and watch the Big Green Monster grow. Then, when they’re ready to show him who’s in charge, they’ll turn the remaining pages and watch him disappear! This lavish reissue features dramatic die-cut eyes and sparkling foil on the cover.

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Tiger Vs. Nightmare
Written & illustrated by Emily Tetri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Tiger is a very lucky kid: she has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it’s time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger—that’s not what best friends do. But Monster needs to scare someone…it’s a monster, after all. So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. Thanks to her friend, Tiger has nothing but good dreams. But waiting in the darkness is a nightmare so big and mean that Monster can’t fight it alone. Only teamwork and a lot of bravery can chase this nightmare away. In this charming graphic novel for young readers, cartoonist Emily Tetri proves that unlikely best friends can be an unbeatable team, even agianst the scariest monsters.

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Goodnight, Little Monster
Written by Helen Ketteman & illustrated by Bonnie Leick
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Rhyming text describes a mother guiding her young monster through bedtime preparations, such as howling at the moon, snacking on worm juice and beetle bread, and choosing a bedtime story.

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Goodnight Goon
Written & illustrated by Michael Rex
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

Goodnight Sandman book
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Goodnight Krampus book
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Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed book
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Brave Little Monster book
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  • Goodnight Sandman - A gentle dream-like story to scare away any child’s nightmares, by bestselling illustrator.”Impressively beautiful” - Midwest Book Review on In the Land of Elves “Luminous illustrations in pencil and vibrant watercolors” - Kirkus Reviews on An Illustrated Treasury of Grimm’s Fairy Tales Every evening, when the sun sets and everyone else is going to bed, Jacob the Sandman wakes up and starts work.Then one night Jacob sleeps too deeply and wakes up late! He rushes to Dream Sand Hill but there, atop the pile of dream sand, is a scary Night Monster, snoring his terrible snore. Jacob the Sandman must collect the magic dream sand so that the children of the world can dream happy dreams. Fortunately, the Night Monster turns out to be not so scary after all. This beautiful bedtime tale is perfect for encouraging sweet dreams and banishing nightmares. The luminous illustrations by much-loved artist Daniela Drescher will make this a new night-time favourite.

  • Goodnight Krampus - Not a creature was stirring…except the mischievous Krampus who’s too excited to sleep! It’s Christmas Eve and Santa has a lot on his plate, but his biggest challenge is convincing little Krampus to go to bed. Brimming with holiday cheer, this is one bedtime story that’s good for goodness’ sake.

  • Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed - Meet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! Junie B. knows there’s no such thing as monsters. Mother and Daddy even said so. But then why is there monster drool on Junie B.’s pillow? Oh, no! What if Paulie Allen Puffer is right—what if she really does have a monster under her bed? If Junie B. goes to sleep, the monster might see her feet hanging down. And he might think her piggy toes are yummy little wiener sausages!

  • 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

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Nothing Can Frighten a Bear
Written by Elizabeth Dale & illustrated by Paula Metcalf
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

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Ten Oni Drummers
Written by Matthew Gollub & illustrated by Kazuko G. Stone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

One by one, ten tiny oni, Japanese goblin-like creatures, grow larger and larger as they beat their drums on the sand, chasing away bad dreams. Includes the Japanese characters for the numbers from one to ten.

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The Night Knights
Written by Gideon Sterer & illustrated by Cory Godbey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Nighttime can be scary. Every bump, thump, or scratch could be a monster lurking under the bed or in a closet. But if that’s the case, then why haven’t we ever seen a monster? You might think that’s because monsters don’t exist. But maybe monsters do exist . . . but so do something else: The Night Knights. And when night falls, they take their place, protecting us all from the terrors lurking in the dark. With a lyrical text reminiscent of the bestseller Dream Animals, The Night Knights introduces reluctant sleepers to the many fantastical warriors who will protect them while they slumber, from the Guardians of the Gates to the Midnight Flock.

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Katie's Spooky Sleepover
Written by Fran Manushkin & illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Katie’s friends have come for a sleepover, and telling a scary story seems like a good idea—until she has a dream about a monster under her bed, and she wakes up to find her lucky kimono missing.

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There's a Nightmare in My Closet
Written & illustrated by Mercer Mayer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The pesky nightmare in the closet won’t stay in there at night, even with the door closed all the way. When he gets out, what do you do? Comfort him and put him to bed, of course! The ultimate afraid-of-the-dark story has helped generations of kids deal with the nightmares in their own closets.A perennial favorite.

All Tucked in on Sesame Street! book
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Monsters Go Night-Night book
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  • All Tucked in on Sesame Street! - Join Elmo, Oscar, Cookie Monster, and the rest of the Sesame Street friends as they get cozy and comfy for bed. Sweet dreams! You don’t need to be an avid reader, a performer or an expert with children to relax and enjoy new fun ways to engage with the little ones during story time. This brand new and unique approach to children’s books allows anyone who is shy or slightly discouraged at the thought of the perfect reading aloud experience. My First Big Storybook has subtle prompts, questions and guides to make sure that story time and that precious bonding experience is magical.

  • Monsters Go Night-Night - Bedtime means brushing your teeth, putting on pajamas, snuggling, and kissing your family goodnight. But for monsters, bedtime looks a little different. They brush their teeth, but not with a toothbrush. They get dressed for bed, but not in slippers and nightcaps. They snuggle, but not with a blankie or a teddy bear. Monsters Go Night-Night takes readers through the bedtime ritual of seven friendly monsters while making each step of the routine a guessing game. Getting ready for bed has never been so much fun!

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