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Bedtime and Nature: 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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Nature's Lullaby Fills the Night
Written by Dee Leone & 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.

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Twilight Chant
Written by Holly Thompson & 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.

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Sunrise, Moonrise
Written & illustrated by Betsy Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

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.

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Touch the Brightest Star
Written & illustrated by Christie Matheson
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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You Belong Here
Written & illustrated by M. H. Clark
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“The stars belong in the deep night sky, and the moon belongs there too, and the winds belong in each place they blow by, and I belong here with you. So begins this classic bedtime book, richly illustrated by award-winning artist Isabelle Arsenault. The pages journey around the world, observing plants and animals everywhere, and reminding children that they are right where they belong. A beautiful title for new babies, adoptive families, and children of all ages. —————- You are a dream that the world once dreamt, And now you are part of its song. That’s why you are here, in the place where you’re meant, For this is right where you belong.”

Good Night, World book
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Sleepyheads book
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If You Were Night book
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Kitty Alone book
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  • Good Night, World - 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.

  • 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.

  • If You Were Night - A poetic and evocative exploration of the natural world at night illustrated in illuminating paper-cut dioramas.

    This dreamlike picture book asks the question: if you were night, what would you do? If you saw the moon tiptoe past your window, would you nestle under the covers? Or would you step outside to follow it? What if you felt a tail brush your ankle, would you freeze? Or skitter away? And if you saw an owl swoop from a branch, would you hide? Or join the hunt? All the while, the child pictured in the book chooses adventure, and thrillingly experiences a night like no other.

    From the award-winning and acclaimed author M n Th? V?n comes a lyrical and evocative exploration of the natural world at night. The poetic language of the text engages all the senses as it gently poses questions that pull readers’ imaginations outdoors, where night creatures roam and everything seems different. Kelly Pousette’s intricate paper-cut dioramas, intriguingly presented with shadows and darkness falling around them, are packed with charming details for children to investigate. This unique and thought-provoking book is sure to encourage observation and spark curiosity —- and many conversations. A wonderful read-aloud or bedtime story, this book also ties in beautifully with primary lessons about the natural world.

  • 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.

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The Lost Star
Written by Przemysław Wechterowicz & illustrated by Marcin Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

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.

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Good Night Moose
Written by Adam Gamble & illustrated by Mark Jasper
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good Night Moose highlights the moose life cycle, moose calves, yearlings, adult moose, bull moose and cows, antlers, fur, moose hooves, a typical moose meal, moose tracks, moose in different habitats, and more! Welcome to the wonderful world of the moose! This book is part of the Good Night Our World Series, which includes hundred of titles exploring iconic locations and exciting themes. Young moose lovers will treasure this educational board book filled with exciting facts and colorful art!

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Good Night Outer Banks
Written & illustrated by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good Night Outer Banks highlights the Duck Town Boardwalk, North Carolina Aquariums, Jennette’s Pier, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Carova Beach and wild horses, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Currituck Beach Lighthouse, pirates, ghost crabs, and more. This book is part of the bestselling Good Night Our World series, which includes hundreds of titles exploring iconic locations and exciting, child-friendly themes. Many of North America’s most beloved regions are artfully celebrated in these board books designed to soothe children before bedtime while instilling an early appreciation for the North America’s natural and cultural wonders. Each book stars a multicultural group of people visiting the featured area’s attractions as rhythmic language guides children through the passage of both a single day and the four seasons while saluting the iconic aspects of each place. This charming and educational board book takes young readers on an unforgettable tour of the Outer Banks. From beaches and lighthouses to fishing and sea turtles, no seashell is left unturned!

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What's Next?
Written by Timothy Knapman & illustrated by Jane McGuinness
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An inquisitive baby badger is drawn to discover the world outside his den in an endearing, delightfully illustrated father-and-child story. Baby Badger sleeps all day in his snuggly burrow. When he wakes, he explores every nook of his home and wants to know “what’s next?” So Daddy takes him to the dark forest above to roll in soft moss and snuffle in bluebell bulbs and watch the silvery moon setting, a signal that night is ending and it’s time to go home. But if daytime is “what’s next,” how can Baby Badger sleep without seeing that? So he slips out alone to see the brilliant flowers and birds and to feel the yellow sun hot on his fur. Cozy illustrations and a child-friendly text depict a curious little creature dazzled by the world’s natural wonders — and a doting father who is there to guide him back if “what’s next” turns out to take him a bit too far.

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Little Owl's Day
Written & illustrated by Divya Srinivasan
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Chikit-chikit-chik!

A squirrel is chittering. Bees are buzzing. The sun is high in the sky. And Little Owl is supposed to be asleep, but when he wakes up early, he’s just too curious to close his eyes again. The forest he knows so well at nighttime is completely different – and exciting – in the day! After watching butterflies dance, wolf pups play, and then his very first rainbow, Little Owl returns to his tree. He has many new stories for his mama.

A blue sky companion to Little Owl’s Night, Little Owl’s Day is just right for young children and the perfect introduction to the joy and wonder of the natural world.

The Flying Squirrel Stowaways book
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You Nest Here with Me book
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The Moon Is Going to Addy's House book
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  • The Flying Squirrel Stowaways - Follow two flying squirrels who choose the Boston Christmas Tree as their home and accidentally stow away on an international adventure! I t’s wintertime in Nova Scotia, and two flying squirrels are busy exploring the woods around their spruce-tree home. After a busy night of playing and gliding and snacking, they’re ready to settle down and sleep all day. But humans have other plans: the tree is cut down and packed onto a truck bound for Boston, Massachusetts. It turns out their new home has been chosen as Halifax’s annual thank-you gift, the Boston Christmas Tree! The little squirrels have no idea they’re about to embark on a journey across Atlantic Canada and Maine on the way to Boston. Will the accidental stowaways be discovered? And what awaits them in their new American home?

  • You Nest Here with Me - Now available in a board book edition, this lyrical bedtime book is an ode to baby birds everywhere and to sleepy children, safe in their beds. As a mother describes how different species of birds nest, secure and cozy with their mama birds, she tucks her own child into bed with the soothing refrain — “you nest here with me” — easing her little one and readers alike to slumber. Accompanied by beautiful artwork by award-winning illustrator Melissa Sweet, mother and daughter Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple have combined their poetry writing and love of birding in this board book that is sure to become a bedtime classic.

  • The Moon Is Going to Addy's House - This gentle, poetic bedtime story about a little girl and the friendly moon is perfect for fans of Ezra Jack Keats and Kevin Henkes After a play date in the city, Addy heads home to the country with her family. And through the long drive, the moon seems to be following them closely—Addy’s faithful guardian and friend. The comforting sense that the moon is your own personal companion is universal to childhood, and Ida Pearle has depicted it beautifully through her lyrical text and soft, sleepy cut-paper collage illustrations. This is a book that children will ask to hear every night at bedtime.

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