Best Kids Books About Bedtime

The Best Books to Read at Bedtime

Updated Jan. 27, 2019

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!

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.

Hop Along Boo, Time for Bed book
#2
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.

Lion's Lullaby book
#3
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
#4
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.

Bear Is Not Tired book
#5
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.

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

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.

Everyone Sleeps book
#7
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"--

Mother Goose's Pajama Party book
#8
Mother Goose's Pajama Party
Written by Danna Smith and illustrated by Virginia Allyn
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

"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.

Good Night, Sleep Tight book
#9
Good Night, Sleep Tight
Written and illustrated by Mem Fox
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from 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.

In this book with rhyming text, Bonnie and Ben's favorite babysitter reads them nursery rhymes before putting them to bed.

The Runaway Hug book
#10
The Runaway Hug
Written by Nick Bland and illustrated by Freya Blackwood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

"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.

Harry and Horsie book
#11
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.

Can't Sleep Without Sheep book
#12
Can't Sleep Without Sheep
Written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

Guess How Much I Love You book
#13
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.

Rabbit Pie: The Perfect Recipe for Bedtime book
#14
Rabbit Pie: The Perfect Recipe for Bedtime
Written and illustrated by Penny Ives
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A bedtime story about six adorable rabbits.

Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa book
#15
Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It's an exciting day for Llama Llama; he's going to visit Gram and Grandpa Llama and spend the night! His first night away from homea.and from Mama. But he makes sure to pack everything he needs. And there are so many fun things to do with Gram and Grandpa. It's not until he gets ready for bed that he realizes that he's forgotten something important. Fuzzy Llama! Fortunately, Grandpa Llama has a wonderful solution and soon Llama Llama is having sweet dreams.

Night Knight book
#16
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!

Circus Girl book
#17
Circus Girl
Written and illustrated by Clare Pernice
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When a little girl dons her leotard and socks, she becomes "Circus Girl," the star of a show that incorporates her toys and stuffed animals.

Whisper book
#18
Whisper
Written by Joe Fitzpatrick and illustrated by Marco Furlotti
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bedtime has never been so quiet. This beautiful bedtime picture book will quickly become a favorite for naptime, bedtime and cuddle-up-and-read time. Remember to snuggle up close, because you whisper when you read this book.

Monster Trouble book
#19
Monster Trouble
Written by Lane Fredrickson and illustrated by Michael Robertson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Goodnight Baseball book
#20
Goodnight Baseball
Written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Christina E. Forshay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Duck, Duck, Dinosaur and the Noise at Night book
#21
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.

Pirate's Lullaby book
#22
Pirate's Lullaby
Written by Marcie Wessels and illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

"Yo ho ho! It's bedtime, but first it's mutiny! This little pirate will do anything to avoid going to sleep. Read along in fun pirate lingo as our young swashbuckler stows his toys in his "treasure chest", searches for his best "mate" (peg-legged Captain Teddy), plays a game of "walk the plank", and reads a few bedtime stories from "Davy Jones's Locker". Will Papa Pirate ever get his little one to catch "forty winks"? Young pirate fans will love this funny, rhyming bedtime story as they laugh along with the little pirate's plots to stay up. It's sure to get every young reader into his "bunk" night after night."

Tuck Me In! book
#23
Tuck Me In!
Written by Dean Hacohen and illustrated by Sherry Scharschmidt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Who needs to be tucked in? Turn each page until all baby animals—and little readers—are cozy and ready for sleep in this irresistible bedtime ritual. (Ages 18 months-4) The stars are out. The moon is rising. All the baby animals, from peacocks to pigs to zebras, are ready for bed. Will you tuck them in and say good night? Just turn the pages and the big inviting flaps that serve as blankets cover each little creature up to its chin. This simple but endlessly satisfying novelty, with its array of goggle-eyed baby animals, bold patterns, and vibrant colors, is sure to be the book of choice for little ones everywhere, night after night.

The Bear in My Bed book
#24
The Bear in My Bed
Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

When a little boy goes into his room for bedtime, he finds out that his bed is already occupied—by a bear (who’s not his teddy bear)! The bear makes a mess with toys, splashes water around the bathtub, and eats books instead of reading them. Not to mention that he doesn’t know how to brush his teeth or wear pajamas! And how is anyone supposed to get any sleep with a bear taking up the whole bed?

Rumble Grumble . . . Hush book
#25
Rumble Grumble . . . Hush
Written by Kate Banks and illustrated by Simone Shin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.