Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to dreams. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about dreams.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about dreams, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Green Wilma to popular sellers like Tomorrow Most Likely to some of our favorite hidden gems like Sleep, Baby, Sleep.
We hope this list of kids books about dreams can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Like a well-worn, snuggly blanket, this sweet bedtime story about a little bear who’s afraid of the dark and his mother’s creative solution will warm and comfort readers big and small.
Frankie is a little bear who has a hard time falling asleep. The dark is scary, and he hates to be alone. So his mother gives him a ball of yarn to hold when he goes to bed, and she keeps the other end in the next room, working it into a surprise for Frankie.
Every few nights the yarn color changes, and Frankie dreams in all the colors that he and his mother pick out. One night he’s swimming in turquoise water, another night he’s in a cool gray fog. He plays with a marmalade kitten and eats delicious chocolate cake. Eventually Frankie and his mother create something special—and Frankie learns that he’s always connected to those he loves, even when he’s alone in the dark.
A beautiful story of love and crafting, A Bedtime Yarn will appeal to knitters, sleepy little bears and any parents dealing with their child’s fear of the dark.
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.
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.
After a long day of clearing dirt, rocks, and trees, a bulldozer is tired and ready for bed. He lifts up his blade, his spotlights flash on, he rolls through the gate, and lets out a yawn. He heads to the Wiggle and Shake for a bath, then to the Sip and Slurp for some supper, then chooses a bedtime story . . . and soon the bulldozer will be dreaming sweet dreams of finishing his important work! Construction vehicle fans young and old will delight in this imaginative book of how a bulldozer prepares for bed. Sharon Chriscoe’s irresistibly clever and gentle rhyming verse and John Joven’s charming illustrations are sure to soothe even the busiest of kids at bedtime.
Wilma’s parents don’t know quite what to do when their daughter wakes up green and requests bugs for breakfast. At school, Wilma’s teachers are appalled by her unusually colorful antics. Wherever Wilma goes, surprises await her-and readers of this irresistibly funny fable.
Sea Glass Summer - Author Michelle Houts and illustrator Bagram Ibatoulline explore the magic of one of the seaside’s greatest wonders and the bonds that link us through time. One summer, a boy named Thomas visits his grandmother at her seaside cottage. She gives him a magnifying glass that once belonged to his grandfather, and with it Thomas explores the beach, turning grains of sand into rocks and dark clamshells into swirling mazes of black, gray, and white. When his grandmother shows him a piece of sea glass, Thomas is transfixed. That night he dreams of an old shipyard and the breaking of a bottle. Could the very piece of sea glass on his nightstand have come from that bottle? For the rest of the summer, he searches for more sea glass and hopes to have dreams that will reveal more of the sea’s secrets. A stunning ode to stories and the seaside, this picture book invites readers to imagine the ocean of possibility that lives in every small or forgotten treasure.
Sweet Dreams - A mother who would do anything for her son lovingly urges him to fall into sweet dreams.
It's Not a Bed, It's a Time Machine - Bedtime can be frightening—a dark room, spooky shadows, silence. Our narrator worries about what’s hiding in the dark, until his stuffed bunny, Floppy, tells him a secret: His bed is really a time machine. And they set off on an adventure into the past, to the coolest time ever—the age of the dinosaurs—to meet the coolest animal ever—the tyrannosaurus rex! This night’s sleep will span millions of years, but it’s so fun it’ll feel like it’s over in the blink of an eye. It’s Not a Bed, It’s a Time Machine is the ultimate goodnight picture book, showing that going to sleep is nothing to be afraid of. Instead, it’s just the beginning of a time-spanning adventure.
The Dreamway - New York Times bestselling author Lisa Papademetriou delivers her most fantastical, emotional story yet in this tale of a young girl’s journey into her dreams to save her brother from the darkness that surrounds him. Perfect for fans of A Wrinkle in Time, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Echo. Every night, your sleeping body stays in your bed, while the you of you travels deep beneath the earth to ride the complex rails of the Dreamway…. Stella Clay thought it was just another ordinary day at her drab gray school. Then her twin brother, Cole, is attacked by a shadowy creature on their way home, and Stella’s world turns positively peculiar. Suddenly, her brother seems different, almost dimmer, like a candle about to flicker out. And then a talking mouse shows up in her bedroom. Stella discovers that the real Cole has been taken prisoner in the Dreamway. Determined to find him, she sets out with the “help” of a stuck-up rodent, a nervous dragonfly, and a mysterious pirate, and finds her way to the darkest edge of the Dreamway to bring her brother home…before he’s trapped forever. In this allegorical exploration of childhood depression, with a moving author note that follows, Lisa Papademetriou gently and safely illustrates for her readers the emotional effects of anger, anxiety, and insecurity—and illuminates a pathway to hope and recovery.