Dreams: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about dreams is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From A Bedtime Yarn to The Dreamway there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about dreams? Let us know!

A Bedtime Yarn book
#1
A Bedtime Yarn
Written by Nicola Winstanley and illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be book
#2
The Wonderful Things You Will Be
Written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal a parent's musings about what a child will become, knowing that the child's kindness, cleverness, and boldness will shine through no matter what, as will the love they share.

The Almost Impossible Thing book
#3
The Almost Impossible Thing
Written and illustrated by Basak Agaoglu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Nothing is so impossible that it shouldn't be tried. Even if you're a bunny hoping to fly. A tribute to teamwork, big dreams, perseverance, and those who don't listen when others say their goals are unreachable. The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.--Chinese Proverb Most of us want to fly--even if we know we're rooted to the ground. Especially if we know we're rooted to the ground! So when a rabbit spots a bird soaring in beautiful, colorful loop-de-loops, a dream is born. Though her friends tell her "You can't do that!" our rabbit is undeterred. Through comical ski jumps, trampoline bounces, swings on the trapeze, and experiments with kites . . . somehow, some way, there must be a way to fly. And there is! Teamwork. Debut author/illustrator Basak Agaoglu delivers a story of faith, persistence, and humor--along with some of the most adorable, child-friendly art ever seen. For fans of Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery.

Tomorrow Most Likely book
#4
Tomorrow Most Likely
Written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

Sleep, Baby, Sleep book
#5
Sleep, Baby, Sleep
Written by Maryann Cusimano Love and illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

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.

  1. I Can Dream - Dream big! Young readers help characters pursue their aspirations—from driving a race car to traveling to Mars— just by wiggling their fingers! But wait! There's even more fun. In an impressive gatefold finale, kids help a firefighter, astronaut, artist, and more come together to follow their dreams. With interactive holes on every page and a satisfyingly funny touch-and-feel cover, this charming board book offers a uniquely entertaining way to play and read together.

  2. Caterpillar Dreams - The Very Hungry Caterpillar meets Giraffes Can’t Dance in this sweet coming of age story about finding one’s courage. All Henri the Caterpillar has is a dream. It’s an amazing, incredible, impossible dream. And to chase it, Henri will have to leave the safety of his garden and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Written and illustrated by the award-winning creator of A Bed for Bear, Clive McFarland, Caterpillar Dreams is the inspiring story of what can happen when you dare to believe in yourself.

  3. Iggy Peck, Architect - This beloved New York Times bestselling picture book is a fun-filled, inspiring story about the power of teamwork and the importance of celebrating individual gifts and self-expression. And now you can follow Iggy’s further adventures—with his friends Rosie Revere and Ada Twist—in the instant New York Times bestseller Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters, an all-new chapter book starring The Questioneers! Some kids sculpt sand castles. Some make mud pies. Some construct great block towers. But none are better at building than Iggy Peck, who once erected a life-size replica of the Great Sphinx on his front lawn! It’s too bad that few people appreciate Iggy’s talent—certainly not his second-grade teacher, Miss Lila Greer. It looks as if Iggy will have to trade in his T square for a box of crayons . . . until a fateful field trip proves just how useful a mast builder can be.

  4. The Darkest Dark - 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.

A Dance Like Starlight book
#10
A Dance Like Starlight
Written by Kristy Dempsey and illustrated by Floyd Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don’t always come true—they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. And sometimes hope is hard to come by. But the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins, did make her dreams come true. And those dreams inspired ballerinas everywhere, showing them that the color of their skin couldn’t stop them from becoming a star. In a lyrical tale as beautiful as a dance en pointe, Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper tell the story of one little ballerina who was inspired by Janet Collins to make her own dreams come true.

Bulldozer Dreams book
#11
Bulldozer Dreams
Written by Sharon Chriscoe and illustrated by John Joven
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

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.

Penguin Flies Home book
#12
Penguin Flies Home
Written and illustrated by Lita Judge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Penguin mastered his quest to soar with the eagles in Flight School—now he’s heading home to teach his friends in this sweet and inspiring stand-alone companion story! Penguin loves everything about flying: the wind beneath his wings, the song that rises from his belly, and the sight of new and wonderful places. Still, he misses his penguin friends in the South Pole. So, he flips and flaps back home, ready to teach them the magic of flight! But when he arrives, his enthusiasm for flying doesn’t get quite the reaction he expected. Will Penguin’s friends still like him, even if they don’t share his soaring dreams?

Sea Glass Summer book
#13
Sea Glass Summer
Written by Michelle Hout and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Green Wilma book
#14
Green Wilma
Written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

  1. Nara and the Island - Nara lives with her father on a tiny island and dreams of visiting the island across the waves. So when she gets the opportunity to visit the mysterious island, an amazing adventure unfolds. This stunning story is the debut of exciting author-illustrator talent Dan Ungureanu.

  2. Sweet Dreams - A mother who would do anything for her son lovingly urges him to fall into sweet dreams.

  3. Red Knit Cap Girl - Red Knit Cap Girl is a little girl with a big dream -- to meet the Moon. Red Knit Cap Girl lives with her animal friends in an enchanted forest. There is so much to see and do, but more than anything Red Knit Cap Girl wishes she could talk to the Moon. Join Red Knit Cap Girl and her forest friends on a journey of curiosity, imagination, and joy as they search for a way to meet the Moon. Gorgeously illustrated on wood grain, Red Knit Cap Girl's curiosity, imagination, and joy will captivate the hearts of readers young and old as her journey offers a gentle reminder to appreciate the beauty of the natural world around us.

  4. Rodney - Rodney is a small turtle with a BIG dream. All he wants is to be larger. Then one day, Rodney's dream comes true - or does it? It's all a matter of perspective!

Reaching for the Moon book
#19
Reaching for the Moon
Written by Buzz Aldrin and illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

I walked on the moon. This is my journey. But it didn't begin when I stepped on board Apollo 11 on July 1, 1969. It began the day I was born. Becoming an astronaut took more than education, discipline, and physical strength. It took years of determination and believing that any goal is possible—from riding a bike alone across the George Washington Bridge at age ten to making a footprint on the Moon. I always knew the Moon was within my reach—and that I was ready to be on the team that would achieve the first landing. But it was still hard to believe when I took my first step onto the Moon's surface. We all have our own dreams. This is the story of how mine came true.

Heart of a Tiger book
#20
Heart of a Tiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

As the Name Day celebration approaches, a young kitten tries to deserve a noble name, by following the path of the beautiful Bengal tiger.

Most Marshmallows book
#21
Most Marshmallows
Written and illustrated by Rowboat Watkins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Most marshmallows are born into marshmallow families, play with marshmallow friends, and go to marshmallow school where they learn to be squishy. Most marshmallows read a book before bed and then fall asleep to dream ordinary marshmallow dreams. Is this book about most marshmallows? It isn't. Because Rowboat Watkins knows that just like you, some marshmallows have big dreams, and just like you, these marshmallows can do anything they set their minds to. This sweet and silly book is an inspiring reminder that by being true to ourselves each of us can be truly extraordinary.

It's Not a Bed, It's a Time Machine book
#22
It's Not a Bed, It's a Time Machine
Written by Mickey Rapkin and illustrated by Teresa Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

Anywhere Artist book
#23
Anywhere Artist
Written and illustrated by Nikki Slade Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

Anyone can make art anywhere, anytime, with anything! Follow a young artist as she moves through a number of natural environments, creating gorgeous artworks along the way from natural materials. Stunning hand-crafted illustrations with handlettered text. An ideal springboard for your own creations!

  1. 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.

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