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 Free Fall to popular sellers like In the Night Kitchen to some of our favorite hidden gems like Dream Animals.
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.
Dandelion's Dream - What if a dandelion became a real lion? With enchanting, ethereal art, this wordless story shares a world where reality can be transfigured by imagination. In a meadow filled with dandelion buds just about to flower, one dandelion blooms into a real lion. Roots and leaves unfurl into four tiny paws and a long tail with a fluffy yellow tuft. What a great, wide world there is to explore when you have paws instead of roots: there are fast trains to ride, regal ships to sail, and cities with lights as bright as Dandelion’s field in full bloom. But will a real lion ever be content to go back to being a rooted dandelion? Yoko Tanaka’s exquisite illustrations take us on an adventure where even the smallest seeds contain cosmic dreams.
The Dreamer - Once, there was a pig who admired birds. But he could never join them. Or could he? Thus begins the journey of a pig with big dreams, and the perseverance to make them come true. He develops flight plans, builds experimental contraptions, and has far-flung adventures, but at the end of the day, his favorite thing to do is still to sit and watch for those he loves best: the birds. Il Sung Na creates a world at once whimsical and aspirational, where anything is possible and, yes, even pigs can learn to fly.
Tomorrow Most Likely - 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.
The Girl Who Spoke to the Moon: A Story about Friendship and Loving Our Earth - A sweet story that will inspire children to protect the Earth and encourage others to do the same. When Sofia dreams of visiting the Moon one night, she discovers people are hurting the Earth! With the Moon as her guide, Sofia learns how we can work together to make Earth feel better. With rhyming text and beautiful illustrations, this sweet, environmentally friendly story is a gentle lesson and clear reminder of the importance of caring for our planet. Previously published as Sofia’s Dream, this updated edition includes bonus back matter about pollution and the simple steps we can take to protect the Earth!
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.
Green Wilma - 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.
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.
Sweet Dreams - A mother who would do anything for her son lovingly urges him to fall into sweet dreams.
A Symphony of Whales - Glashka is the only one in her village who can hear the voice of Narna, the whale. That gift leads her to great responsibility one day, when she discovers thousands of whales trapped in an inlet. The narrow route to the sea is rapidly icing over, and every day ice covers more of the open water the whales need to breathe. There seems to be no way out. . . . This story, based on an actual event, tells of a dramatic rescue—a tale of bravery and faith and the power of music.
Gorilla - Celebrate thirty years of a classic picture book by one of today’s most celebrated author-illustrators! A special anniversary edition. Hannah loves gorillas and longs to see a real one. Unfortunately, her father is always too busy — or too tired — to take her to the zoo. But on the night before her birthday, something extraordinary happens and Hannah’s wish finally comes true. Anthony Browne’s classic story of a girl’s moonlit night of adventure, courtesy of a surprising and kindly friend, returns in a larger trim size with striking cover art by the artist for the book’s thirtieth anniversary.
The Nutcracker - The New York City Ballet presents a classic ballet tale for a modern ballet lover with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, a holiday favorite. The New York City Ballet is known for showcasing classic stories of the ballet with their trademark stylish and modern sensibility. For the first time, this beloved holiday story is told based on George Balanchine’s quintessential production. The storyline of this gorgeous picture book mimics the choreography of the famous ballet and the illustrations are inspired by the backdrops and scenery from the actual production. The New York City Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker is considered to be “the” leading production in the world. A holiday tradition for many families, now readers who can’t travel to New York will be able to experience this colorful celebratory story. A must-have for every aspiring ballerina’s library and a holiday tradition for every family’s bookshelf.
Cavall in Camelot #1: A Dog In King Arthur’s Court - In Camelot, King Arthur’s dog encounters a world of danger and magic… Follow Cavall as he embarks on a quest that will put the unbreakable bond between a dog and his person to the ultimate test. When Cavall and his older brother, Glessic, leave the comfort of their simple barn to join the lavish court of Camelot, Cavall wants nothing more than to prove he’s a good dog to the great knights and dogs of the castle—especially to King Arthur. But Gless says only the best dogs are worthy of greatness, and Cavall has never been as strong, brave, or fast as his brother. Meanwhile, malevolent forces lurk in Camelot, and Cavall must figure out how to protect his person. To make matters worse, Arthur’s mysterious nightmares are threatening to shake his grip on reality and undermine his authority as king. To fight back against the dangers of the dream world, Cavall will need help from some loyal hounds and the enchanting, sometimes frightening creatures who call themselves the fay. In this captivating debut from Audrey Mackaman, Cavall will have to prove not only that he can be a good dog for his person, but that he is capable of a greatness all his own.
In the Middle of the Night - Toys, food, and other everyday household objects have wild adventures at night, while the humans in the house sleep, in this imaginative collection of 26 poems. What do the things in your home do when you’re asleep? They play, of course! In this compendium of poems by Laura Purdie Salas, everything from stuffed animals to clothing to writing utensils comes to life under the cover of night. An overdue library book searches for the perfect place to hide. A paper clip skydives with a tissue parachute. A fruit snack unrolls to create a tricky racetrack for toy cars. A hose unwinds and rolls around the yard before curling back up just before dawn. Accompanied by Angela Matteson’s beautiful acrylic-on-wood illustrations, this book will spark young readers’ imaginations and is a perfect choice for bedtime reading.
Gossamer - From the two-time Newbery Award winning author of Number the Stars and The Giver, comes a novel about how even the smallest of dreams can break through the darkest of nights.
Littlest One is a tiny creature slowly learning her job of giving dreams to humans. Each night she and her teacher, Thin Elderly, visit an old woman’s home where she softly touches beloved objects, gathering happy memories, and drops of old scents and sounds. Littlest One pieces these bits together and presents them to her sleeping human in the form of pleasant dreams. But the dreaded Sinisteeds, dark fearsome creatures that plague their victims with nightmares, are always at work against the dreamgivers. When the old woman takes in John, an angry foster child with a troubled past, the Sinisteeds go after him with their horrifying nightmares. Can Littlest One, and her touch light as gossamer, protect John’s heart and soul from the nightmare of his dark past?
Hush Little Polar Bear: A Picture Book - AN IMPOSSIBLY CUDDLY BABY POLAR BEAR travels from one magical place to another. “Hush baby polar bear. Sleep in the snow, and dream of the places where sleeping bears go.” Readers follow a baby snow-white plush polar bear that has been brought to life by his owner’s imagination from the back of a whale with the sea spray surrounding, to a land of tall grass where butterflies float by up into the sky itself…and happily right back through the window into the loving arms of his owner asleep in bed. Mack’s lush and lovable illustrations suit the lulling, rhyming text to make a perfect bedtime book sure to leave readers and listeners with warm and fuzzy feelings read after read.
The Marvelous Journey Through the Night - Sleep and his sister, Dream, take young children on a journey through the darkness of night to an enchanting world of peaceful dreams
Kuma-Kuma Chan's Travels - This is the third book in the Kuma-Kuma Chan series, which has been quietly gaining popularity here in North America. Kuma-Kuma flies off to a south sea isle where he lies in the sun and drifts into a lazy snooze, he climbs to the summit of a mountain and views the sunrise while drinking a cup of hot chocolate, and he flies up into the sky like a bird and looks down on the earth below. Instead of physically setting out for one place or another, Kuma-Kuma travels freely all over the world - inside his head. And on days when he finds it impossible to travel even in this way, he climbs up onto the roof and gazes up at the passing birds and changing clouds all day long. Kuma-Kuma sends the accounts of his travels to his friend the narrator, who looks forward to the day when he will get to see Kuma-Kuma again—somewhere on his travels. Once again, Kuma-Kuma Chan charms as he exemplifies the joy of a simple, peaceful, life. The book with its spare text and delightful illustrations invites both children and their parents to dive deeper into their own imaginations, and to create their own travels.
Fly by Night - During the night while everyone sleeps, a little boy floats up from his bed and flies through the house and the countryside beyond.
The Wooden Camel - Etabo dreams of being a camel racer. One day he might even beat his older brother when they race. But with the price of water rising, Etabo’s father must sell the camels, and his siblings must find work. What will Etabo do now? From acclaimed Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu and Italian illustrator Manuela Adreani, this story of love and hope centers on the inspiring Turkana people of northwest Kenya. Told with gentleness and humor, it is a universal story about keeping one’s dreams alive.
Luna and the Moon Rabbit - A dreamy fairy tale about a rabbit who lives on the moon . . . and comes down to visit a little girl. Inspired by Asian folklore (Moon Rabbit) and the films of Studio Ghibli, this magical tale follows a young girl who befriends the “moon rabbit” and accompanies him on a nighttime adventure through otherworldly landscapes. Parents and children alike will be mesmerized by the enchanting illustrations and a soothing bedtime story that explores the power of imagination, the importance of friendship, and the beauty of the natural world.
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