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Night: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about night?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to night. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about night.

Our list includes board books and picture 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. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about night, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Moon to popular sellers like The Going-To-Bed Book to some of our favorite hidden gems like Touch the Brightest Star.

We hope this list of kids books about night 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.

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When Everyone Was Fast Asleep
Written by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

**Float along with the Fog Maiden as she takes two children on an enchanted bedtime adventure in this classic from the bestselling author of Strega Nona, Quiet, and more— now back in print!**

When everyone was fast asleep, two children were awakened by Token, the Fog Maiden’s mysterious cat, and sent into the magical night.

Gentle and lyrical, this forgotten classic bedtime story from the author of Quiet and Strega Nona is back to enchant a new generation of fans. Soft illustrations paired with an imaginative text take readers on a dreamlike journey— sharing milk and honey with the trolls, watching the peacocks waltz, and attending a palace ball— before tucking them safely back into bed.

Cozy, quiet, and sure to delight, the Fog Maiden’s sweet dream is made to be shared.

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The Going-To-Bed Book
Written & illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Getting ready for sleep is tons of fun in this Sandra Boynton classic.

The sun has set not long ago. Now everybody goes below to take a bath in one big tub with soap all over—SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB!

This classic bedtime story is just right for winding down the day as a joyful, silly group of animals scrub scrub scrub in the tub, brush and brush and brush their teeth, and finally rock and rock and rock to sleep.

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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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Flashlight Night
Written by Matt Forrest Esenwine & illustrated by Fred Koehler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Flashlight Night is an ode to the power of imagination and the wonder of books. Three children use a flashlight to light a path around their backyard at night; in the flashlight’s beam another world looms. Our heroes encounter spooky woods, a fearsome tiger, a time-forgotten tomb, an Egyptian god, a sword-fighting pirate, and a giant squid. With ingenuity, they vanquish all, then return to their tree house—braver, closer, and wiser than before—to read the books that inspired their adventure.

Good Night, World book
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If You Were Night book
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Little Owl's Night book
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Moon 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.

  • 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.

  • Little Owl's Night - It’s evening in the forest and Little Owl wakes up from his day-long sleep to watch his friends enjoying the night. Hedgehog sniffs for mushrooms, Skunk nibbles at berries, Frog croaks, and Cricket sings. A full moon rises and Little Owl can’t understand why anyone would want to miss it. Could the daytime be nearly as wonderful? Mama Owl begins to describe it to him, but as the sun comes up, Little Owl falls fast asleep. Putting a twist on the bedtime book, Little Owl’s Night is sure to comfort any child with a curiosity about the night.

  • Moon - Originally published in the United Kingdom by Little Tiger Press in 2017.

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The House in the Night
Written by Susan Marie Swanson & illustrated by Beth Krommes
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

2009 Caldecott Medal Winner

A spare, patterned text and glowing pictures explore the origins of light that make a house a home in this Caldecott Medal-winning bedtime book for young children. Naming nighttime things that are both comforting and intriguing to preschoolers—a key, a bed, the moon—this timeless book illuminates a reassuring order to the universe.

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Night Train
Written by Annie Cronin Romano & illustrated by Ileana Soon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This cinematic book takes readers along on a steam engine’s journey through the night, from a city to a small town. Varied landscapes as well as color shifts show the passage of time from dusk to night to dawn. The rhythmic text is perfect for bedtime reading, and train lovers young and old will appreciate the various railway details incorporated in the text and art. Night train wakens to the dusk, groggy, stretching, load and roll, load and roll. Bringing warmth and wonder to the night, this book will send young readers off to sleep dreaming of the steady train journeying through the night.

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Wow! Said the Owl: A Book About Colors
Written & illustrated by Tim Hopgood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Here’s the story of a curious little owl determined to see what the world looks like during the day. And what does she discover? A wow-worthy symphony of colors―from red butterflies to orange flowers, from white clouds to green leaves.

This boisterous and bright book is the perfect read-aloud to savor with curious little owls everywhere who are exploring the world of colors for the first time.

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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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Fly Blanky Fly
Written by Anne Margaret Lewis & illustrated by Elisa Chavarri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Preparing for a grand adventure with his beloved blanket at bedtime, a little boy leaps into an imaginative world where he and his blanket zoom on jet planes, fly to the moon and swim in the sea before settling down to sleep. By the best-selling author of Has Anyone Seen Christmas? 25,000 first printing.

Noisy Night book
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Crinkle, Crinkle, Little Star book
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The Rabbit, the Dark, and the Cookie Tin book
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Night Job book
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  • Noisy Night - It’s a noisy night in this city building! The residents of each floor can hear their neighbors above them, and are wondering what’s going on above their heads. Climb floor by floor and page by page to find out whose singing, dancing, cheering, and cooing are keeping a grumpy old man awake. With innovative split-level spreads that offer the feeling of climbing an apartment building floor by floor, this clever and colorful collaboration between New York Times–bestselling author Mac Barnett and gifted illustrator Brian Biggs offers an irresistible investigation of one noisy night.

  • Crinkle, Crinkle, Little Star - Take an interactive journey through the night sky in an innovative, tactile board book, a special book that engages three senses—seeing, touching, and hearing. With its gorgeous, full-spread illustrations of constellations and beloved bedtime lullaby reimagined, Crinkle, Crinkle, Little Star is the perfect book to rock babies to sleep. Here’s Taurus the bull, strong and fast. Cetus the whale, waving a mighty tail. Orion, with bow and arrow in hand. Babies can trace the imaginary lines that turn random stars into ancient constellations—and, in a special treat, create a crinkling sound by tracing the channel of shimmery material underneath the last illustration in the book. That same mysterious, compelling crinkling sound persists when baby and parents hold the book and rub the crinkly material on the back cover.

  • The Rabbit, the Dark, and the Cookie Tin - Rabbit doesn’t want to go to bed, so he decides to kidnap The Dark and trap it in a cookie tin so he can stay up all night long. But then The Dark reminds Rabbit of all the good things that darkness brings. What about all the nocturnal animals? And surely you can’t have a yummy breakfast of toast and honey and fresh orange juice unless you’ve been to bed? But the BEST thing about the dark, of course, is reading a really good bedtime story!

  • Night Job - With lyrical narration and elegant, evocative artwork, Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse and illustrator G. Brian Karas share the nighttime experience of a father and child. When the sun sets, Dad’s job as a school custodian is just beginning. What is it like to work on a Friday night while the rest of the city is asleep? There’s the smell of lilacs in the night air, the dusky highway in the moonlight, and glimpses of shy nighttime animals to make the dark magical. Shooting baskets in the half-lit gym, sweeping the stage with the game on the radio, and reading out loud to his father in the library all help the boy’s time pass quickly. But what makes the night really special is being with Dad. Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse’s quietly powerful story of a boy and his father is tenderly brought to life by G. Brian Karas in this luminous tribute to an enduring, everyday sort of love.

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Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the Baskervilles
Written by Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Delight your little one with the sounds and sights of a mysterious night in Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of Baskervilles: A BabyLit Sounds Primer. Alison Oliver’s bold illustrations correspond with Jennifer Adams’ clever, simple text to create pairings little bibliophiles will love to have read to them, such as “hounds howl,” “gates screech,” and “stairs creak.”

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Flashlight
Written & illustrated by Lizi Boyd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Inside a tent it’s cozy. But what is going on outside? Is it dark? Is it scary? Not if you have your trusty flashlight! Told solely through images and using a spare yet dramatic palette, artist Lizi Boyd has crafted a masterful exploration of night, nature, and art. Both lyrical and humorous, this visual poem—like the flashlight beam itself—reveals that there is magic in the darkness. We just have to look for it.

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The Night Is Yours
Written by Abdul-Razak Zachariah & illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

From the New York Times bestselling illustrator of I Am Enough, this glowing, empowering picture book about a nighttime hide-and-seek game celebrates blackness and self-confidence.

Little one, so calm and so happy, the darkness of the night is yours like the darkness of your skin.

This lyrical text, narrated to a young girl named Amani by her father, follows her as she plays an evening game of hide-and-seek with friends at her apartment complex. The moon’s glow helps Amani find the last hidden child, and seems almost like a partner to her in her game, as well as a spotlight pointing out her beauty and strength.

This is a gorgeous bedtime read-aloud about joy and family love and community, and most of all about feeling great in your own skin.

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In the Middle of the Night: Poems from a Wide-Awake House
Written by Laura Purdie Salas & illustrated by Angela Matteson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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Black Cat, White Cat
Written & illustrated by Silvia Borando
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Day and night, black and white—this playful tale of opposite personalities celebrates the adventure of sharing life’s discoveries with a friend.

Black Cat—black from the tips of his ears to the tip of his tail—only ever goes out in the day. But White Cat—white from her whiskers to her four furry paws—only ever goes out at night. He picks daisies, while she gazes at the stars. When they both feel the urge to explore a world beyond their own, Black Cat and White Cat go on a journey of discovery and meet for the very first time. Vividly illustrated with bold black-and-white art, each page paves the way toward a surprise (and surprisingly colorful) ending.

Only the Cat Saw book
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The Night Is for Darkness book
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Many Moons book
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Little Night/Nochecita book
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  • Only the Cat Saw - What does a curious farm cat see when the sun goes down, the stars come out, and everyone else is fast asleep? Find out in this brand new, fully refreshed and repainted edition of Ashley Wolff’s classic Only the Cat Saw. When night falls, a family eases into supper, bath, and bedtime. But while their day is ending, their farm cat’s adventures have just begun! Only the cat sees the sun set over a flock of sheep, an owl stalking a mouse, a shooting star…and much, much more. This peaceful, visually stunning story explores what happens at night when no one—well, almost no one—is watching.

  • The Night Is for Darkness - A gorgeous bedtime book that is also a tribute to the beauty of the natural world, from popular picture book creators Jonathan Stutzman and Joseph Kuefler. Perfect for fans of The Night Gardener. The night is for darkness . . . and for surprising moonlit discoveries. This lyrical story celebrates the wondrous beauty of the natural world and the intimate family moments we share each night. The Night Is for Darkness is a story full of warmth and love—an ideal sendoff into the land of dreams.

  • Many Moons - Many Moons explores every phase of the moon through beautiful illustrations, and compares each phase to a different shape, like a waxing moon and a banana! Many Moons shows young children the different phases of the moon, from the new moon to a waning crescent, with a variety of beautiful, bright illustrations. Each spread features a specific phase of the moon, and compares it to different shapes, such as a cat’s tail, a banana, or a brilliant smile. The night sky is vast and beautiful, and to many children, a mysterious thing full of wonder. Why not nurture this sense of early curiosity? Many Moons introduces children to basic astronomy. Understanding the moon is a jumping off point to learning about the stars, space, the ocean tides, and so much more

  • Little Night/Nochecita - As the long day comes to an end, Mother Sky fills a tub with falling stars and calls, “Bath time for Little Night!” Little Night answers from afar, “Can’t come. I am hiding and you have to find me, Mama. Find me now!” Where could Little Night be? Down a rabbit hole? In a blueberry field? Among the stripes of bees? Exquisitely painted and as gentle as Little Night’s dress crocheted from clouds, this is a story to treasure. With a bilingual text in both English and Spanish, Little Night Nochecita by Yuyi Morales is a sweet story every child can enjoy.

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It's Time to Go to Sleep
Written by Harriet Ziefert & illustrated by Barroux
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Based loosely on the Comden & Green song “I Said Good Morning,” jaunty verse takes readers to different landscapes in which a small boy says “Good night!” to everyone and everything in sight. By the time he is done with his exhaustive list of “good nights,” he is asleep himself! All are rendered in Barroux’s signature droll and endearing style.

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We're Going on a Pumpkin Hunt
Written by Mary Wilcox & illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

In this spin on the classic song “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” pumpkins and autumn take center stage. A spooky nighttime hunt for the biggest pumpkin in town results in a fright but also a great adventure.

Our brave band of adventurers set out one night to find “the biggest pumpkin in town.” First encountering the darkness of night, they bolster one another with the refrain, “I’m not scared. Are you? Not me!”, even though the littlest mouse can’t help but shiver in fright.

Their group’s courage stands up in the face of night bugs, and obstacles like trees, a mountain, and a river. But when the search ends with the discovery of a spooky jack o’lantern with pointy teeth and big, bright eyes, the children hightail it back through the trees, the river, the tall grass, and the dark of night, all the way to the safety of home. Have the night’s antics gone too far? Oh, no, everyone’s laughing out loud—it’s fun to be scared with friends!

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In the Middle of the Night
Written by Laura Purdie Salas & illustrated by Angela Matteson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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The Marvelous Journey Through the Night
Written & illustrated by Helme Heine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Sleep and his sister, Dream, take young children on a journey through the darkness of night to an enchanting world of peaceful dreams

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The Moon Jumpers
Written by Janice May Udry & illustrated by Maurice Sendak
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Four years before Where the Wild Things Are won the Caldecott Medal, Maurice Sendak produced some of his most spectacular artwork for The Moon Jumpers. Printing technology has greatly improved since this enchanting picture book was first released more than fifty years ago, and now, with new color separations, the reproduction of Maurice Sendak’s artwork comes closer to his stunning originals than ever before. Sendak’s wondrous starry skies and Janice May Udry’s evocative text immediately transport us back to cool, moonlit nights and fill us with the universal warmth of childhood. The Moon Jumpers’ timeless beauty and inspiration earned it a Caldecott Honor in 1960 and will surely gather a new generation of fans.

Fight the Night book
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Polar Bear Night book
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Night Garden: Poems From The World Of Dreams book
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Night Train, Night Train book
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  • Fight the Night - In this whimsical classic picture book, Tomie dePaola delivers a sweet depiction of a child’s imagination and all the things that go bump in the night. To stay up past bedtime, you’ve got to fight the night. Flashlight in hand, a determined Ronald sets out to battle sleep in this refreshed edition of Tomie dePaola’s spirited 1968 picture book.

  • Polar Bear Night - A polar bear cub . . . A nighttime journey . . . A bedtime story of love and wonder. One keen, clear night, a polar bear cub wakes inside her warm den. Something in the moonlit stillness quietly beckons. What is it? The little cub sets out for the snow and sky and sea and ice, and the moon follows. So begins a magical journey through a starlit world filled with love and wonder. Soothing words and luminous pictures make this nighttime tale as comforting as a goodnight kiss.

  • Night Garden: Poems From The World Of Dreams - Offers a beautifully illustrated collection of fifteen poems for young readers.

  • Night Train, Night Train - Told in rhyming text, a train speeds through the night, revealing the sights and colors along the way to its young and sleepy riders.

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The Night Box
Written & illustrated by Louise Greig
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Soothing bedtime reading, this reassuring and magical evocation of nighttime encourages imaginative exploration and marks the debut of a talented poet and illustrator picture-book pair. When a little boy opens the Night Box, darkness swoops out, a fox uncurls, and a thousand stars sparkle and shine. Night flows freely then, cavorting and exploring, caring for all its creatures until morning comes, and it’s time for Night to rest again. With its soothing cadences and air of quiet wonder, The Night Box is sure to charm any sleepy listener who wonders what happens between sunset and sunrise.

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Haiku Night
Written & illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Share the wonder of nighttime with baby! Simple poems and delightful illustrations celebrate the enchanting world that comes to life once baby is asleep.

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