A good bedtime story can help dial down your child’s energy level and get him ready for a good night’s sleep. Here’s a fantastic selection of bedtime picture books that you can share with your children.
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Bedtime for Frances
by Russell Hoban
An overactive imagination can be a problem for a young badger at bedtime. Just ask Frances. Tigers, giants, a creepy crack in the ceiling, softly blowing curtains—all of these make it difficult for Frances to close her eyes and fall asleep.
Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear?
by Martin Waddell
Sometimes little bears (and little girls and boys) are afraid of the dark. When Little Bear can’t sleep, Big Bear finds a lantern to brighten up the dark cave. And eventually he convinces Little Bear that maybe the dark isn’t as scary as it seems!
A House in the Woods
by Inga Moore
When the homes of two little pigs are accidentally broken by a too-big moose and a lumbering bear, the animals decide it’s time to build a home where they can all live together. They build a house … and develop lifelong friendships in the process.
by Jory John & Benji Davies
Bear is so tired he could sleep for months! But when he tries to get some much-needed shut-eye, his energetic next-door neighbor has other plans. Can Bear convince Duck that it’s time to say Goodnight Already?
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
“I don’t want to go to bed!” Little Hoot wants to go to bed early, but he’s an owl, and everyone knows, owls have to stay up late. “I don’t want to stay up!” Kids and adults alike will giggle at the irony of Little Owl’s problem.
Good Night, Little Bear
by Patricia & Richard Scarry
This Golden Books classic bedtime story by Patricia Scarry is just about as sweet as they come. It may be time for bed, but for Little Bear that just means it’s time for a playful game of hide-and-seek with Papa Bear.
by David Ezra Stein
Are your story times prone to interruptions from over-excited listeners? If so, you’ll certainly relate to the patient papa in Interrupting Chicken. Maybe you can get through this adorable picture book without interruptions. Then again, maybe not.
by Arthur Giesert
The young pig in Lights Out resists bedtime. But the piglet has a plan and his twenty-nine bedtime steps will entertain your child—and you—page by page, pulley by pulley, from the attic to the basement and back again. (Read my full review.)
Hush! A Thai Lullaby
by Mingfong Ho
In this soothing Caldecott medal-winning bedtime story, a Mother gently hushes a squeaking mouse, a sweeping buffalo, a meowing cat, and even a shrieking elephant as her baby soundly sleeps. And before long, everyone is sleeping.
Kiss Good Night
by Amy Hest
In this endearing bedtime story, Sam’s mother tucks Sam into bed. She reads him a bedtime story, she bundles him up in his blankets, she tucks in his stuffed animal friends, and she gives him a glass of milk. But something’s missing … what could it be?
Steam Train, Dream Train
by Sherri Duskey Rinker
All aboard! A nighttime crew of monkeys, elephants, camels and polar bears load up the dream train with their cargo and settle in for a sleepy journey. The gentle rhythm and rhyme will transport your little one to dream land in no time!
by Martin Waddell
This beautiful book offers the gentle reassurance that mother is always close by. The owl babies in this stunningly illustrated story awaken to find their mother missing. Where did she go? Will she come back? But soon the anxious owls are celebrating their mother’s return … and so will you!
by Hallie Durand
Gentlemen, start your engines! It may be bedtime, but that doesn’t matter to Mitchell. He is ready to go! Hallie Durand’s clever picture book will drive your little one to bed along with Mitchell and his very special car.
I Need My Monster
by Amanda Noll
Most kids are terrified at the thought of hearing a monster under the bed, but not Ethan. He can’t sleep without his monster Gabe, but unfortunately Gabe has gone fishing. Lots of monsters offer to scare Ethan while Gabe is away, but it’s just not the same … Ethan needs his monster.
Sleep Like a Tiger
by Mary Logue
What if you could sleep like the animals do? What if you could curl up like a cinnamon roll inside your shell like a snail? Or nestle into the warmest spot in the house like a cat? Animals know how to sleep … maybe they can teach you!
by Sherri Duskey Rinker
The lilting cadence of a construction site going through its bedtime rituals will help encourage sweet motor dreams. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site will quiet your little truck lover and get him ready for bed. (Read my full review.)
Would you like to read some of my favorite bedtime picture books with your children? Click to download our list to take to your local library.
Looking for MORE books? You can find more great library lists here!
Do you have a favorite picture book about bedtime? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!