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Bedtime Picture Books

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.

Download my free library list to take with you on your next visit to the library.

Bedtime for Frances book cover

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.

Cant You Sleep, Little Bear? book cover

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 book cover

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.

Goodnight Already! book cover

Goodnight Already!
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?

Interrupting Chicken book cover

Interrupting Chicken
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.

Lights Out book cover

Lights Out
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.)

Good Night, Little Bear book cover

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.

Hush! A Thai Lullaby book cover

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.

I Need My Monster book cover

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.

Kiss Good Night book cover

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?

Little Hoot book cover

Little Hoot
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.

Mitchell's License book cover

Mitchell’s License
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.

Owl Babies book cover

Owl Babies
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!

Sleep Like a Tiger book cover

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!

Steam Train, Dream Train book cover

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!

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site book cover

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
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.)

FREE Bedtime Picture Books Library List

Bedtime Picture Books Library List download

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!

Bedtime Picture Books Recommended by Our Readers

  • James Herriot’s Treasury for Children by James Herriot (Recommended by Melanie D. via Facebook)
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (Recommended by Helen G. via Facebook)
  • The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems (Recommended by Kirsten S. via Facebook)
  • Bedtime, Everybody! by Mordicai Gerstein (Recommended by Kelly M. via Facebook)
  • Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley (Recommended by Kelly M. via Facebook)
  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (Recommended by Kelly M. via Facebook)
  • Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner (Recommended by Amy S. via Facebook)
  • Animally by Lynn Parrish Sutton (Recommended by Kerri S. via Facebook)
  • Dr. De Soto by William Steig (Recommended by Eva G. via Facebook)
  • I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (Recommended by TamiJoy S. via Facebook)
  • Prayer for a Child by Rachel Field (Recommended by Christy B. via blog comment)
  • Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle (Recommended by Heidi J. via blog comment)
  • Cowboy Small by Lois Lenski (Recommended by Heidi J. via blog comment)
  • The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton (Recommended by Kim F. via blog comment)

FREE Picture Book LIbrary Lists

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Leave a Comment

Rachel

says:

Thank you for This list! My boys have enjoyed these books.

Olivia

says:

Reading to my children at bedtime is a practice I know I’ll always remember fondly! When I’m tired but read anyway, I always feel glad that I did; and my kids enjoy it, even if the story is punctuated by yawns. It’s a pleasant feeling to end the day for the whole family in this positive way!

Jaime Towner

says:

Thanks…always looking for new ideas.

Mel

says:

Learned about your products at a convention earlier this year and just began visiting the blog. Eager to look around! Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Let us know if you have any questions, Mel!

Karen

says:

We also love
You can do it Sam by Amy Hest,
Bear feels Scared by Karma Wilson,
Delicious and Pumpkin soup and Delicious! by Helen Cooper,
A Gold Star for Zog and the Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thanks for the recommendations, Karen!

Corinne

says:

Thank you for sharing your favorites with us. Many of those were mine, too, when my boys were little. Now I get to read to grandchildren!

Meagan Snide

says:

Thanks for this list! I can’t wait to take it with us to the library soon!

Audrey

says:

Thanks for the wonderful book list. It’s always exciting finding new great books for my kiddos. It inspires the adventurers in them.

Kathleen

says:

Thank you for the list of books to read. It’s great to have a list to take with me to the library next time we go.

Jazmin

says:

Thank you for the reading list. I’m always on the lookout for good bedtime stories.

Magela Gonzalez

says:

Thank you for this great list of books!

Gail S

says:

What a great list of books!

Shannon

says:

These are some of our family favorites!

Cynthia Mercado

says:

I love these bedtime books for my grandchildren.

Sam P

says:

It’s always great to get new ideas on bedtime books to help keep things new.

Anne Turner

says:

I read a lot with my older 2, but my last 3 came so close that I haven’t gotten into the routine. I need to pick up on it. Thank you for a great starting list 😁

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Anne,
Bedtime reading never worked well for me with my 5 kids, so I simply incorporated reading aloud to them in some other part of the day. I started naptime reading in the afternoon instead, and even now that my baby is 9 years old I still read aloud in the afternoons (usually while the kids work on some sort of project, like art, GI Joe battle arrangements, or whatever they are working on this week).

Wendy Thelen

says:

I haven’t heard of a lot of these books. So excited to check some of them out. Thanks for always making such greats lists for us to use.

Lori

says:

We have a few of the books on the list but can’t wait to find the others at the library! Thanks for making this list…

Mandy T.

says:

I’ll never forget the night my then four year old daughter fell asleep as I was reading Dr. Suess’s Sleep Book. Another sweet book to read on a stormy night is Stormy Weather by Debi Gliori.

Susie Chilcote

says:

Thanks for compiling such a great list of books. I look forward to reading some the titles listed to my children.

DailyWoman (Lacey)

says:

Looks like a great selection of bedtime stories.

Kristal

says:

This is a great selection! We also love doing our devotionals together at night as well.

Jennifer V

says:

Love this post! I haven’t heard of some of these books. I will have to check them out.

ACP

says:

Little Lamb by Mem Fox is always a hit for us. My kids love any rhyming books too.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thanks for the recommendation!

Fibia

says:

Some of your recommendations are our favorites, too!

Kathryn

says:

We enjoy a book called The Biggest Bear. At then at the end of the book it shows a constellation bear and the book lights up.

Tanara

says:

These are some of our favorites!

Bobbie

says:

Great selection of stories.

Jean r

says:

Some good ideas to add to her wishlist

Courtney Boyce

says:

Such a great selection of stories. Can’t wait to dive into some of these.

April

says:

I love the public library, you can check out so many books!

Kristina P.

says:

😃

Renee Seats

says:

Thank so much for this list. Were looking for bed time stories.

Julie

says:

Its always great to have recommendations when it comes to books. Thank you so much for the book list!

Pamela Hodle

says:

Thank you! I love all the book list. :)

Judy

says:

Thank you for the book list!

Faye Yarbrough

says:

Would love to win the All About Spelling/All About Reading $100 gift. Have never tried this programbut really want to try it with my spectrum child.

Brandy

says:

My son hurries to bed for us to read a Bible story at night. Reading together is a very special time for us. His favorite stories are from All About Reading. He gets cracked up before he even reads the story because he knows it will be funny. Before All About Reading he just wanted to get books for me to read. Now he picks out stories for him to read. Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Brandy,
I can just imagine how cute his laughing before he even starts reading would be!

jeani b

says:

interrupting chicken is one of our all-time favorite bedtime stories! :D

Dorinda Turner

says:

We love reading before bed…it is our special time together. My Son really loved the Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site book too.

Eric

says:

We read a bed time story every night. I like any story book children’s treasury so we have enough stories to last awhle.

Vickie

says:

We love so many of these books!!

Alice R.

says:

Thank you for the list. We love reading before bed.

Sabrina

says:

There are SO many options for bedtime book reading….its our favourite time! Especially the cuddles!

Wendy

says:

I’m new to All about reading. I have a child struggling to read. A friend recommended this program. I’d live to try it out with a 100$ gift certificate to start!

Jenny

says:

These look like super cute bedtime books!

Bethany

says:

Bedtime for Frances is a favorite around our house!

Shawna Tiefenthaler

says:

Recently we have added “quiet reading time” to our bedtime routine…bedtime stories are always a hit but only seemed to result in lots of whining for one more; one more story, one more snuggle….. adding a half hour of time for our children to look at their own books after we have read to them has reduced the whining and made it easier for everyone to stick to lights out time!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Shawna,
This sounds like a great idea! Thanks for sharing it.

CabotMama

says:

Our four kids (now 11-5), never needed a book to address bedtime fears. We read one such book ONCE, and it created more havoc than help. Thankfully, the damage was short-lived. Bedtime reading has been a part of our bedtime ritual for eleven years now …. our eleven year old still enjoys cuddling next to one of us and listening to a read aloud he could certainly read himself but likes to hear the intonations etc. from the parents.

Frankie

says:

My daughters love You Are My I Love You.

Tavia

says:

Love these. Thank you!

Andrea

says:

Right now my kids are addicted to “Elephant and Piggie” books, they are quite hilarious!

Darlene M

says:

Thank you for the wonderful suggestions

Nicki

says:

We love Owl Babies at our house!

Stacie Ray

says:

All About Reading is a God sent to my family! Thank you for putting it in print, it has helped my son put it all together. We will use it through all the levels.
Thank you again and my The Lord Bless you and your family like you have blessed mine.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Stacie,
You are welcome. We are glad to have been a help to you and your son. I’ll be passing this thank you onto the entire AALP team!

Galina

says:

My kids love reading books before bed, thank you for the post.

Cindy

says:

Interrupting Chicken looks like a book we should check out.

Jessica

says:

Great list and there are newbies for us to look for at our library. Thanks

Sarah Hull

says:

I love this list! We have quite a few of them, but it’s always nice to add some new ones to our rotation. Also a great list for gifts too!

kelly g

says:

my kids love Bedtime for Frances. This is a great list

Angela

says:

Love so many of these. My youngest boy usually tries to pick non fiction for bedtime.

Sahla

says:

Thank you for coming together with some great reading picks!

Debrah

says:

Our favorite was Goodmight Moon, followed by The Big Red Barn.

Meghan Malicoat

says:

I love reading to my kids before bed. It is such a great way to wind them down for the night while getting to spend quality time with them. These are the things I want them to remember when they grow up.

Rachel

says:

We have been working at limiting (nearly eliminating) screen time, especially before bed. We have been replacing TV time with games and reading. This list will be so helpful as we head to the library for some more great books! Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We’re glad you found this so helpful, Rachel!

Mom of 4 Blessings!

says:

lots of fun books!

Such a great list. Thank you for sharing!

Maya

says:

Goodnight Already by Jory John & Benji Davies is such a funny book. My son also loves Owl Babies by Martin Waddell…. we can read it over and over.

Rebecca

says:

What a great list! Thank you

Hannah costa

says:

We love to read GUESS HOW MICH I LOVE YOU, it’s a great book and always calms my kiddos down!

Kaitlin Duke

says:

Great idea!

Rachel Butler

says:

Bedtime is our favorite time to read!

Whitney

says:

We love a lot of these books and will have to make a trip to the library to check out the rest! Thank you for the ideas, they are always helpful when looking for good books for my little ones.

andrea

says:

Thanks for sharing and for the encouragement!

Rebekah M

says:

I love most of these books, and so do my children there are a few we will check out.

Joy

says:

These are such great books! Thanks for sharing!

Sarah B R

says:

One we love is Pajama time by Sandra Boynton

Kim Mutter

says:

Thank you for sharing these. Ive been looking for some good bedtime books.

Tara Welch

says:

We love I love You Forever too!

jamie

says:

My daughter loves anything involving funny dogs. My son has moved on to longer books but we still read every night before bed. We are currently reading Sea of Monsters.

Carrie Phillips

says:

I love all of these books! Great list!

Lisa V.

says:

The bedtime reading list is so nice!

Christy B

says:

Our favorite bedtime books is Prayer for a Child, by Rachel Field. Thank you for the giveaway!

H F

says:

Thank you for the good list.

Melanie

says:

Owl babies is a new favorite in our house! So sweet. I can’t wait to explore some on the list that are new to us.

Heidi Johnson

says:

Little Blue Truck is my 4 year old’s favorite. We also like Cowboy Small :-)

Melissa

says:

Bedtime is usually too hectic with 5 kids to do bedtime stories but when we do, it’s Bible study.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Melissa,
My dark secret of motherhood is that I’ve never done bedtime stories. I’m just too tired and cuddling and rocking (or later kisses and hugs) is about the most I can handle. However, I made up for it with afternoon read alouds. At first it was naptime stories, then later it was just afternoon stories when they outgrew naps. I figure it was the reading that was important, not the time of day.

Deanna

says:

Thank you for the wonderful book list.

Anne Sandberg

says:

My daughter dislikes bedtime more than veggies! Thanks for sharing this info, these are now on my books to find list.

Rosanne

says:

We’ve been doing bedtime stories since my daughter was a newborn. Thanks for this helpful list!

Kristin Del Mul

says:

Thank you! I love book lists!

Kim Fielding

says:

We are big fans of Sandra Boynton and we love The Going to Bed Book.

Patty

says:

Good ideas. :)

Anne

says:

Oh Kiss Goodnight has been a bedtime favorite in our family for 8 years now!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oh, thank you for the recommendation, Anne.

Jeanne

says:

Reading bedtime stories will create wonderful memories — for you! Now that I am a grandma, I look back on those wonderful evenings of reading to my now-grown children. What a great joy those times were! Don’t miss out.

Sarah T.

says:

Oh, James Herriot was one of my favorite authors growing up!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
My mother read James Herriot children’s books to my sister and me when we were little, and I still have a stack of the beautifully illustrated books on display in my school/family room. You can’t buy the individual titles anymore, just the treasury, but I was pleased to see that the treasury retained the full sized illustrations. My children have enjoyed his wonderful animal stories as much as my sister and I did.

Michaela Fuller

says:

I love these! Thank you!!!

Tara Shaver

says:

Thank you for this wonderful list! Reading before bed is such a good habit to have.

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