Bedtime – that sacred part of the night where you can simultaneously squeeze the last bit of love into your children and taste the freedom that those next four hours bring. Sometimes attempting to lull my two squirmy, riled up toddlers (ages 3 and 1.5) into a drowsy state can be tricky. We have found that having a good rotating collection of bedtime books keeps them interested, along with the occasional use of silly voices (mostly done by Daddy) and song. Here is our go-to list of bedtime books we love:
A Night Night Prayer by Amy Parker and Marijan Ramljak – In one of our bedtime favorites, given to us by our best friends at the birth of our second child to ensure we wouldn’t neglect a good night time routine with our first, a child goes through and wishes everyone goodnight. My husband actually started singing this book, and it’s stuck. The kids love it and now sing along too!
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram – A great book to emphasize the never-ending love a parent has for his or her child. I also like to read this one when the kids are particularly squirmy because it’s not too long.
All the Awake Animals are Almost Asleep by Crescent Dragonwagon and David McPhail – We ran across this gem when our daughter picked it out on her 2-year-old birthday trip to Barnes and Noble. I love that it goes over the alphabet and its alliteration warms this English-loving girl’s heart! “Goose and gander say, ‘goodnight darling goslings!’ And they all go to sleep in the garden.” Love it.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd – A classic of course. I still like to mix this one in the rotation. And the best part is, I know it by heart – so the baby can look through it while I keep reading!
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans – Also a classic, the story of the 12 little girls in two straight lines and the smallest one – Madeline. I love the sing-songy rhymes of the story, which can be very soothing before bed. Bonus points if you can read it using a French accent!
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina – This was a favorite of mine growing up. It’s short and sweet, and it helps with color recognition as a cap salesman gets swindled by monkeys.
Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Slide and Find Edition) by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle – This interactive book never seems to get old. The kids love to slide the panels and guess which colored animal comes next. It is also teaching my toddler the names of animals.
Corduroy by Don Freeman – Honestly, what is not to love about this classic story? A bear finds his friend, who loves him just the way he is. It was also one of my favorites growing up so I’m happy to pass along the love to my kids.
Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino and Steven Kellogg – A good friend gave this to my daughter when she was born. It’s a short, sing-songy rhymer about different animals and their characteristics, all while a llama asks his friends if their mamas are like his.
The Hat by Jan Brett – My kindergarten teaching sister-in-law swears by Jan Brett books and picked out this one to add to our collection. This colorful book is a fun story about a hedgehog who causes a little trouble with some clothes left out to dry and encounters other animals along his way.