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The Ultimate List of Bedtime Stories for You and Your Children

family reading bedtime stories together in bed

family reading bedtime stories together in bed

Bring the magic of bedtime stories to your child's nighttime routine. Reading a good story right before bedtime is a great way to bond with your child. Plus, it ends the day in a fun way! Not sure which book to pick? Bring this list along on your next trip to the library or bookstore. You're sure to find something here that will send your kiddos into sweet dreamland.

Classic Bedtime Stories

You probably remember these stories from your childhood. Share the magic of these old tales with your children. There's a good reason why these stories live on and on.

Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg (1997)

This illustrated version of a favorite fairy tale is by master storyteller Steven Kellogg. Enjoy the vivid illustrations and the fun magical castle in the clouds. You and your children will be chanting, "Fee-fi-fo-fum" by the end of the book!

Little Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman (1983)

The beauty and mystery of the woods shine through in the splendid illustrations that accompany this classic trip to Grandmother's house. Take joy in sharing this story with your little ones, whether it's for the first time or the twentieth.

Puss in Boots by Jerry Pinkney (2012)

An intelligent cat, an evil sorcerer, and a penniless master who is about to find out the true worth of his cat! The delightful story of Puss in Boots unfolds page after page.

Bremen Town Musicians by Brian Wildsmith (2012)

What happens when a few out-of-luck animals travel together? Adventure and surprises! This classic Brothers Grimm tale takes on a lovely look with the illustrations of Brian Wildsmith.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (first published in 1902)

A naughty bunny finds more than he bargained for in Mr. McGregor's garden! When you're finished reading The Tale of Peter Rabbit, try out the other Beatrix Potter books. They are all bedtime-worthy!

Stories for Your Littlest Sleepers

Start reading to your children early! Babies and toddlers love hearing your voice as they drift off to sleep. Try one of these popular bedtime storybooks.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

This little bunny has his bedtime tradition of saying goodnight to everything around him. What will you and your child say goodnight to when you pull up the covers and turn down the lights?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

For many years, this hungry caterpillar has been eating his way into the hearts of children. Enjoy the simplicity of this classic book.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Colorful animals are the perfect eye-catchers for little ones. Your children will soon learn to say, "Again! Again!" when you finish this book.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

You can't love your kids too much, and this book shows just how big a parent's love can be. Enjoy these sweet sentiments every night, and send your child off to sleep, feeling loved very much.

Great Bedtime Stories for Girls

Read aloud one of these stories, and create some special bedtime memories for your special girl.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (1958)

The sing-song rhythm of this delightful Paris story will work its way into your bedtime routine. You and your girl will love the heroine of this classic picture book.

Olivia by Ian Falconer (2000)

Meet a spunky pig with a specific class all her own. She doesn't really like bedtime, but eventually, she does go to sleep.

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi (2003)

Unhei has a hard name for her new classmates to pronounce. She wants to help to choose a new name for herself. This quiet little book about identity and being different may inspire some sweet dreams about friendship.

Fancy Nancy and the Late, Late, LATE Night by Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser (2016)

Movie stars don't go to bed early, and Fancy Nancy loves movie stars. What price will she pay? If your little girl loves Fancy Nancy, there are plenty more! Plus, they encourage a rich vocabulary.

Great Bedtime Stories for Boys

What's going to send your little boy into dreamland? Try one of these boy-friendly reads aloud.

Freight Train by Donald Crews (2003)

Something is mesmerizing about a freight train passing by. Enjoy this exciting but straightforward book with your youngest boys.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson (1936)

Whether your listener is a run-and-jump type of boy or a sit-and-smell-the-flowers kind of boy, this story of a massive bull with a gentle attitude will be sure to enchant him.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz (1972)

Everyone has bad days, and Alexander is no exception. If you're winding down after a challenging day, you might want to giggle over this book, and possibly dream about going to Australia.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1964)

Let your imagination go wild as Max's bedroom turns into a wild place full of wild things. Generations of boys (and girls) have enjoyed this fun story.

Chapter Books to Read Aloud

Sit in the chair beside your child's bed, and read a chapter of one of these beautiful books every night. Soon you and your child will be looking forward to bedtime!

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne and Ernest H. Shepard (1926)

The original Pooh stories are whimsical and entertaining. Practice reading with a different voice for the different characters!

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary (1965)

An old hotel, a little toy motorcycle, a boy. What happens when you add a mouse into the mix? You get a fun adventure story! Enjoy the antics of Ralph the mouse, chapter by chapter.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White and Garth Williams (1952)

Can a little pig named Wilbur and a barn spider named Charlotte have a good friendship? The answer is yes! Find out when happens in this heartwarming barnyard tale.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (1960)

For the older child who still likes to be read aloud to, this layered and beautiful novel tells a tale of survival on an island off the coast of California. Enjoy the quiet courage of Karana and experience her strength as the story unfolds.

New Books Worth Reading

While many of our book choices come from ages past, we acknowledge that new and exciting bedtime material is getting published all the time! Check out some of these newcomers into the children's literature world.

There Are No Bears in This Bakery by Julia Sarcone-Roach (2019)

Muffin has a problem. She has let a hungry bear into her bakery. What is she going to do about it? A funny story for multiple readings.

The Happy Book by Andy Rash (2019)

Need to address some feelings with your youngster? Do it the fun way with this silly, yet thoughtful book.

Little Taco Truck by Tanya Valentine and Jorge Martin (2019)

The bright illustrations will pop out at you as you read this cute book about a little truck with no place to park.

Fly Guy and the Alienzz by Tedd Arnold (2018)

Fly Guy books are lots of fun to read aloud, and this eighteenth book in the series is no exception. Read about Buzz's superhero movie and how his heroes outsmart some aliens.

Brave Clara Barton by Frank Murphy and Sarah Green (2018)

Learn about a real heroine who began as a shy, awkward girl. Clara Barton became the Angel of the Battlefield when she helped wounded soldiers in the Civil War.

We hope you love this list of bedtime books! Sharing a story before going to sleep is such a fitting way to end a day. If you are looking for beds or bedding to go with your favorite stories, please contact us. Nest Bedding will keep you covered and comfortable all night long!