39 Must-Read Bedtime Stories For Children
Here’s our list of favorite classic bedtime stories to read for most ages. Reading a bedtime story is one of the best ways to spend quality time and bond with your children, help them wind down, and for me personally it’s a fun way to educate at the same time for language skills and social behavior.
A little kitten named Skippyjon Jones is ready to take on the world in this very fun book. He has all sorts of amazing adventures as he battles the bad guys with his sword. This book is so popular that it sparked a series of other books you can read at bedtime, too.
A colorful cast of animals is all getting ready to put their pajamas on in this fun book that’s a great choice for you to read right before bed. There are also lots of colorful illustrations.
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
Dr. Seuss has written so many great books, and this one is a lot of fun to read before bed. With a colorful cast of characters and rhyming words, it is a lot of fun to read right before you head to sleep.
This very sweet book is about a little nut brown hare and a big nut brown hare trying to one-up each other by showing how much they love each other. The really softly colored pictures and gentle tone are a good choice to read right before bedtime.
A little caterpillar eats his way through this fun book, eating new things every day of the week. The colorful illustrations and fun story make it a wonderful book you can read right before going to bed.
This fun picture book is about a man who sells hats or caps, but the monkeys keep stealing them and taking them up into the trees. Flip through each page to see how the man manages to get his caps back from those pesky monkeys.
This very popular story is about a boy named Max who discovers a whole new world created right in his bedroom. Soon, he becomes friends with some magical creatures as he learns all about what it’s like to be a “wild thing.”
This book is about a small bunny rabbit who is getting ready for bed and talks to the moon outside his window and other animals and friends nearby. The words rhyme and when your parents read them, the sounds can help soothe you to sleep.
A very special rabbit made of velvet is a little boy’s favorite toy. This story talks about the world as seen through the rabbit’s eyes and what it is like to be loved so much that even toys can become real.
Another beautifully illustrated picture book, this story tells the tale of a man who leaves his family to head out and seek a better life for them. As he travels, he meets all kinds of whimsical creatures and people along the way, exploring the world around him to discover that everyone has their own struggles but yet still helps one another.
This bedtime story is about a little elephant named Babar who loses his mother. But Babar must carry on, and soon he becomes the king of all elephants.
A tree slowly grows, and as it gets bigger, so does the little boy who comes to visit it. As the boy ages, the tree continues to give more and more to the boy and in its own way, the special tree provides an everlasting promise of love.
This is the story of a traveling bear named Paddington who is soon adopted by a family who finds him alone at the train station with his suitcase. You can follow Paddington and all of his fun adventures when you read this first book as well as several others in the series.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Read about a boy named Alexander who has a lot of very bad things happen to him one day, and he wants to move away to Australia. This is a funny bedtime story that will make you laugh and remind you that things aren’t so bad after all.
This is a classic children’s book about an adventurous rabbit named Peter who gets lost in the garden but eventually finds his way back home. He finds lots of mischief along the way, making it a fun book to read before bedtime.
Follow the adventures of a little boy named Harold and his magical purple crayon that helps him draw all kinds of things from the landscape around him to bridges and more. The illustrations are a lot of fun to look at, too.
Your parents will enjoy reading you this very sweet book about the love between parent and child. There are a lot of funny illustrations to keep you laughing, too.
This story is about a very special bear named Corduroy. He once lived inside of a department store until a little girl comes to save him and becomes his best friend.
Sweet schoolgirl, Madeline, lives in France and she is a very brave little girl who is not afraid of anything. This book tells her story, and there are lots of other Madeline books you can read before bed in the series, too.
Follow the adventures of the lovable bear named Winnie-the-Pooh and his fun friends including Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet, just to name a few. There are lots of fun books to read about Pooh, so you will have plenty of different stories to enjoy about all of their adventures.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
You will love reading this fun book about weather falling from the sky that’s nothing but food like hamburgers, meatballs, and much more. The illustrations are also a lot of fun to look at and make it a wonderful bedtime book.
Learn about life on the farm with this fun book featuring the animals that live in the big red barn and all around the farm. The colorful illustrations and rhyming text make it a great choice before you head off to sleep.
Beautifully illustrated, this book explores many different animals and what they do as they prepare to go to bed. It is a wonderful book to help you feel sleepy, and the soft colors are also very calming.
This book tells the story of a little kitten who wanders about under the full moon. She thinks it is a big bowl of milk and has a lot of adventures trying to get to that delicious bowl up in the sky.
A little badger named Frances does not want to go to bed, but his mother tries very hard to put him to sleep. This sweet book has colorful illustrations and tells a fun story about Frances, his adventures, and how he finally drifts off to a peaceful slumber.
If you sometimes have bad dreams, this book can help you feel much better. It tells the story of a little girl who has a big imagination, and her sister helps her overcome scary things together.
Otto the dog does not want to go to bed. If you have ever felt that way, read this fun bedtime story to find out what Otto does to get ready to go to sleep.
This book is mostly pictures, but they are a lot of fun to look at as you follow the adventurous gorilla at night when it is bedtime for all the animals at the zoo.
A little boy named Harry and his stuff friend, Horsie, have a lot of adventures each night before they head to bed. You can follow Harry and Horsie’s adventures by reading this fun bedtime story.
The big brown bear is sleeping in his cave when all of the other animals are awake. Read this book to find out what will happen when Bear finally wakes up from hibernation.
This book has very wonderful illustrations and follows a child as he explores the house during the night. It’s a good book to help you calm your fears if you are scared of the dark.
This short story talks about a fairy princess who sleeps on a big stack of mattresses, but soon discovers she cannot sleep due to a small pea wedged between them. This is how the prince knows she’s a real princess thanks to her sensitivity to something as small as a pea.
A classic story about a boy named James who gets whisked away inside of a giant peach and meets lots of whimsical characters along the way. The illustrated version has lots of fun pictures that go along with the story as you read.
If you like fairy tales, this one is an exciting story about a little girl who gets lost in the woods after looking to meet her grandmother. A wolf disguises himself to make the little girl think he’s her grandmother and all kinds of havoc ensue.
This short story tells the tale of a small little duckling who everyone thought was ugly but soon transforms into a beautiful swan.
A classic tale about a princess who meets an ugly frog and her father the King tells her he is a real prince. She does not want to believe the frog is really a prince, but you’ll have to read on to find out what happens.
This is a story of a small chicken who believes that the sky is falling although no one else will listen to him. It teaches you about the importance of having courage even when you are alone.
If you’re scared of monsters, especially before bedtime, read this fun book about some kids who are looking for monsters of their own but never seem to find them, but have a great time as they look for them together.
A teeny, tiny girl called Thumbelina lives in a world where the littlest things are giant-sized. This fun story tells the tale of her adventures and courage as she makes her way through the world.
This unique book is really a three-dimensional illustrated box that tells three different tales that seem to intertwine together. Keep it by your bedside for a fun way to drift off to another world without reading words.
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