Books for Bedtime
It’s never too early to instill a love of literature in the very young. Children’s books familiarize kids with early concepts of print, offer a unique literacy and linguistic experience with their playful language and rhyming text, are often a child’s first introduction to high-quality art, and most importantly, help families to create warm memories together.
Each month, we’ll bring you the sweet suggestions* for building your children’s library. This month we’re focusing on books for bedtime. Check out our finds that will help you and your family establish a routine for settling into sleep at any age.
Infant (0-6 months):
- Baby Love Set by Karen Katz – This trio of books is the perfect warm and cuddly introduction to bedtime stories for even the littlest readers. Daddy Hugs, Mommy Hugs and Counting Kisses are simple but lovely counting books that celebrate love and affection between parents and their babies.
- Goodnight My Sweet Pea by Manhattan Toy – This sweet, plush book puts animals and baby to bed. Tactile fabrics, interactive flaps, and soft, cushioned pages are an inviting introduction to story time for the very young.
- Little Friends: Sleepy Time by Roger Priddy – Another sweet, plush book, Sleepy Time takes the reader through Baby Bear’s bedtime routine. This story has a simple text and adorable illustrations that your baby is sure to fall in love with.
- Little Friends: Home Sweet Home by Roger Priddy – This delightful book about animals and their homes was a very early favorite of my daughter’s. It features sweet illustrations that are unique to the Little Friends series, flaps to lift, and animal habitats to explore.
- Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt – There is a reason that touch and feel books are so popular for very young children. Infants are just exploring their world, and though they aren’t yet reading – tactile books literally put the story in their hands. This classic interactive books is truly an exploration of the senses, with textures, sights, sounds, and smells to discover.
Baby (6-18 months):
- Good Night Yoga byMariam Gates and Sarah Jane Hinder – Yoga and meditation are a great way to settle down after a long day of play. Good Night Yoga takes children through a series of cool down poses that help young yogis to stretch out after a long day and settle in for sleep.
- The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton – Sandra Boynton’s tagline is “Serious silliness for all ages” and The Going to Bed Book is just that. This silly story follows a group of animals through their going to bed routine. The rhyming text pulls you in and the animal’s silly antics just might make your baby laugh out loud.
- Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney – The Llama Llama books are truly a favorite in our house. This little llama’s big feelings have helped us navigate emotions good and bad, and Llama Llama Red Pajama can help to tackle any fears or worries children might have around going to bed. What’s more: Anna Dewdney’s trademark lyrical text is sure to delight.
- Haiku Night by Betsy E. Snyder – This little poetry collection is fantastic. Betsy Snyder is a do-it-all kind of girl – lovely poetry, gorgeous illustrations, and I love the cultural component of this book. The poetry’s connection to nature speaks to its Japanese origins in haiku, and a Chinese character on each page is a simple way to introduce even very young children to linguistic diversity.
- Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes – This charming story about a curious kitty is sure to be a hit. Having mistaken the round, white figure in the sky for a bowl of milk, a young cat chases after the moon. Her attempts always end in trouble until she makes her way home to find a real bowl of milk waiting for her. This book speaks to the comforts of home, the perfect message to send to little ones as you settle in for the night.
Toddler (18 months – 3 years):
- Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson – We were gifted a set of Bear books for Christmas last year and they were a fast favorite. Bear Snores On has really lovely, rhyming prose, a range of vocabulary that is fun for adults and really pushes the envelope for kids, and the stories focus on friendship. This sleepy tale about a hibernating bear whose friends are just waiting for him to wake is a wonderful accompaniment to a bedtime reading routine.
- Sweet Dreams Lullaby by Betsy E. Snyder – We love Haiku Night for the baby set, and Sweet Dreams Lullaby is the perfect counterpart for toddlers. The nature-inspired poetic text and dream like illustrations will help your little one drift off into a calm sleep, and really, who could ask for more?
- Good Night Good Night Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker – Boys and girls alike will fall in love with this lyrical, rhyming text. Each of the trucks on the site has their own, distinct personality that shines through as they all settle in for the night after a long day’s work.
- Touch the Brightest Star by Christine Matheson –This bedtime story takes children on a journey from sunrise to sunset and introduces them to the magic and wonder of the nighttime sky. The reader interacts with the story using actions, thoughts, or words that influence a change with every turn of the page. This is a truly unique addition to any bedtime collection.
- I Dare You Not to Yawn by Helene Boudreau – This clever and hilarious “guide book” teaches children how to avoid bedtime with a melodrama that is sure to excite — all the while sending subliminal messages… Seriously, I dare you not to yawn while you read this funny, funny bedtime book.
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