Bedtime stories are a favorite tradition for so many families. Snuggling up together after a long day and sharing a soothing story is a great way to share a love of reading. This list is full of great bedtime stories for kids and families to share together, and lull them to a great night’s sleep!
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Tons of book recommendations for kids by age, topic, and more!
Favorite Bedtime Stories
Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story was written by Mariam Gates and illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder. This bedtime story takes kids through a relaxing yoga flow with simple poses and soothing text and illustrations. The text walks kids through the poses with visualizations and breathing tips. This is a great way to get some stretching in as a family, and it can help relax kids before bed.
Olive the Sheep Can’t Sleep was written by Clementina Almeida and illustrated by Ana Camila Silva. This book uses science backed techniques to help kids fall asleep. The story follows a sweet little sheep named Olive who struggles to sleep. Her mother uses lots of techniques inspired by Olive’s friends to help her fall asleep. The calming text is accompanied by tips for parents to use to help their little ones fall asleep as well. Check out how this book can become a part of your bedtime routine!
Sleepy Little Yoga: A Toddler’s Sleepy Book of Yoga was written by Rebecca Whitford and illustrated by Martina Selway. This sweet introduction to relaxing yoga poses follows Yoga Baby as she performs simple poses that mimic animals. The illustrations show Yoga Baby doing the poses along with cartoon animals making similar motions. The gentle flow of poses can help kids to wind down before it is time to go to sleep. Find more yoga books for kids here!
Just Go to Bed was written and illustrated by Mercer Mayer. This classic tale follows Little Critter as he tries to avoid bedtime. He keeps getting distracted by his imaginative play, as his father attempts to get him into bed. Kids and parents will both recognize the familiar bedtime argument and the frustration from both parties.
Goodnight Moon was written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. This classic bedtime tale is beloved by many families for it’s calming rhyming text and simple illustrations. The little bunny in the story says goodnight to all of the items around his room as he drifts off to sleep. The lulling text and illustrations have helped countless kids drift off to sleep over the years.
Trucks, Trains & Construction Vehicles
Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? was written by Brianna Caplan Sayres and illustrated by Christian Slade. This fun story considers what trucks and vehicles do to prepare for bed at night. The silly rhyming text and adorable smiling trucks in the illustrations will delight young readers, especially as they recognize the same routines that they follow.
The Goodnight Train was written by June Sobel and illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith. Hop aboard the Goodnight Train as it prepares to head to Dreamland Station! The noises in the story and the funny animal characters are sure to entertain little ones, while the soothing rhyming text and soft illustrations will lull them to sleep.
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site was written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. At the end of the workday, what do construction vehicles do? This imaginative story follows a group of vehicles at a construction site as they finish up their last tasks of the day before they say goodnight. Not only will kids love seeing the different tasks that each truck does, but the text encourages them to say goodnight to each truck as well.
Steam Train, Dream Train was written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. This rhyming story shows a variety of animals and toys gathering onto the dream train after a long day. The soothing text is complemented by darkly colored illustrations full of funny animal characters. Kids will love the silly animals and their antics.
Animals Need to Sleep Too!
If Animals Kissed Good Night was written by Ann Whitford Paul and illustrated by David Walker. This sweet book imagines how all kinds of animal families say good night to one another. The rhyming text emphasizes traits and behaviors of each animal and ties them in with bedtime snuggles and kisses. The adorable and brightly colored illustrations are full of loving animal families.
The Going-To-Bed Book was written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton. This colorful book follows a group of Boynton’s signature animal characters as they prepare for bed. Kids will recognize the same steps that they take as they prepare for bed, and will enjoy seeing the silly animals doing the same. The rhyming text and playful illustrations make this a great book for very young kids.
Bear Snores On was written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. This sweet rhyming story follows a group of animals as they gather in a sleeping bear’s den during a winter storm. When the bear wakes up, he isn’t happy to find all kinds of animals partying in his home. But not for the reason you think. This adorable story is told through flowing rhymes, and a repeated refrain, making it a fun one to read aloud together.
Llama Llama Red Pajama was written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. This beloved story follows Little Llama as he attempts to go to bed. However, as soon as his mother leaves the room, he calls her back in again. Parents and kids may recognize this scenario, and will appreciate the loving message that Mama Llama imparts to Little Llama in the end. The soothing rhyming text is accompanied by vivid illustrations that showcase the strong emotions that Llama is feeling, as well as the calmness that he feels in the end.
Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey was written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin. This beautifully illustrated tale explains that dreamers get to dreamland with the help of dream animals. The rhyming text is paired with vivid illustrations showing kids drifting off to fantastic dreams with the help of some adorable animal friends. This is a great book for offering kids some visual imagery to use while drifting off to sleep.
Books for Reluctant Sleepers
The Night Knights was written by Gideon Sterer and illustrated by Cory Godbey. This tale of brave knights is a great one for battling nighttime fears. The story introduces the reader to the Night Knights – a group of brave knights who stay up to battle anything that may be lurking in the shadows of nighttime. The dark and vivid illustrations show the knights protecting people from anything mysterious, so they can sleep peacefully, knowing that they are safe.
Sweet Dreaming was written by Julia Rawlinson and illustrated by Nicole Wong. When a young girl named Molly has trouble falling asleep, her mother comes up with calming stories to help her. However, Molly’s imagination causes each scenario to become an exciting adventure. The fun twist at the end of the story is one that parents especially will recognize and appreciate, while the illustrations will give kids lots of soothing imagery to dream about.
Don’t Blink! was written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by David Roberts. For the truly reluctant sleeper, this funny interactive book challenges the reader to avoid bedtime by not finishing the book. But every time you blink, you have to turn the page. This giggle inducing story is sure to be a hit with little ones who like a challenge, and think that they don’t need to go to bed.