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Tom Mason

Professional Children's Books Expert

Best Bedtime Stories for Kids & Bedtime Fairy Tales

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Who doesn’t love a good story at bedtime?

Dinner’s over, and she’s out of the tub and in her pajamas. She’s ready for the last big event of the day: a bedtime story. But which one? Every kid loves a good story at bedtime, and it’s great to find one that they’ll enjoy hearing and reading and seeing over and over again. Here are the best to keep next to the bed!

Choose the best bedtime stories for kids with the help of our experts. Made for pajama time, these best bedtime fairy tales tell a great story and provide engaging artwork that will keep everyone wanting to read on.

Best Bedtime Stories by Tom Mason

The Best You Can Get

  • Goodnight Moon

    Tom says: Yes, it’s the king and queen of all bedtime stories and many generations know it by heart. “Goodnight Moon” is a gentle and comfortable 60+-year-old friend. A sleepy little bunny notices all the things in his bedroom, and one-by-one says “goodnight” to each one. A very relaxing book and one that can give your child a routine as she gets tucked into bed in her own crowded room.

    • by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
    • Ages 2-4
    • Over 4 million copies sold
    • First published in 1947
  • Yes

    Tom says: Bobo the Chimpanzee (the star of Alborough’s “Hug”) is back! He loves bath time because it’s a lot like playing in a pond in the jungle where he lives. But when the bath is over and his Mom says it’s time for bed, Bobo’s “Yes!” becomes a stubborn “No!” It’s a situation that any parent can identify with. Fortunately, Bobo’s Mom has two things going for her: a baby elephant and a lizard who splash in the pond with Bobo until he’s finally worn out. Jez Alborough’s cartoony illustrations are well-suited to his playful bedtime tale – nobody draws monkeys better than he does.

    • by Jez Alborough
    • Ages 2-4
    • Monkeys!
    • Published in 2006
  • Tom Rabbit

    Tom says: Tom Rabbit is a stuffed bunny who’s left outside all day by accident, certain that his owner Sammy will not forget him. While he waits, Tom gets to see the moon for the first time and meets a bunch of real rabbits. But when Sammy realizes what he’s done, Tom Rabbit is quickly back where he belongs and just in time for bed. Firth’s art is adept at giving personality and expression to Tom Rabbit, who does become somewhat worried as day turns to night. Martin Waddell’s gentle story is a perfect tale of loss and rescue.

    • by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth
    • Ages 3-8
    • Rabbits!
    • Published in 2001
  • Roar of a Snore

    Tom says: Everyone in the Huffle household is fast asleep except for young Jack. That’s because someone is snoring so loudly that he’s not going to get any sleep until he founds out who it is and puts a stop to it. One-by-one he wakes everyone in the house and they all join him in his quest. What they find at the end is a pleasant surprise! Marsha Diane Arnold’s jaunty rhymes have a fun rhythm and Pierre Pratt’s acrylic art is stylishly funny and very effective for a book set in a dark house lit only by Jack’s lantern.

    • by Marsha Diane Arnold and Pierre Pratt
    • Ages 4-8
    • Starred review: School Library Journal
    • Published in 2006
  • Sleeping Babies

    Tom says: Baby Katie doesn’t want to fall asleep so her Mommy tells her all about little babies all over the world. From bears, to bees, to mouse pirates and frogs, baby animals are all sleeping snug in their beds. This is a quiet, gentle book that’s perfect for bedtime reading and for letting children know that everyone sleeps, even in the animal kingdom. Award-winning editorial cartoonist Tony Auth packs a lot of detail into his drawings with different environments for each animal family. The muted colors add to the relaxing atmosphere.

    • by Tony Auth
    • Ages 2-4
    • Published in 1990
    • Pulitzer Prize-winning Author/Illustrator

You will be happy with any of these

  • Cowboy Dreams: Sleep Tight, Little Buckaroo

    Tom says: Giddy-up and git to bed! As a young cowboy drifts off to sleep, he dreams of a night out in the chaparral, around the campfire with his saddle pals. They sing songs, enjoy the sounds of the night, and watch the stars. A charming western tale with a unique setting. Kathi Appelt’s easy-going rhymes are perfect for bedtime and Barry Root’s paintings have a pleasant dreamlike quality. Yip yip yaroo!

    • by Kathi Appelt and Barry Root
    • Ages 4-7
    • Cowboys!
    • Published in 1999
  • Shhhhh! Everybody's Sleeping

    Tom says: Did you ever wonder what a Postman’s bedroom might look like? Or a Baker’s? Or even a Zookeeper’s? In this delightful book, it’s revealed that they each sleep in bedrooms that suit their occupation, rendered in humorous detail by artist David Parkins. Julie Markes’s quiet rhymes will help anyone’s “sweet little one.”

    • by Julie Markes and David Parkins
    • Ages 3-6
    • Published in 2005
  • The Sleep Ponies

    Tom says: Sleep Ponies will come for you when you’re asleep and take you off on a dreamlike adventure. In this unique book, a little girl is taught by her grandmother to call the Ponies when she lays still and silent in bed with her eyes closed. First-time author Ongman’s prose is soft and poetic and her artwork has a gentle, dreamy quality. This is a must-have book for anyone who either loves horses or has them.

    • by Gudrun Ongman
    • Ages 4-6
    • Horses!
    • A Reading Connection “Read Aloud” Favorite
    • Published in 2000
  • Goodnight Baxter

    Tom says: Charlie has a new puppy that’s everything a boy could ask for in a dog. There’s just one thing wrong – the dog doesn’t want to go to sleep. Charlie tries everything he can think of – a blanket, a teddy bear, even a pacifier – and still Baxter won’t sleep. It’s only when Charlie realizes what Baxter really wants that both dog and boy can sleep peacefully. Simple bright colors fill in the bold line drawings and carry the story through to the happy, heartwarming ending.

    • by Nicola Edwards
    • Ages 4-8
    • Dogs!
    • Published in 2002
  • Little Bunny's Sleepless Night

    Tom says: Little Bunny decides he can’t sleep because he needs “the company of a good friend.” Unfortunately, each of his friends – squirrel, skunk, porcupine, bear and owl – has humorous idiosyncrasies that prevent Little Bunny from getting a good night’s sleep. Carol Roth’s whimsical story has a lot of charm. Valeri Gorbachev’s enchanting pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork is detailed and expressive as Little Bunny humorously experiences acorn-crunching, loose quills, bear-snoring, skunk smell, and bright lights.

    • by Carol Roth and Valeri Gorbachev
    • Ages 4-7
    • Rabbits!
    • Published in 1999

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With the best bedtime stories for kids, your kids will love going to sleep ... promise! The best bedtime fair tales engage your kids and even teach them an important moral or two with a great story and beautiful artwork. Always the best price, our nursery rhymes for kids recommendations are sure to please.