10 Best Bedtime Stories for Kids & Toddlers to Put Them to Sleep

What are the Benefits of Reading to Your Child?

Reading a bedtime story to your child not only helps them fall asleep quicker, but the repetitive nature of reading also helps children learn how to sound out words and get attached to the idea of reading early on.

Importance of Bedtime Stories to Your Toddler's Development

Bedtime stories are an important part of a child’s development. Daily reading of stories will impart a sense of security and stability to the child. Consistent reading of stories will not only nurture the bond between the parent and the child but will also help in language-acquisition and the developmental process. 

Reading daily to your child helps develop their vocabulary and their creativity.Reading remains one of the most important things parents can do to help them succeed in the future!

10 Best Bedtime Stories for Kids & Toddlers to Put Them To Sleep

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

From the acclaimed author-artist Maurice Sendak this Caldecott Honor-winning tale is about a fantastical dream world. It will delight readers of all ages with playful illustrations and an imaginative world only Maurice Sendak could create.

In the Night Kitchen is the classic story of Mickey's adventures in the bakers’ kitchen as they prepare our morning cake. "Milk in the batter! Milk in the batter! We bake cake and nothing’s the matter!" the bakers sing.

The bakers in the night kitchen need more milk for their batter, but then Mickey falls into the cake! They decide to put him in the oven anyway, but Mickey has different plans. He escapes in a plane made of bread dough and helps the bakers find the milk at last.

Good night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann (Author, Illustrator)

"Good night, Gorilla" says the zookeeper. But mischievous Gorilla isn't quite ready to go to sleep. He'd rather follow the zookeeper on his rounds and let all of the other animals out of their cages. Little night owls can sneak along with Gorilla and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous goodnight romp. Practically wordless yet full of expressive art and hilarious, adorable detail, this book from Caldecott Medal winning author Peggy Rathmann is sure to become a beloved part of children's own bedtime rituals.

Good Night Gorilla - Bedtime story
Time for Bed - Bedtime Story

Time for Bed by Mer Fox

Filling each spread, Dyer's (illustrator of the Piggins books and of Baby Bear's Bedtime Book ) commanding yet gentle, large-scale watercolors are the key to the appeal of this bedtime lullaby. Fox ( Possum Magic ; Guess What? ) offers sweet but slim verse that bids good night to a selection of animals being cuddled and coddled by their mothers, all endearingly rendered at eye-level. The rhymed couplets have a pleasantly lilting rhythm, if an occasionally trite rhyme scheme: "It's time for bed, little sheep, little sheep, / The whole wide world is going to sleep." After viewing the various animals nodding off, youngsters will take their bedtime cue from a cherubic toddler, whose blond head falls into a pillow covered with golden stars as mother offers a hug and the text concludes: "The stars on high are shining bright-- / Sweet dreams, my darling, sleep well . . . / good night!"

A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na

When the sky grows dark
and the moon glows bright,
everyone goes to sleep . . .
except for the watchful owl!

With a spare, soothing text and beautifully rich and textured illustrations of a starry night, this is the perfect “book of sleep.” Join the owl on his moonlit journey as he watches all the other animals settle in for the night: some sleep standing up, while some sleep on the move! Some sleep peacefully alone, while others sleep all together, huddled close.

A book of Sleep - Bedtime story
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker - Bedtime Story

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Filling each spread, Dyer's (illustrator of the Piggins books and of Baby Bear's Bedtime Book ) commanding yet gentle, large-scale watercolors are the key to the appeal of this bedtime lullaby. Fox ( Possum Magic ; Guess What? ) offers sweet but slim verse that bids good night to a selection of animals being cuddled and coddled by their mothers, all endearingly rendered at eye-level. The rhymed couplets have a pleasantly lilting rhythm, if an occasionally trite rhyme scheme: "It's time for bed, little sheep, little sheep, / The whole wide world is going to sleep." After viewing the various animals nodding off, youngsters will take their bedtime cue from a cherubic toddler, whose blond head falls into a pillow covered with golden stars as mother offers a hug and the text concludes: "The stars on high are shining bright-- / Sweet dreams, my darling, sleep well . . . / good night!"

10 Minutes till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann (Author)

It's almost bedtime! At 1 Hoppin Place the fun begins when a family of hamsters arrives at the door. There are only ten minutes left, and there's still so much to do! But with the help of the Hamsters' 10-Minute Bedtime Tour (guided by his own pet hamster), the little boy is able to get his toys put away, his pajamas on, his teeth brushed, and his bedtime story read-all in the nick of time. This lively introduction to bedtime rituals and the concept of counting backwards will have young readers eagerly awaiting their own countdown to bedtime.

Good Night Gorilla - Bedtime story
Thank You and Good Night - Bedtime Story

Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell

Patrick McDonnell's first bedtime book captures the magic of a sleepover with friends, and reminds us to cherish life's simplest pleasures. During a fun pajama party, three animal friends dance and play, but at last everyone is getting sleepy. Is it time for bed yet? Not before taking the time to say thank you for the day, the night, and good friends.

The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi

A mother rabbit and her young bunny are on their way home in the dark night. “My mother carries me through the quiet streets,” the bunny explains. “Most of our neighbors are already home.” The bunny can see their lights in the windows, and hear and smell what they might be doing: talking on the phone, pulling a pie out of the oven, having a party, saying goodbye. When they reach home, the father rabbit tucks the bunny into bed. But the bunny continues to wonder about the neighbors' activities. “Are the party guests saying goodnight? Is the person on the phone getting ready for bed?” And what of the footsteps that can be heard in the street as the bunny falls asleep? “Will she take the last train home?”This beautiful picture book captures the magical wonder a child feels at being outside in the night. Award-winning author and illustrator Akiko Miyakoshi's softly focused black-and-white illustrations with just a touch of neutral color have a dreamlike quality, just right for nodding off to sleep with. The book is intriguing in that it contains twice-told stories, once as they are observed and second as the bunny imagines them. This offers a perfect prompt for young children to create extensions of other stories they have read or heard. A deeper reading could encourage critical thinking by comparing the different pastimes of the neighbors or, ultimately, what it means to be home.

The Way Home in the Night Miyakoshi, Akiko - Bedtime story
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell - Bedtime Story

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

A tender tale to remind the youngest of children that Mommy always comes back.

"I want my mommy!" Three baby owls awake one night to find their mother gone, and they can’t help but wonder where she is. What is she doing? When will she be back? What scary things move all around them? Stunning illustrations from striking perspectives capture the anxious little owls as they worry. Not surprisingly, joyous flapping and dancing and bouncing greet the mother’s return, lending a celebratory tone to the ending of this comforting tale. Never has the plight of young ones who miss their mother been so simply told or so beautifully rendered.

Nature's Lullaby Fills the Night by Dee Leone

Night falls, and the world sings a lullaby in this beautifully imagined picture book. The lush illustrations and gentle, rhyming text will lull young readers to sleep.

Shh—listen. Can you hear the quiet, loving sounds of the nighttime world? From moths fluttering their powdery wings, to a nightingale’s sweet trills, to swaying willow trees softly shushing, shushing everyone to sleep, this rhythmic, rhyming lullaby will soothe and calm little ones. The tender, nature-filled bedtime scenes sweep across land, sky, and sea, with animal parents everywhere tucking in their children. A final scene featuring a mother and her baby brings the whole story back home.

Natures Lullaby Fills the Night - Bedtime story

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