What to Read at Bedtime?

Posted by on Jun 18, 2008 in book review | 3 comments

Reading to my kids is one of my favorite things to do. We read at the breakfast table, read before naptime and bedtime, or any old time at all.

Board books…picture books…flap books…scratch & sniff books…High Five magazine…gotta love it!

Unfortunately, there are quite a few poorly written children’s books out there. Maybe some publishers focus on quantity rather than quality or think that the kids don’t care? Also, once you get into the “early reader” books, they are so stilted that I find myself adding extra words to make them flow better. The Amelia Bedelia books are a good example of this. I loved them growing up, but the repetition and awkward phrasing gets me every time. Yes, I know these qualities make the books appropriate for kids just starting to read, so that is why I’m always on the lookout for books that meet my “read out loud” criteria, including a natural rhythm, an actual storyline, and a good balance of words vs. pictures.

So, here is the short list of my favorite bedtime stories. (I compiled it in my head while I was reading to Parker tonight.)

  • Kiss Good Night by Amy Hest
    • My favorite part of this book, which takes you through Sam’s bedtime ritual, is when Mrs. Bear bends “way down, kissing Sam once and twice and then twice more”
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
    • Such a classic book – Parker likes to “moo” whenever we get to the part where it talks about the “cow jumping over the moon”
  • I Love You When by Leslie Jonath
    • This book was actually distributed by babyGap, and when it says “I love you when we sing big songs and when you hold my hand” – I always have my kids grab my hand.
  • Just Like You by Jan Fearnley
    • At the end of this book, Little Mouse has just asked his Mama what she can do for him when she is just a little mouse, and she ends the list with “But most of all, I promise I will always love you and care for you. And I’ll do it with all my heart.” So precious.

That’s my list for now. What’s your favorite bedtime story?

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  1. What a great post, Rachel!I have three favorites, one of them being one of yours – Goodnight Moon. A great classic.My top book for bedtime is hands down, Time For Bed by Mem Fox. It’s got a great cadence and is just precious to read to little ones. Adam always has to “kiss” the page with the puppy on it – still does at almost 3 years old!Finally, I love Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk. The pictures are fantastic.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion…I’ll have to check those two books out!

  3. Well, I like Sandra Boynton pretty well – Moo Baa La La La and the Going to Bed Book…Grace also like Whistle for Willy and If You Give a Pig a PartyOf course, right now we’re in the throes of Dora and the Disney princesses, but I’m not as impressed with those! 🙂

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