Books and Reading

30 Enjoyable Bedtime Stories for Kids

Wish your little one goodnight with these amazing bedtime stories.

In this article you will find affiliate links to 30 bedtime stories that will help you wish your little one goodnight. The stories on this list are bedtime themed and perfect goodnight tails for young children. They are also great reads before naptime in preschools. This article starts off with a few common questions about nighttime routines and bedtime stories. Scroll down to see the full list of 30 enjoyable bedtime stories for kids.

Should a bedtime story be short or long?

Sometimes we just want our little ones to fall asleep so that we can get a break. Quick bedtime stories are great for kids who fall asleep quickly or aren’t old enough to follow a longer read-aloud. If your child falls asleep after one short bedtime story or a few long stories, this list contains both short and long bedtime stories to read.

The Unabashed Kids’ suggestion is to allow your child to enjoy the night’s read, don’t rush. Make bedtime an enjoyable family bonding moment.

A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.

Abraham Lincoln
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Why is it important to read bedtime stories?

The time you spend with your little one reading during the day and at night has a lasting impact on their life. These will be moments they remember when they are older and no longer need you to tuck them in at night. The quality time spent right before bed with a young child comforts them, allowing them to unwind at night and fall asleep. Creating a bedtime routine that includes story books for kids will help strengthen family relationships. Most importantly reading at bedtime will foster a lifelong love of books. Reading bedtime stories is an important bonding activity between children and their families.

To book your next dream, read before bed.

Nanette L. Avery

What makes a good bedtime story?

A good bedtime story is one that is written well, illustrated well, and entertaining to the child.

Bedtime stories do not have to take place at night. They do not have to be books that focus on a parent trying to get a little one to sleep. However, this list contains books that are true to the definition of “bedtime” themed stories. The authors who wrote these books intended for them to be read when wishing a child goodnight. Any engaging or relaxing story before bed will do. If you are looking for a few special bedtime-themed books to add to your bookshelf, this list is perfect.

Below you will find a list of some of the best bedtime stories for children. We did not just limit this list to classic bedtime stories, some really fun and unique books are included. We highlight 5 of our favorites. Continue reading to find out why unabashed kids love these 5 bedtime stories. Enjoy!

Book cover of goodnight moon
Goodnight Moon by Margrett Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
Corduroy by Don Freeman
Corduroy by Don Freeman
Book cover: Love you forever
Love you Forever by Robert Munsch
If Animals Kissed Goodnight by Ann Whitford Paul
If Animals Kissed Goodnight by Ann Whitford Paul
Bedtime for Batman by Micheal Dahl
Bedtime for Batman by Micheal Dahl
Don't Let the Penguin Stay Up Late by Mo Williams
Don’t Let the Penguin Stay Up Late by Mo Williams

Favorite Bedtime Story # 1: Corduroy by Don Freeman. Corduroy is a classic children’s storybook. It teaches lessons in hope and friendship. The reader gets to follow Corduroy (a stuffed teddy bear who wears corduroy overalls) through an emotional adventure inside a department store. Corduroy notices the other toys being taken home by customers; he begins to believe that his missing button is the reason no one has taken him off the shelf. However, he stays hopeful that he will be purchased from the department store by a new friend. Corduroy searches the large department store for his missing button. The book ends with Corduroy being purchased by a girl named Lisa. Lisa brings Corduroy home and she already has a small bed made for her new friend, Corduroy.

“I didn’t know that  I had lost a button”, he said to himself. “Tonight I’ll go and see if I can find it”

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Llama llama red pajama by Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Dr. Seuss' Sleep Book
Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book
It's Time to Sleep my Love by Nancy Tillman
It’s Time to Sleep My Love by Nancy Tillman
Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Just Go to Bed, by Mercer Mayer
Just Go to Bed, by Mercer Mayer
Sleep My Bunny by Rosemary Wells
Sleep My Bunny by Rosemary Wells

Favorite Bedtime Story # 2: “Just Go to Bed” by Mercer Mayer. Another hilarious adventure with Little Critter. Whether or not your child is already familiar with Critter books, they will most definitely enjoy this bedtime story. In this story, Little Critter is not looking forward to bedtime. As he plays make-believe, Dad continuously reminds him of his nighttime routine. It is time for Little Critter to go to bed. Time to take a bath! Time to have a snack! Put on your pajamas and go to bed. After all of his make-believe play, Critter finally realizes he is tired, and he just goes to bed. Whatever order your child’s nighttime routine follows this story will make a great addition.

“It’s time for the cowboy to come inside and get ready for bed.”

Just Go to Bed by Mercer Mayer

Night, Night Jungle by Amy Parker
Night, Night Jungle by Amy Parker
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Good night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann book cover
Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
Close your eyes by Lori Haskins Houran and Sydney Hanson
Close Your Eyes by Lori Haskins Houran and Sydney Hanson
What color is night? by Grant Snider
What Color is Night? by Grant Snider
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Favorite Bedtime Story # 3: “How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. This one is for all of our dinosaur lovers. Questions about what a dinosaur does when papa and mama come in to say goodnight, help teach children about controlling cranky behaviors at night. All the questions posed in this book are relatable to things young children do when they don’t want to go to bed. Little ones can learn from the dinosaurs how to properly say goodnight.

Does he mope, does he moan, does he sulk, does he sigh?

How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
The Night is Yours by Abdul-Razak Zachariah and Keturah A. Bobo
The Night is Yours by Abdul-Razak Zachariah and Keturah A. Bobo 
Tell Me Something Happy Before I go to Sleep by Joyce Dunbar
Tell Me Something Happy Before I go to Sleep by Joyce Dunbar
Tomorrow I Will Be Brave! by Jessica Hische
Tomorrow I Will Be Brave! by Jessica Hische
Have you seen my Blankie? by Lucy Rowland and Paula Metcalf
Have you seen my Blankie? by Lucy Rowland and Paula Metcalf
The Berenstain Bears in the Dark by Stan and Jan Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears in the Dark by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Favorite Bedtime Story # 4: “Tomorrow I Will Be Brave!” by Jessica Hische. The day is over. What will your child be tomorrow? Will he/she be brave, curious, smart, or strong? Maybe they will be all of these things tomorrow, but tonight we must sleep. This story is great for teaching self reflection. Maybe today wasn’t the best day, but we always have tomorrow to try again.

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But tonight I am very sleepy. So now it’s time to rest. Tomorrow I’ll be all these things or at the very least I will try my best.

Tomorrow I Will Be Brave! by Jessica

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction site! 
by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction site!
by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
Max and the Tag Along Moon by Floyd Cooper
Max and the Tag Along Moon by Floyd Cooper
Max's Bedtime by Rosemary Wells
Max’s Bedtime by Rosemary Wells
Max and Ruby's Bedtime Book by Rosemary Wells
Max and Ruby’s Bedtime Book by Rosemary Wells
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
My Daddy Snores by Nancy Rothstein and Stephen Gilpin 
My Daddy Snores by Nancy Rothstein and Stephen Gilpin 

Favorite Bedtime Story #5: “Max and the Tag Along Moon” by Floyd Cooper. This books is great for grandparents who tuck their grandchildren in at night. The story and illustrations give a quiet warm look at a bond between a grandfather and grandson. Max leaves his grandfather’s home at night and the moon tags along for the ride. This gentle story reassures children that those who love them will always be their.

Around a tree, past a field of sleeping cows, the moon stayed quietly with Max.

Max and the Tag Along Moon by Floyd Cooper

Take a look at our Ultimate List of Books about Dad. All about Dad Children’s Book list.

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