12 Bedtime books your kids will love

Bedtime books | Beanstalk Mums

Bedtime books are a wonderful part of the evening ritual for parents and kids. 

According to researchers, bedtime stories not only help strengthen parent-child bonds and get kids ready for sleep, bedtime books also help reduce stress levels, boost logic skills and accelerate language mastery. Parents can use story-time to build conversation skills, expand vocabulary and make it easier for young ones to learn harder words later on.

Having favourite bedtime books that your child associates with sleep, can be the key to a good bedtime routine, and can ultimately help your child sleep well now and for the rest of their life.

From decades-old favourites to modern classics, our list of bedtime books will help you find the right sleep time story for every mood.


1. Bedtime for Dreamer Willie by Allison Myers

This humorous book shows little ones how going to bed can be fun. It is the story of Willie, a boy who likes to play and dream, but hates the evening routine before bed. With simple rhymes, fun characters and engaging illustrations, Bedtime for Dreamer Willie holds children’s attention and guides them into dreamland.

Bedtime for Dreamer Willie | Kids books for bed | Beanstalk Mums

2. Goodnight Football by Michael Dahl

One of the best bed time stories for kids who love football, this book starts with action-packed stories and ends with gentle, soothing rhymes to get children ready for sleep. It follows a young football fan cheering on her team and sharing the excitement of the game, and then saying goodnight to her favorite sport.

Goodnight Football | Children's books for bedtime | Beanstalk Single Mums

3. Good Night World by Willa Perlman

Let your kids explore the world before bedtime in this classic book. It takes children on a journey to see different natural wonders of the world, from planets to oceans to deserts, as the sun slowly sets. The calming text is accompanied by vivid illustrations showing everything in the world going to sleep. You can even say goodnight in different languages.

Goodnight World | Stories for bed | Beanstalk Single Mums

4. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

One of the classic bedtime stories for kids, The Going to Bed Book makes every kid’s evening routine fun with silly rhymes and charming illustrations. Follow a group of animals take a bath in a tub, brush their teeth, do goofy exercises and finally go to sleep. The rhymes and repetition (‘rock and rock to sleep’) add to the effect of a boat rocking the animals to sleep.

The Going To Bed Book | Bedtime stories | Beanstalk Mums

5. Time for Bed by Mem Fox

A classic bedtime book for younger children, Time for Bed is about a little lamb preparing for bedtime. The book summarises the coziness of snuggling under the covers and going to sleep. The beautiful illustrations depict warmth, coziness and safety, whilst the soothing, repetitive text help young ones enjoy bedtime snuggles and being tucked in. Yep, it’s certainly a classic when it comes to bedtime stories.

Time For Bed | Bedtime stories | Beanstalk Single Mums


6. Where Do Diggers Sleep At Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres

One of the most adorable bedtime stories, Where Do Diggers Sleep At Night? is the perfect book for your little truck lover. Diggers and trucks can be noisy, but this book gets it right and helps little ones go to sleep effortlessly. Read about dump trucks, diggers, tractors and more, and sing a goodnight song whilst tucking in your kids.

Where do the diggers sleep at night | Sleeptime story | Beanstalk Mums

7. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

This bestselling bedtime book is another treat for truck and construction-obsessed preschoolers. The soothing text and sweet story make this a great favorite with both parents and kids. Vibrant illustrations and gentle rhymes make even the most rambunctious readers want to turn off their engines, wind down and get ready for sleep.

Good night good night construction site | Beanstalk Mums

8. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Considered one of the modern classic bedtime stories, Guess How Much I Love You shows the limitless love between a parent and a child. A simple and affectionate story, it follows a father (Big Nutbrown Hare) and his son (Little Nutbrown Hare) showing how much they love each other. Little Nutbrown asks “Guess how much I love you?,” and the book uses increasing measures and analogies to quantify love.

Guess how much I love you | Kids books for bed | Beanstalk Mums

9. Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban

Bedtime for Frances was published more than three decades ago, but it remains one of the top bedtime stories for parents and kids. The humorous and beguiling book tells the story of Frances the little badger and her adventures, and how she keeps delaying sleep time with many requests and concerns like things that go bump in the night.

Bedtime for Frances | Children's nighttime stories | Beanstalk Mums


10. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Llamas and bedtime drama are combined in this classic sleep time book that is sure to delight young readers. The fun, simple rhymes and charming illustrations will have preschoolers laughing at the all-too familiar scene of an evening routine that does not go as well as planned. Mama Llama saves the day and comforts Baby Llama so he can finally to go to sleep.

Llama llama red pajama | Bedtime story books | Beanstalk Mums

11. Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea

Kids face many challenges, and bedtime is one of the toughest. This action-packed book follows an unstoppable little dinosaur and his loud shenanigans during bedtime—dueling with spaghetti, grownups and other targets—before finally drifting off to sleep. The simple story and dino roaring will have kids asking for this book to be read over and over.

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime | Nighttime stories | Beanstalk Single Mums

12. The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood

Quiet moments and the comforting bedtime routine are captured in this charming and gentle book. Different scenes and types of quiet (best friends don’t need to talk quiet, car ride in the snow quiet, etc.) are depicted by sweet illustrations and simple text that emphasise togetherness and the ‘peaceful steps to bedtime.’

The Quiet Book | Bedtime stories | Beanstalk Mums


Bedtime reading is an excellent way to spend quality time with your child while fostering a love for reading and learning. Here are some tips to make bedtime reading enjoyable for your child:

  • Choose age-appropriate books: Select books that are appropriate for your child’s age and interests. Younger children may enjoy picture books with simple stories, while older children may prefer chapter books with more complex plots.
  • Make it a routine: Establish a regular bedtime reading routine, so your child knows what to expect. This can help them relax and wind down before bed.
  • Read with expression: Use different voices and intonations when reading to bring the story to life. This can help your child become more engaged and interested in the story.
  • Encourage participation: Ask your child questions about the story, characters, and illustrations to encourage participation and critical thinking.
  • Create a cozy atmosphere: Create a cozy and comfortable environment for bedtime reading, with soft lighting and comfortable seating. This can help your child feel relaxed and ready for sleep.
  • Let your child choose the book: Let your child choose the book they want to read, as this can increase their interest and engagement in the story.
  • Use props: Use props such as puppets or stuffed animals to act out the story or bring the characters to life.
  • Make it interactive: Make the reading experience interactive by encouraging your child to point out objects in the illustrations or predict what will happen next in the story.

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Sally Love

About the author

Sally Love is a pseudo single mum author who has been writing about single motherhood, separation and divorce for 8+ years. She has been a single mother for 10+ years and has two daughters, one of whom she co-parents and the other she solo parents. Sally has experienced all aspects of single motherhood from legal, financial, parenting, dating, travel as a single parent, re-partnering and re-building a career. She is an integral part of the Beanstalk community chatting and helping single mothers across the globe, as well as sharing her expertise, experiences and genuine reviews with major national newspapers and appearing on nation-wide television shows.

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