35 Bedtime Stories for Kids

Bedtime Books

 

As we come to the close of this Labor Day weekend we come to the unofficial end of summer. Days get shorter, leaves start turning and we all reluctantly go back to a more scheduled and routine lifestyle. I’d like to hope that bedtime stories are a part of the routine during all seasons of the year but even my own bedtime reading routine suffers when it’s warm and light outside. So, as you’re transitioning back into those routines be sure to squeeze in a few minutes one on one with the littles in your life to talk about the good and the bad things that happened during their day and read together even if it’s just one page or poem before turning out the lights. This one habit will transform your relationship and their reading skills, I guarantee it.

And while you can absolutely read any book at all during this time, there are more than a few that are tailor made for sending the reader off to dreamland in style. Here are just a few of my favorites:

In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck

A Different Pond by Phi Bao*

Bedtime for Bear by Bonny Becker

Something Extraordinary by Ben Clanton

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas*

The Storm Whale by Benji Davies

Windows by Julia Denos*

Llama, Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

The Night Gardener by Terry Fan*

Time for Bed by Mem Fox

Hush Little Baby by Marla Frazee

Night Lights by Susan Gal

Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton

Kiss Goodnight by Amy Hest

Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho*

Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban

Forever or a Day by Sarah Jacoby*

One Minute Till Bedtime by Kenn Nesbitt*

Babushka’s Doll by Patricia Polacco*

Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site  by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson

The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

Have an older reader? Don’t underestimate the power of picture books, especially those above with an * by them which indicates a little more depth in the text and/or illustrations. Or read a few pages (or a whole chapter) from one of the favorites below. Keep this time separate from any school reading or skills practice for the child. Allow them to do the reading if they choose but bonus points if you do all the reading and just let them revel in the story. Discussion can occur if they take the lead, but again the goal is to simply enjoy the tale and the time together.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

The Miniature World of Marvin and James by Elise Broach

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

I’d love to hear about your favorite bedtime reads and any tips for making it a habit. Share them in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

50 Books for Back-to-School

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  

In addition to all the books I’ve already shared this week, I’m excited to share with you  50 more of my favorite back-to-school reads for all ages. This is by no means a comprehensive list, just some of the standouts over the last few years.  Some are dealing directly with first days of school (whether it be in a pre-school or kindergarten setting for the very first time or a new school or grade for older students) while some are focusing on the ins and outs of a classroom setting, friendships and social skills, and the unique dynamics of social hierarchies withing a school. And all are simply great books! 🙂

50 Back to School Books

Kindergarten Specific

Countdown to Kindergarten

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten Rocks

On the First Day of Kindergarten

Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten

Kindergarten Diary

Jake Starts School

First Day Jitters

The Kissing Hand

Wemberly Worried

Llama Llama Misses Mama

 

Picture Books

I Walk With Vanessa

Sumi’s First Day of School Ever

My Teacher is a Monster

The Name Jar

My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil

The Art Lesson

Thank You, Mr. Falker

Rain School

The Teacher From the Black Lagoon

Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story From Afghanistan

This Is the Way We Go To School

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade

Miss Nelson is Missing

The Invisible Boy

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To School

 

Chapter Books/Middle Grade

Lola Levine is Not Mean

Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters

Frindle

Gooney Bird Greene

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

The One and Only Stuey Lewis

Wonder

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things

Stuart Goes to School

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness

The Stars Beneath Our Feet

Real Friends

Wolf Hollow

 

Young Adult

The Hate U Give

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

Stargirl

Homeroom Diaries

Anna and the French Kiss

Drama

Speak

Extraordinary Means

Words on Bathroom Walls

Challenger Deep

The Fall

 

Have I missed any of your go-to’s? Be sure to share them in the comments below! Happy Reading!

 

Happy National Book Lover’s Day!

National Book Lovers Day

In my world, every day is book lover’s day, but I guess the rest of humanity might need a special reminder. 😉 So, if you weren’t aware of the holiday I’m giving you a little head’s up to find at least a few minutes to celebrate in some way today. Drop into a library or bookstore, share a story with a little, read a favorite poem or just reminisce about the favorite titles and covers on your own bookshelves if you don’t have time for some serious reading. But do tell, how are you going to celebrate today?

Books and reading have always been a part of my life. During some phases I have more time to devote to them than at others but not a day goes by that I don’t do some kind of reading whether it’s a verse of scripture, an online article, or the back of the cereal box. I find that you make time for the things that matter (though not always for the things that are important, those aren’t always the same but they probably should be.) And I can always find time for at least a little bit of light reading but I know it’s not always easy, especially when you start adding jobs, kids and other responsibilities to the mix. Over the years I’ve found a few things help to make it easier to carve out some time with books.

  • Take advantage of audio books. I listen on my drive to/from work, when I’m waiting in lines, or doing chores like laundry or dishes that don’t take much mind power. (Visit my Instagram page to see my current listening experience!)

 

  • Always keep a book with you. Channel your inner Rory Gilmore and take a book everywhere you go (this is much easier now that we can load books on our phones, tablets etc and don’t actually have to make room in an already heavy purse for the latest 400 page thriller.)

 

  • Keep books in the main rooms of your home. This one is especially great if you’ve got kids. They’ll be more likely to pick them up and you can spend a few minutes of down time (or use them as a calming down tool) if they’re close at hand. A basket of books by the couch, the bed, even in the bathroom (pick some of the ones made from plastic coated pages or ones you won’t be devastated if they fall in the tub if you’re doing this with kids 😊) can increase time spent reading on a daily basis.

 

  • Turn off the TV! This one is hard for me. It’s so easy to use this as a decompression tool, watching until late into the night (oh Netflix, you’ll be the death of me one of these days!) But especially at night, turn the TV off (and the phone and all other electronic distractions) an hour earlier than you normally do and keep a book by your bedside. There are all sorts of studies showing how the lights from our electronics can mess with our circadian rhythms and disrupt our sleep patterns so this one has a double benefit…unless you find yourself caught in the ‘just one more chapter’ trap!

What are your favorite ways to squeeze reading into your day?  And what are you currently reading that you can’t wait to get back to? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Happy Reading!

Read Across America Day

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.                                

What Was I Scared Of

Back in a past life I taught pre-school, Kindergarten and 2nd grade for several years and worked as a children’s librarian doing story times and programming and the like for years as well. Sometimes I really miss it. Today is one of those days.

I know there’s a lot of controversy behind the man known as Dr. Seuss. Some of his political leanings have come to light and been questioned relatively recently and I can’t say I condone everything he believed or stood for. But you can’t deny that the man was a genius who revolutionized the children’s book world. There would be no Elephant and Piggie or other modern-day classics if there hadn’t first been Green Eggs and Ham or The Cat in the Hat.

He wrote countless books under several pseudonyms ranging from those beginning reader classics to lengthier volumes such as Horton Hears a Who and And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street. His grumpy Grinch is as familiar as Ebeneezer Scrooge around the holidays and is probably my favorite of his characters. But when it’s not Christmas-time my favorite story of his to read is a little-known tale that showed up in a compilation volume with The Sneetches. I found a bite-sized stand-alone copy of it several years ago that I snatched up and read to anyone who will listen. It’s got the power to send me into a fit of giggles like very few things in this world can do. I’m not even going to tell you anything else about it. But I encourage you to hunt down a copy, particularly if you’ve got any littles in your life.

And even if you don’t read this (or any other Dr. Seuss volume on what would have been his 114th birthday) book with your littles, I urge you to carve out a few minutes to read something together and celebrate the joys that reading can bring!

Thoughts for a Winter’s Day

It’s definitely winter here and all I want to do is curl up with a good book and read until spring. C.S. Lewis summed up my thoughts perfectly.

book and tea quote CS Lewis

What are you doing to stay warm this winter? And more importantly, what are you reading?!

(You can check out my current virtual stack of books by hopping over to my Goodreads page. And while you’re there, let’s be friends!)

Words of Wisdom ~ Brene Brown

Braving the Wilderness

Once we belong thoroughly to ourselves and believe thoroughly in ourselves, true belonging is ours….Belonging to ourselves means being called to stand alone–to brave the wilderness of uncertainty, vulnerability, and criticism.   

~ Brene Brown

If you haven’t read any of Brene Brown’s work her latest (Braving the Wilderness) is a great place to start.  You can check out my full review of the book here.