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Top 15 Bedtime Stories

Nothing beats great bedtime stories to help kids go to sleep and boost the parent-child bond. From tiny four-legged sleepyheads to big drowsy dump trucks, we’ve collected our best read-aloud bedtime books. From bedtime story classics to new favorites, these books are sure to lull infants and toddlers to sleep as they drift off to dreamland.

1.

Goodnight Moon

A nursery staple, this beloved baby’s book makes a perfect bedtime story. With soothing, sleep-inducing rhymes and easy-to-follow illustrations, young listeners can tag along as the story’s tiny rabbit says goodnight to all the objects in its room. Goodnight Moon is a great book for creating happy bedtime rituals for little ones.

2.

Good Night, Gorilla

Poor zookeeper, all he wants to do is get to bed—but a mischievous gorilla has other plans. This giggle-inducing tale takes young readers and listeners through a not-so-typical night at the zoo when none of the animals want to sleep alone. Good Night, Gorilla is a comforting bedtime story for kids getting used to sleeping on their own.

3.

The Going to Bed Book

An arc-full of animals getting ready for bedtime—who knew they had so much to do? Infants and toddlers will laugh along as this cute-and-comical menagerie makes its way to bed. The Going to Bed Book is a seriously fun introduction to the rituals of going to sleep.

4.

It's Time to Sleep, My Love

What better way to send children off to dreamland than letting them know they’re loved? In this magically illustrated ode to the parent-child bond, life-like animals wish their little ones goodnight, letting them know just how special they are.

5.

Mortimer

In this over-the-top tale of one big family trying to get to sleep, Mortimer’s hijinks are holding up the nighttime ZZZs and keeping everyone awake. Kids are bound to love the rowdy determination of Mortimer and his “music.” It’s a lighthearted read full of pre-bedtime laughs.

6.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

Irresistibly quirky and fun, this bedtime book lets little ones know that dinosaurs can have a hard time settling in for sleep too. Kids and parents will both relate as different scenarios are played out by dinosaur children resisting lights-out.

7.

Bear Snores On

Full of fun-to-read rhymes, this bedtime story sets the scene for snoozing. A hibernating bear falls fast asleep while all his animal friends come into his cave to stay warm…and just maybe have a party. Children will love what happens when the bear wakes up!

8.

The Napping House

This charming book is sure to induce a nap attack as it explores a house full of sleepy people and pets who eventually all make their way to one bed for a snooze. Little ones will love following along as the characters wake up one by one and go back to enjoying their day.

9.

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Llamas, pajamas, mamas…the rhyming in this book is undeniably fun, full of memorable phrases that are perfect for reading out loud. Tapping into the separation anxiety that can happen at bedtime, Llama Llama can help comfort infants and toddlers when it’s time for lights out.

10.

Time for Bed

In this endearing lullaby, creatures big and small send their little ones off to slumber via rhythmic verse and adorable illustrations. Kids will love listening to the soothing tale as it creates the perfect ambience for a peaceful night’s sleep.

11.

I Love You, Good Night

“I love you” is the heart-warming theme of this children’s goodnight story. Using fun similes and repetitive phrasing, it’s easy for little ones to memorize their favorite parts or read along. Sweet dreams are sure to follow.

12.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

Tiny tots who love bulldozers, cranes, and other big equipment won’t be able to resist this super cute bedtime book. Fun illustrations bring the construction site to life and then slow it down as all the hard-working trucks “yawn and rest their sleepy heads.”

13.

I Love You As Much…

A bevy of beautifully illustrated animal moms tell their babies just how much they love them in this nursery essential. Toddlers will be captivated by the different animals while reading their names aloud and winding down for quiet time.

14.

Good Night Beach

Easily the most comprehensive sleep series for children, the beloved Good Night collection focuses on saying nighty-night to just about everything, from pirates and puppies to parks and beaches. The series also includes a book for every state—the perfect way to introduce young readers to the place where they live. We especially love Good Night Washington State, the home of ThriftBooks headquarters!

15.

Polar Bear Night

Follow along as this intrepid little polar bear cub steps out into the cold night for a moonlight adventure. Showcasing luminous linocuts that evoke Inuit stone carvings, this whimsical story’s sparse artwork and narrative make it easy for little ones to keep pace with the cub’s arctic romp.
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