31 Days of Amazing Kids' Books

31 Days: Books for Nighttime

Last night, I realized that Clara has been making some very specific requests for her bedtime reading. Since it can be tricky to find just the right book to use at that time of day, I thought I’d share her current favorites here. I know that some kids can handle any story at bedtime, and that’s great. Bethany tends to have trouble sleeping anyway, so we make sure that her bedtime choices are calm, zero percent scary, and stress-free. Clara is an easier sleeper, but can get quite wound up just by giggling, so calm choices are in order for her as well.

A Good Night Walk

Here is the book that inspired this post. Elisha Cooper’s A Good Night Walk takes the reader on a short jaunt down the street and back. Over the course of the book, the pictures and text travel through what is happening in the neighborhood as the sun begins to set. People finish their yard work, prepare a meal, and get ready for the next day. On the return trip, we see the “next steps” of some of these activities. The language is lovely, and the neighborhood is typical of many in urban areas. This might not resonate as well with little ones who truly live in the country, but for anyone with nearby neighbors, there is plenty to discuss.

As we go through the pages, Clara loves to watch the sky, see the colors in it change, and notice the moon as it appears. There are also a few animals in the book, and she waits eagerly to see them appear on both directions of the walk. If your little one isn’t quite yet ready for the whole story, this is still a neat book to use and discuss the pictures. Obviously, it also begs for you to take a short walk at this time of day and see what happens in your own neighborhood as the sun begins to set.

A Book of Sleep

I first learned about Il Sung Na when I discovered Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit, which is a beautiful book about the changing of seasons. This selection, A Book of Sleep, is just as gorgeous. The animals in the story are stylized, so kiddos who really want things to look realistic may be disappointed. Nonetheless, the story provides an atmosphere of quiet and calm, really encouraging the child listening to settle her mind and get ready to rest. Just as each animal in the story sleeps differently and prepares differently, your child(ren) can think about how we get ready for rest, and different ways that we sleep as humans.

A fun extra: I just discovered that Il Sung Na’s website has an app version of this story, which you can find in a YouTube version here. The narration is downright soporific, if you have a child who likes to listen to stories at bedtime.

Goodnight Moon

I know, I know. Listing this is cheating. Everyone loves Goodnight Moon, and I’m certainly no exception. However, there is a reason that everyone loves it: children find it enchanting. It’s mysterious, really. No child on the planet could possibly be calmed to sleep in an enormous room painted in hideous shades of green and orange with a gigantic anthropomorphic rabbit hushing him while rocking and knitting. Regardless, this is a classic for good reason, and it belongs in your home library. Plus, little people memorize it very easily and can recite it to themselves as they drift off. (<— That was funny. I just implied that children like to put themselves to sleep. Haha.)

{Those links will let you purchase the books I’ve mentioned, and I receive a small commission if you buy any of them.}


Click on the picture below for more great book ideas from this month.

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