The 16 Best Classic Bedtime Stories to Read to Your Kids
Do you remember the books your parents read to you before bed? If you have young children you might get to tell them stories or read to them as they get ready to fall asleep. This is a special time to bond with your child and make them feel safe for the long dark snooze.
Bedtime stories are an ancient ritual probably as old as the campfires our ancestors snuggled down next to in their caves. People who could tell good stories to make the evenings less fearful were popular. Storytelling became an art and helped us with communication and preserving history.
Writing didn’t begin until about 1700 B.C in Phoenicia, but cave paintings and later pictograms and hieroglyphics tell stories of their own.
Bedtime stories in prehistoric times may have been a way to help children learn about social structure and how to behave fairly and decently within the tribe.
Every culture has an oral tradition of stories that were later written down. Brer Rabbit, Norse legends, Greek plays and epics, and Native American folk tales began with an oral tradition
Great Bedtime Picture Books for Kids Under the Age of 5
By Margaret Wise Brown is a classic bedtime poem for young kids with its references to the cow jumping over the moon and other nursery rhymes this will be a favorite that kids will ask for often.
Toot and Puddle
Holly Hobbie wrote a series of delightful picture books about 2 pigs who live at Woodcock Pocket in an adorable house in the woods. One pig is an introvert who likes to stay home and bake while the other pig goes away on adventures but always sends amazing postcards and letters.
The Cat in The Hat
Any book by Dr. Suess is an amazing read for young children but the Cat in The Hat is one of his best-known works about kids who are bored and get more than they bargained for when a stranger comes to visit while their parents are out.
If Animals Kissed Goodnight
By Anne Whitford Paul with pictures by David Walker, is a lovely little rhyming story about animal parents and their children. The bright pictures are colorful and soothing.
The Tales of Peter Rabbit
Beatrix Potter wrote many meticulously illustrated tales that are tiny at 5 and a half by 4 inches in size and made for child-sized hands. Any of her books will delight young children. Peter Rabbit is the most well-known of her stories.
Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak’s classic is a favorite with children because of its imaginative quality and lush illustrations. A childhood room feels like a whole world to a child. This book reminds us of how brilliant the imagination can be and what it is like to be a child.
Bedtime for Francis
By Russel Hoban with pictures by Garth Williams is a story about a family of badgers. Francis, the little girl badger, is the main character for a series of slightly longer picture books. In this story, she doesn’t want to go to sleep. Francis has a talent for making up silly songs on the spot and finding ways to keep from going to bed.
Parents will appreciate the humor of a story about a kid who doesn’t want to go to sleep. what Frances needed was a buckwheat pillow with some lavender to soothe her to sleep.
Bedtime Stories for Kids Age 6 and Up
Bedtime reading gets fun when your kids are a little older and you can move away from short picture books and start reading longer novels a little each night. So settle in with your school-age child and one of our natural pillows and let’s reminisce about your favorite kid’s novels.
Winnie the Pooh
By A. A. Milne with the classic illustrations by Earnest H. Shepard is a great longer book for kids who already know how to read but still like to be read to. The Winnie the pooh books are a series of stories about Christopher Robin and his stuffed animals. Although they were written almost 100 years ago they have a timeless quality that kids will love.
The Wind in the Willows
By Kenneth Graham is about Mr. Toad, Mole, Rat, and Mr. Badger, and their many adventures in the rural English countryside. Toad is an erasable English gentry with a materialistic side always wanting the latest toys. The other characters are more sensible working-class animals.
The Velveteen Rabbit
By Margery Williams Bianco, illustrated by William Nicholson, is the story of a stuffed animal who wants to become real. This is a magical classic for young school-age kids.
By E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams is a timeless book with characters that hold up even after almost 70 years. Fern lives on a farm and is friends with Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider. The story deals with life and death in a healthy way that kids will appreciate and understand.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll, with illustrations by John Tenniel is a great story for kids who don’t mind the absurd, but the hidden messages meant for adults while keeping you delighted while you read to your child.
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone
J, K. Rawlings has created a classic series using the formula of the orphan child and the secret lineage. It’s an amazing series that, although newer than the other classics has its rightful place among the best children’s literature.
The Chronicles of Narnia
By C. S. Lewis is a series of 7 books that follow 4 siblings as they grow older. The slightly spiritual Christian overtones do not take away from the wild adventures the children have in Narnia.
Little House in the Big Woods
By Laura Ingalls Wilder was the first of 9 books she wrote. They are a fictionalized version of frontier life that kids will enjoy. They are written at the grade levels of the character as she grows up. The first book is written in very simple language. The books progress and the character grows older.
Laura Ingalls Wilder would have totally understood our handmade pillows since the family made much of what they owned by hand. Try our lavender buckwheat pillow or new latex pillow to get you in the reading mood.