Bedtime Books for Rowdy Kids Who Just Won’t Go to Sleep
As someone who used to stay up reading under the covers with a flashlight, I fully understand that many children will not be quite ready for bed when bedtime rolls around. Some children have a LOT of energy, and a bedtime story that acknowledges that energy (with some laughs to go along) can go a long way towards settling them down. Plus, getting to read together before bed is a great way to establish a habit, making reading and books a daily part of your child’s life. Even today, I still use reading as a nightly way to transition from the busy world around us to the world of dreams. Helping your child establish that habit will be a lifelong gift, and a great excuse to read some extraordinarily silly books aloud. For those marathon nights when you need more than just a single bedtime story to get the job done, check out these fantastic read alouds. You and your rowdy young reader will be ready to sleep in no time!
Good Dream Dragon
by Jacky Davis
Illustrated by Courtney Dawson
Good Dream Dragon comes to the rescue in easing a child’s bedtime fears in this magical story featuring a nonbinary child. When a young child is afraid to go to sleep, they call on the Good Dream Dragon to help lead the way. Together, the pair race past comets as they travel through the night galaxy, making their way to the magical world of Dreamland.
This soothing bedtime story celebrates imagination as a way to help alleviate a child’s bedtime jitters. It is a gentle reminder to children that comfort is always within reach.
by Kallie George
Illustrated by Shanda McCloskey
Two satin slippers with bunny-ear toes and stripy pajamas are dreamy dance clothes . . .
When the sun sets, the ballet can begin! From the first notes of the crickets’ outdoor orchestra to her grand finale indoors, one little girl glissés and jetés her way to bedtime. Rhyming verse, fun sound effects and elegant French words add delicious read-aloud flair to this delightful, dance-filled tale.
Debut author and illustrator Leah Hong’s tender drawings and gentle dialogue between mother and child sing a modern lullaby for anyone who has trouble falling asleep—or whose imagination has soared at bedtime.
Dinosaur vs. Bedtime
by Bob Shea
Illustrated by Bob Shea
Roaaaar! Roaar! Nothing can stop me!
Nothing can stop little dinosaur-not talking grownups, spaghetti, or even bath time. But what happens when he faces the biggest challenge of all? Bedtime?
With spare text and irresistible dinosaur roaaars, little dinosaurs will be begging for this book to be read again and again.
Little Snow loves the new big, soft bed Mommy made him for the long, cold winter nights. But Mommy says this bed is for sleeping, not jumping! What happens when he can’t resist jump, jump, jumping on his new fluffy, bouncy bed?
Bestselling and award-winning author Grace Lin artfully introduces young readers to their first snow through striking illustrations and heartwarming moments.
Patrick McDonnell’s first bedtime book captures the magic of a sleepover with friends, and reminds us to cherish life’s simplest pleasures. During a fun pajama party, three animal friends dance and play, but at last everyone is getting sleepy. Is it time for bed yet? Not before taking the time to say thank you for the day, the night, and good friends.
Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy
by Drew Daywalt
Illustrated by Scott Campbell
Cover design or artwork by Scott Campbell
Good Night Owl
by Greg Pizzoli
Illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Cover design or artwork by Greg Pizzoli
Will Owl ever get a good night’s sleep? He’s ready for bed, but as soon as he settles in, he hears a strange noise. He looks everywhere—in his cupboard, underneath the floorboards—even in his walls. He’ll never get to sleep unless he can figure out what’s going on! But as he’s busy tearing his house apart, he doesn’t notice one tiny, squeaky, mouse-shaped detail—the culprit!
Every observant young reader will point again and again to the answer to Owl’s persistent question, laughing all along the way. From the creator of The Watermelon Seed comes another pitch-perfect tale that’s empowering, engaging, and entertaining.
Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep!
by Todd Tarpley
Illustrated by John Rocco
Quiet at last. Not a peep. Three little robots are… BEEP! BEEP!
When his three rambunctious robots give every possible excuse not to go to sleep, what’s a little boy to do? With a fun refrain that will have readers of all ages chanting along, here’s a book that kids will be begging to read every night before bed.