Reading your child a bedtime story is one of life’s great pleasures. You get to cuddle in, share the story and have some bonding time just before sleepy time. Here are The 100 Best Ever Bedtime Stories for Kids Recommended by Parents:
#1. A KITTEN CALLED MOONLIGHT by Martin Waddell
Charlotte’s favourite story is about a little girl and her mummy who rescue a kitten from the sea. One moonlit night, the story comes true when she finds a little lost kitten by the sea, who she calls Moonlight.
Charlotte loves her story even more because it’s about her!
#2. A SQUASH AND A SQUEEZE by Julia Donaldson
Wise old man, won’t you help me, please? My house is a squash and squeeze’. What can you do if your house is too small? The wise old man knows: bring in a flappy, scratchy, noisy crowd of farmyard animals. When you push them all out again, you’ll be amazed at how big your house feels! This brilliantly funny story is the first ever picture book written and illustrated by the award-winning team of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, authors of “The Gruffalo”.
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#3. ABC by Dr. Seuss
From Aunt Annie’s Alligator to a Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz, Dr Seuss’ ABC is a fun awy to learn the alphabet, even the smallest tots can join in. Each letter is featured with Dr. Seuss’s nonsensical illustrations and text “Camel on the ceiling” “Uncle Ubb’s umbrella and his underwear, too.”
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#4. ADAM’S AMAZING SPACE ADVENTURE by Benji Bennett
Angel Adam invites you to go with him on an amazing astronomical adventure, filled with fun, love and wonder. With bouncing rhythm and out of this world illustrations Adam and his rocket will take you on a never to be forgotten magical adventure where you will meet the planets, surf the cosmos with comet Halley and eat solar saussies in an interstellar cafe.
#5. ALL THE WORLD by Liz Garton Scanlon
All the world is here. It is there. It is everywhere. All the world is right where you are. Now. Following a circle of family and friends through the course of a day from morning till night, this endearing picture book affirms the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to warm family connections, to the widest sunset sky.
#6. AMAZING GRACE by Mary Hoffman
Grace loves to act out stories. Sometimes she plays the leading part, sometimes she is ‘a cast of thousands.’ When her school decides to perform Peter Pan , Grace is longing to play Peter, but her classmates say that Peter was a boy, and besides, he wasn’t black…But Grace’s Ma and Nana tell her she can be anything she wants if she puts her mind to it…
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#7. BAMBI by Felix Salten
The beloved story of a deer in the forest reaches a new generation of readers with a fresh new look. Bambi’s life in the woods begins happily. There are forest animals to play with and Bambi’s twin cousins, Gobo and beautiful Faline. But winter comes, and Bambi learns that the woods hold danger–and things he doesn’t understand.
Then there is Man. He comes to the forest with weapons that can wound an animal. Bambi is scared that Man will hurt him and the ones he loves. But Man can’t keep Bambi from growing into a great stag himself, and becoming the Prince of the Forest.
#8. BARRY THE FISH WITH FINGERS by Sue Hendra
Fish come from all over the ocean to see Puffy the Puffer Fish’s amazing bubbles. Big bubbles, small bubbles, square bubbles …they’ve never seen anything quite so amazing, that is until Barry arrives on the scene. Barry is a fish with fingers and he’s going to put them to good use. The fish are amazed. Life under the sea will never be the same again …
#9. BEAR ON A BIKE by Stella Blackstone
Bear on a Bike transports young readers around the world by bike, train, raft, boat and even hot-air balloon, with a special night-time journey at the end. As you cycle through the market, sail to an island and fly over the rainbow, you will discover marvellous creatures and see many wondrous sights.
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#10. BEARS IN THE NIGHT by Stan Berenstain
The bear children all creep out one by one at night to go on an adventure. This is one of our favourite bedtime stories!
Illustrated in full colour, the Bears’ adventures take them in, out, around, and about. It does a good job of combining words and pictures into a slapstick story.
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#11. BEFORE YOU SLEEP by Benji Bennett
‘Before You Sleep’ is an affectionate and wonderfully illustrated children’s bedtime story book filled with warmth, love and adventure and embellishes the importance of love, laughter and play within the family. It is published by Adam’s Cloud, a children’s book publishing company, set up in 2008 by Benji Bennett in memory of his 4-year-old son Adam who passed away in August 2007 from a brain tumour.
#12. BROWN BEAR BROWN BEAR WHAT DO YOU SEE? by Bill Martin
A classic picture book by Eric Carle and Bill Martin, Jr – Brown Bear, “Brown Bear, What Do You See?” Exuberantly coloured artwork and favourite animals make this rhythmic story the perfect introduction to looking and learning about colours. Each spread leads seamlessly into the next and young children will delight in Eric’s colourful collage animals and simple repetitive language.
#13. BUTTERFLY KISSES by Bob Carlisle
In this moving story told in conversational verse, singer/songwriter Bob Carlisle and his daughter, Brooke, recapture the emotions so eloquently expressed in Bob’s inspiring song, a musical sensation that became a #1 hit. “Butterfly Kisses” celebrates the love between fathers and daughters, as well as the shared trust and hope that create this unique and everlasting bond.
#14. Can’t You Sleep Little Bear by Martin Waddell
“I don’t like the dark,” said Little Bear. “What dark?” said Big Bear. “The dark all around us,” said Little Bear. In this tender account of a sleepless night in the bear cave, Big Bear sets out with all his patience and understanding to show Little Bear that the dark is nothing to be afraid of. More comforting than even the best of lullabies, this bedtime story is destined to become a classic.
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#15. THE CAT IN THE HAT by Dr. Seuss
Back in 1957, Theodor Geisel responded to an article in Life magazine that lamented the use of boring reading primers in schools. Using the pseudonym of “Dr. Seuss” (Seuss was Geisel’s middle name) and only two hundred twenty-three words, Geisel created a replacement for those dull primers: “The Cat in the Hat” which was an instant success.
#16. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY BY ROALD DAHL
Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
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#17. CHESTER’S MASTERPIECE by Melanie Watt
Chester’s finally ready to write his own masterpiece — he just needs to get pesky writer-illustrator Melanie Watt out of the way. Chester’s solo attempts at storytelling are messy, to say the least, but he’s determined to go it alone. But where’s his story going? After several alternative (but always unhappy) endings, Chester is confronted by a problem he never bargained for. A wry comment on the creative process and how good stories are constructed, this is the most uproarious Chester book yet.
#18. CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM BY BILL MARTIN JR
When all the letters of the alphabet race one another up the coconut tree, will there be enough room?
Of course there is always enough room for this rollicking alphabet chant that has been a children’s favorite for more than twenty years!
#19. CHOCOLATE MOUSSE FOR GREEDY GOOSE by Julia Donaldson
“Chocolate mousse!”, says greedy Goose. “Don’t just grab it,” says angry Rabbit. Good manners aren’t on the menu at this meal.
Duck won’t eat his carrots. Moth’s eating the cloth, and Sheep would rather sleep than wash the dishes. Thank goodness some of the animals know how to behave!
#20. CHUGGA-CHUGGA CHOO-CHOO BY KEVIN LEWIS
What works from dawn until dusk without a break until it delivers all its freight? A very busy steam engine, which in this rhythmical romp takes young readers on a daily adventure around the mountains, high and steep, and through the valley, low and deep.
A lovely rhythmic bedtime book to read to younger children.
#21. CLICK, CLACK, MOO: COWS THAT TYPE by Doreen Cronin
Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears Click, clack, moo. Click, clack, moo. Clickety, clack, moo. But the problems really begin when the cows start leaving Farmer Brown notes. First it was electric blankets…where will it end? And when the animals don’t get what they want they go on strike, of course! Doreen Cronin’s unusual text and Betsy Lewin’s quirky illustrations make this a hilarious story.
#22. CURIOUS GEORGE IN THE BIG CITY by Martha Weston
When the man with the yellow hat promises to buy George a holiday surprise during their trip to the city, George decides he wants to give his friend a surprise too. But it isn’t long before the little monkey’s curiosity gets him into trouble and he gets separated from his friend. Though he has fun seeing the tourist sites and all the sparkling decorations, what he enjoys most is finding his best friend and enjoying the city together.
#23. DEAR ZOO by Rod Campbell
One of our all time favourites, Dear Zoo is a lift the flap board book. The person telling the story writes to the zoo to ask them to send an animal but each animal turns out to be unsuitable.
Will the Zoo finally send an animal that they can keep?
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#24. DON’T DIP YOUR CHIPS IN YOUR DRINK, KATE BY CHERYL HART
When Kate P Green goes for tea with the Queen, she gets more than she bargained for in this hilariously anarchic look at the tricky subject of table manners. Stunning illustrations and design from the creator of Smile! – starring Orchard’s new character Sunny McCloud – perfectly complement this exceptionally funny rhyming story from a great new author.
Celebrate sleep with Dr. Seuss’s classic rhyming good-night picture book. Van Vleck, a very small bug, is getting sleepy, and his yawn—contagious as yawns are—sets off a chain reaction, making all those around him feel sleepy, too! With typically Seussian nods to alarm clocks, sleepwalking, and snoring, this charming ode to bedtime will lull listeners (and readers) toward dreamland. Zzzzzzzzzz.
#26. DUCK IN THE TRUCK by Jez Alborough
Watch out! Here comes Duck in a brand new edition of the first book in the million copy bestselling series! This is the tale of a duck in a truck – a truck that was stuck in some yucky brown muck. A sheep in a jeep and a frog in a bush saw the truck stuck and gave it a push. But the truck stayed stuck! What now, can you guess? Could a goat in a boat get them out of this mess?
#27. FABLEHAVEN by Brandon Mull
For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite. Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven.
Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken — Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good — powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives.
#28. FIVE ON TREASURE ISLAND by Enid Blyton
Five on Treasure Island is the first in the highly popular and enduring Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. There’s a shipwreck off Kirrin Island! But where is the treasure? The Famous Five are on the trail – looking for clues – but they’re not alone! Someone else has got the same idea. Time is running out for the Famous Five, who will get to the treasure first?
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#29. GIRAFFES CAN’T DANCE By Giles Andreae
Gerald the tall giraffe would love to join in with the other animals at the Jungle Dance, but everyone knows that giraffes can’t dance …or can they? This funny, touching and triumphant story about a giraffe who finds his own tune has been a much-loved family favourite for over 15 years.
#30. GO DOG GO by Phillip Eastman
From big dogs and little dogs to red, green, and blue dogs, dogs going up and dogs going fast . . . who knew dogs were so busy? And laughter will ensue at the repeated question “Do you like my hat?” Like P. D. Eastman’s classic Are You My Mother? Go, Dog. Go! has been a go-to favorite for over fifty years, leaving audiences of all breeds wagging their tails with delight.
#31. GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS retold by Candince Ransom
In this beloved tale, the three bears are in for quite a surprise when they return home and realize that a curious girl has made herself at home in their cottage.
Children will eagerly continue reading to see what the bears do when they find their dinner eaten all up!
#32. GOOD NIGHT LARS by Hans de Beer
Every parent will chuckle in recognition at the familiar nighttime scenario, and every child will feel comforted by this tale of a very restless little polar bear. It’s the perfect goodnight book.
#33. GOODNIGHT MOON by Margaret Wise Brown
In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.”
And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room–to the picture of the three little bears sitting in chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one–he says goodnight.
#34. GOODNIGHT DIGGER by Michelle Robinson
“Goodnight fire truck, Goodnight train. Goodnight bus and even bigger…Best of all, say goodnight digger!” A little boy says goodnight to all his toys, but who is the favourite? Why, it’s Digger of course!
With a rhyming text and atmospheric illustrations, Goodnight Digger will help your little darlings go to bed and stay there.
#35. GREEN EGGS AND HAM by Dr. Seuss
When Sam-I-am persits in pestering a grumpy grouch to eat a plate of green eggs and ham, perseverance wins the day, teaching us all that we cannot know what we like until we have tried it! With his unique combination of hilarious stories, zany pictures and riotous rhymes, Dr. Seuss has been delighting young children and helping them learn to read for over fifty years.
#36. GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU by Sam McBratney
In the classic picture book, Guess How Much I Love You, Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare find ways to measure just how much they love each other.
“All the way up to my toes”, “as far as I can hop” and “right up to the moon – and back!”
#37. HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE by J.K. Rowling
The first in the bestselling Harry Potter series. Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever.
He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!
#38. HOME BEFORE DARK by Ian Beck
When Teddy¹s owner, Lily, accidentally drops him from her carriage, he is determined to make it back to her before bedtime. But that¹s not so easy for a little bear.
Like the warmth of a goodnight hug, Home Before Dark is perfect for sharing with a loved one before bedtime.
#39. HORTON HEARS A WHO by Dr. Seuss
Horton the kindly elephant has his work cut out saving the tiny Whos who live on a speck of dust – no one else believes they are there!
But Horton eventually convinces everyone that ‘A person’s a person, no matter how small’!
#40. HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODNIGHT BY JANE YOLEN
Fathers and mothers are ready to put their youngsters to bed. But in this book, the youngsters are a wide variety of dinosaurs. So how do dinosaurs say good night?
In the end, young dinosaurs behave a lot like people do: They give a big kiss, turn out the light, tuck in their tails, and whisper “good night.”
#41. HOW ROLAND ROLLS by Jim Carrey
Winner of a 2013 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award, How Roland Rolls is a story about a wave named Roland who’s afraid that, one day, when he hits the beach, his life will be over. But when he gets deep, he’s struck by the notion that he’s not just a wave – he’s the whole big, wide ocean!
The story shows humanity’s interconnectedness through the metaphor of a wave in the ocean.
#42. I LOVE YOU, STINKY FACE by Lisa McCourt
A vividly illustrated bedtime story that shows how the unconditional love of a mother can be tested through the relentless questions of her little boy. “But Mama, but Mama, what if I were a super smelly skunk, and I smelled so bad that my name was Stinky Face?” The imaginative son turns himself into a meat-eating dinosaur, a swamp creature and much, much more before being satisfied with the fact that no matter how stinky he is or how slimy of a creature he could possibly be, he is loved and nothing will change that.
#43. INCY WINCY SPIDER by Keith Chapman
By the creator of Bob the Builder and the best-selling illustrator of The Crunching Munching Caterpillar, comes this retelling of a favourite childhood rhyme, Incy Wincy Spider. Follow Incy Wincy Spider as he is blown from animal to animal in this hilarious rhyming storybook and toy set.
#44. JACK AND THE BEANSTALK by Stephen Tucker
As Jack scurried down the beanstalk, the hen squawked anxiously, ‘If that giant gets his hands on us, He’ll eat us for his tea!’. This is the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, retold in irreverent, playful rhyme that’s perfect for reading aloud. Illustrated by Nick Sharratt with bright colourful drawings, and with flaps and pop-up surprises on every spread, this book is ideal for young children.
#45. JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH by Roald Dahl
An enormous escaped rhinoceros from London Zoo has eaten James’ parents. And it gets worse! James is packed off to live with his two really horrible aunts, Sponge and Spiker. Poor James is miserable, until something peculiar happens and James finds himself on the most wonderful and extraordinary journey he could ever imagine…
#46. KIPPER’S SNOWY DAY by Mick Inkpen
Kipper loves the snow and when he sees great white flakes tumbling down one morning, he can’t wait to be out enjoying himself. Kipper’s friend Tiger isn’t nearly as good at snow games as Kipper is, because of his silly, woolly clothes – but they still manage to build a wonderful snowdog.
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#47. KOALA LOU by Mem Fox
Everyone loved soft, round, cuddly Koala Lou, but her mother loved her most of all and told her so a hundred times a day. As time passed and more little brothers and sisters were born, her mother became too busy to tell Koala Lou that she loved her. Koala Lou grew sad, and oh, how she longed to hear her mother say it once again. Then one day Koala Lou though of a brilliant plan to win back her mother’s love and hear again those wonderful words, ” Koala Lou, I DO love you!”
This volume, published by Usborne, contains 17 stories, both new and traditional, written in simple text, that are suitable for reading aloud.
The stories include: The Little Red Hen, Button Nose, Nail Soup, Dragon Train, The Princess and the Pea, The Squire’s Bride and The Nightingale.
#49. LOST AND FOUND by Oliver Jeffers
There once was a boy…and one day a penguin arrives on his doorstep. The boy decides the penguin must be lost and tries to return him. But no one seems to be missing a penguin. So the boy decides to take the penguin home himself, and they set out in his row boat on a journey to the South Pole. But when they get there, the boy discovers that maybe home wasn’t what the penguin was looking for after all…
#50. LOST IN THE SNOW by Ian Beck
It’s snowing outside and Lily goes out to play. She leaves Teddy sitting on the window legde but all of sudden, whoosh, Teddy finds himself on an adventure in the snow.
Soon the snow falls harder and Teddy starts to get cold, then he realises he’s lost…Will Teddy ever find his way back to Lily again?
#51. LOVE YOU FOREVER by Robert Munsch
A young woman holds her newborn son and sings to him: I’ll love you forever.I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living My baby you’ll be.This is the story of how that little boy goes through life and becomes a man and how his mother’s love never wavers.
The simple and powerful truth behind Love You Forever will strike a universal chord with parents and children alike.
#52. MAISY’S MORNING ON THE FARM by Lucy Cousins
One of the very popular Maisy Mouse series. Morning is a busy time on Maisy’s farm. In MAISY’S MORNING ON THE FARM, there are chickens and pigs to feed, and the cow to milk. After the chores are finished, there’s just one more thing to do–eat a yummy breakfast!
You might enjoy reading our profile of author Lucy Cousins
#53. MATILDA by Roald Dahl
Matilda’s parents have called her some terrible things, but the truth is she’s a genius and they’re the stupid ones. Underestimating Matilda proves to be a big mistake as they, along with her spiteful headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, discover when Matilda uses her very special power to get the better of them.
#54. MIAOW SAID THE COW by Emma Dodd
When the farm cat decides to cast a spell to shut up noisy Cockerel, it has a few unforeseen side-effects…mice mooing, hens oinking, even the sheep barking at Sheepdog! Cat finds it all very funny until he realizes that he is stuck with Cockerel’s crow. Wise old Cow sets everything straight, and the farmyard returns to normal, except for naughty Cat. He is left with a cock-a-doodle-do and given a new job, waking up the farmyard each morning.
#55. MR MEN and LITTLE MISS books by Roger Hargreaves
It has been forty years since Adam Hargreaves asked his father, “What does a tickle look like?” That question inspired Roger Hargreaves to invent Mr. Tickle and all his friends in Mr. Men Land, and those quirky characters have sold millions of copies worldwide since. You’ll enjoy tales of characters such as “Mr. Tickle”, “Mr. Greedy”, “Mr. Happy”, “Mr. Topsy-Turvy” and “Little Miss Splendid”, “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Little Miss Chatterbox”.
#56. MRS ARMITAGE QUEEN OF THE ROAD by Quentin Blake
When Uncle Cosmo buys himself a motorbike and gives Mrs Armitage his boring old car, it soon becomes obvious that her driving skills leave a lot to be desired. Mrs Armitage and Breakspear cause havoc bumping into bollards, bedsteads, lorries, a crane and bedoinging over some extremely uneven roads. As the bumper, the doors, the mudguard and even the roof disappear along the way, the car is transformed into a mean machine and Mrs Armitage becomes Queen of the Road!
#57. THE AMAZING MRS PEPPERPORT by Alf Proysen
Mrs Pepperpot has a problem – a huge problem – she shrinks! And when she shrinks she finds herself in all sorts of trouble…Poor Mrs Pepperpot has shrunk again and she’s set her heart on going to the bazaar. But with a clever disguise and a cunning plan, she’s soon dancing rings around the ladies at the fair! Puss can’t wait for Mrs Pepperpot to shrink so she can whisk her away on an adventure. It’s a hair-raising journey, but brave Mrs P is soon rewarded with some very special treasure indeed.
#58. MUMMY DO YOU LOVE ME? by Jeanne Willis
Sometimes Little Chick is naughty and sometimes Little Chick is sad. But no matter what he says or does – from jumping in muddy puddles to coming last in the race – his mummy always loves him. And that’s the most important thing of all.
#59. NIGHT MONKEY DAY MONKEY by Julia Donaldson
One of Julia Donaldson’s classic picture book stories about two monkeys who are as different as night and day. Night Monkey and Day Monkey don’t think they have much in common. But when they each spend time in the other’s opposite worlds, they learn a lot. And they also learn to be the best of friends. Full of fun and food for thought, Night Monkey, Day Monkey is beautifully drawn by Lucy Richards, one of the most talented illustrators drawing today.
#60. NOISY NORA by Rosemary Wells
It’s tough being the middle mouse. No one’s paying any attention to Nora, so she decides to do something her family can’t ignore: make noise. Nora slams windows, bangs doors, and upsets furniture, to no avail. It’s not until she crashes out the door–and the house goes strangely silent–that her family realizes: a noisy Nora is much better than no Nora at all.
#61. ON THE NIGHT YOU WERE BORN by Nancy Tillman
On the night you were born, you brought wonder and magic to the world. The moon stayed up till morning. Polar bears danced. Here is a book that celebrates the one and only ever you! Nancy Tillman’s masterpiece is perfect for acknowledging the special people in our lives that they are loved.
#62. PADDINGTON BEAR by Michael Bond
“A bear on Paddington Station?” said Mrs Brown in amazement. “Don’t be silly – there can’t be.” A Bear Called Paddington is the original story of Paddington, the classic bear from Darkest Peru. The Browns first meet Paddington on a railway station – Paddington station, in fact. He has travelled all the way from Darkest Peru with only a jar of marmalade, a suitcase and his hat. The Browns soon find that Paddington is a very unusual bear. Ordinary things – like having a bath, travelling underground or going to the seaside become quite extraordinary, if a bear called Paddington is involved.
You might also enjoy reading our review of the Paddington Movie
#63. PANTS by Giles Andrae
Small children (and lots of adults!) love pants. They love talking about pants. They giggle whenever pants are mentioned. Let’s face it – pants are VERY FUNNY! “Pants” is a picture book with a brilliant rhyming text by Giles Andreae and lots of hilarious pictures by Nick Sharratt. As we go through the book we meet lots of different animals, people and sometimes inanimate objects each wearing a different kind of pants – every shape, pattern, colour, size and style that you can think of – and lots more besides! This book will make children laugh and they will ask for it again and again. PANTS – which ones are your favourite?
#64. PEEPO by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
“Peepo!” is the much-loved picture book classic by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. “Peepo!” is a modern classic that continues to delight generations of babies and toddlers and their parents. Look through the holes to spot details from the wonderful illustrations. Here’s a little baby One, two three Standing in his cot. What does he see? “Peepo!” has become a classic for babies and toddlers. It follows a baby through the day in a style full of wit, charm and ingenuity. A series of holes peeping through to the next page leads the child on to the next stage in the day, giving a hint of what is to come.
#65. PETER PAN by J.M. Barrie
Peter Pan and Tinkerbell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland – the island where the lost boys play.
Magic and mischief is in the air but if villainous Captain Hook has his way, before long someone will be swimming with the crocodiles.
#66. PIPPI LONGSTOCKING by Astrid Lindgren
The beloved story of a spunky young girl and her hilarious escapades. “A rollicking story.”–“The Horn Book” Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead to one adventure after another!
#67. PLEASE BE QUIET by Mary Murphy
Little Penguin makes noise no matter what he does, until he cleverly finds some woolly socks to muffle the sound. He can now keep Big Penguin happy while he still has fun! And the reason he needs to be so quiet? It’s a teeny-tiny brand new baby penguin.
You might also enjoy reading our profile of author Mary Murphy
#68. ROOM ON THE BROOM by Julia Donaldson
The witch and her cat fly happily over forests, rivers and mountains on their broomstick until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand. They are retrieved by a dog, a bird and a frog, and each animal asks for a ride on the broom. They climb on, one after the next, until the broom is so heavy that it snaps in two! What will happen next as they tumble into a bog and meet a greedy dragon?
#69. RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE by Giles Andrae
“There’s a rumble in the jungle, there’s a whisper in the trees; the animals are waking up and rustling the leaves!”
Join this rhyming safari and meet everyone from the elphing elephant to the gangly giraffe, and maybe even the terrible tiger!
#70. SALLY AND THE LIMPET by Simon James
This is a heartwarming story about a little girl who learns an important environmental lesson.When Sally pulls a limpet off a rock at the beach, it sticks to her finger – and nothing she, her family or her friends do can unstick it.
Sally’s teacher says that limpets live on the same rock for twenty years. So will Sally ever get the limpet off her finger?
#71. SLINKY MALINKI by Lynley Dodd
Slinky Malinki steals anything from a clothes peg, to a slipper, to a string of sausages, to a clock! Our hero is a BAD cat!
This story is told in wonderful rhyme and through pictures full of life and movement.
#72. SNUG AS A HUG by Marcia Vaughan
Join all the animals as they settle down to rest. Echidnas, spiders, dolphins and more …this is a book full of quintessential Australian animals in lots of different Australian environments. The gently rhyming text is enhanced by Pamela Loft’s beautiful pencil illustrations which are at times bright and colourful, and at others soothing and sweet, and at all times creating a warm and loving atmosphere.
#73. SOPHIE’S ADVENTURES by Dick King-Smith
Sophie is small, but very determined. She loves animals – snails and cats and rabbits and dogs and pigs – and she wants to be a farmer when she grows up. Her best friend is Great-great-aunt Al from Scotland, who looks a bit like a bird, and her worst enemy is a girl called Dawn. Follow Sophie’s adventures in these three lively, fun-filled stories, Sophie’s Snail, Sophie’s Tom and Sophie Hits Six.
#74. SPLAT THE CAT by Rob Scotton
It’s Splat the Cat’s first day of school and he’s worried. What if he doesn’t make any new friends? Just in case, Splat decides to bring along his pet mouse, Seymour, and hides him in his lunch box. The teacher, Mrs Wimpydimple, introduces Splat to the class and he soon starts learning all his important cat lessons. But when Seymour escapes and the cats do what cats do (they chase mice!), Splat’s worried again. Maybe now he’ll lose all his friends, old and new! Just in time, wise Mrs Wimpydimple takes charge and teaches everyone an important new lesson…Maybe Cat School is going to be ok after all!
#75. STICK MAN by Julia Donaldson
‘Stick Man lives in the family tree With his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three’. But it’s dangerous being a Stick Man. A dog wants to play with him, a swan builds her nest with him. He even ends up on a fire!
Join Stick Man on his troublesome journey back to the family tree.
#76. TABBY MCTAT by Julia Donaldson
Tabby McTat is purr-fectly happy, singing along all day with Fred the busker. But when Fred gives chase to a thief, the two are sparated. Will they ever find each other again?
A heart-warming story of friendship, loyalty – and kittens!
#77. THE ENCHANTED WOOD by Enid Blyton
The Enchanted Wood is the first magical story in the Faraway Tree series by the world’s best-loved children’s author, Enid Blyton. When Joe, Beth and Frannie move to a new home, an Enchanted Wood is on their doorstep. And when they discover the Faraway Tree, that is the beginning of many magical adventures! Join them and their friends Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy as they discover which new land is at the top of the Faraway Tree. Will it be the Land of Spells, the Land of Treats, or the Land of Do-As-You-Please?
#78. THE FEARSOME BEASTIE by Giles Paley-Phillips
The fearsome beastie is searching for something to eat, and the children are at the top of the menuThe fearsome beastie is hungry, so he leaves his cave in search of something to eat. The children of the town are fooled by the beastie’s sly tricks and end up getting eaten! But don’t fear, little Pete escapes and gets the one person who can save the day. His granny! Granny takes up her axe and chops beastie in half! All the children come out unharmed and they celebrate with a yummy beastie stew!
#79. THE GRUFFALO by Julia Donaldson
One of the most popular picture books in recent times. “A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.”
Walk further into the deep dark wood, and discover what happens when the quick-thinking mouse comes face to face with an owl, a snake and a hungry gruffalo …
#80. THE GRUFFALO’S CHILD by Julia Donaldson
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler team up again to create this funny and adorable sequel to “The Gruffalo.” One night, the Gruffalo’s child wanders into the woods to search for the Big Bad Mouse. But instead, she comes upon a small mouse in the woods . . . and decides to eat him! But wait, what is that? A shadow of a very large, scary creature falls on the ground. Could it be the Big Bad Mouse after all?
#81. THE HIGHWAY RAT by Julia Donaldson
‘Give me your buns and your biscuits! Give me your chocolate eclairs! For I am the Rat of the highway, and the Rat Thief never shares!’ Life is not safe for the other animals, as the villainous Highway Rat gallops along the highway, stealing their food. Clover from a rabbit; nuts from a squirrel – he even steals his own horse’s hay. Will he finally meet his comeuppance, in the form of a cunning duck? A fabulous, rollicking rhyme, in the style of the famous Alfred Noyes poem, ‘The Highwayman’, from the authors of ‘The Gruffalo’.
#82. THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF PROFESSOR BRANESTAWM by Norman Hunter
The wonderfully nutty, fabulously entertaining mishaps of Professor Branestawm. He’s madly sane and cleverly dotty.
Professor Branestawm is the most absent-minded inventor you’ll ever meet and no matter how hard he tries his brilliant ideas never seem to keep him out of crazy scrapes.
#83. THE JUNGLE BOOK by Rudyard Kipling
This is a classic story of friendship between man and beast. Saved from the jaws of the evil tiger Shere Khan, young Mowgli is adopted by a wolf pack and taught the law of the jungle by lovable old Baloo the bear and Bhageera the panther. The adventures of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi the snake-fighting mongoose, little Toomai and the elephant’s secret dance, and Kotick the white seal are all part of Mowgli’s extraordinary journey with his animal friends.
#84. THE MAGIC FARAWAY TREE by Enid Blyton
The Magic Faraway Tree is the second story in the Faraway Tree series by the world’s best-loved children’s author, Enid Blyton. When Joe, Beth and Frannie move to a new home, an Enchanted Wood is on their doorstep. And when they discover the Faraway Tree, it proves to be the beginning of many magical adventures! Join them and their friends Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy as they discover which new land is at the top of the Faraway Tree. Will it be the Land of Spells, the Land of Treats, or the Land of Do-As-You-Please?
#85. THE MOON IN MY ROOM by Annette Morris
The Moon In My Room offers a comforting and reassuring transition from daytime play to bedtime sleep.
With a special night light in easy reach, lights-out for sleep is soothed with the friendly face of a gently dimming moon. The press-on night-light gradually dims in 4-5 minutes.
#86. THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett
After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.
Read why The Secret Garden is a favourite
#87. THE SUPERMARKET ZOO by Caryl Hart
Every little boy knows that going shopping with Mum is the most boring thing in the world. But for little Albie, one trip to the supermarket opens a whole new world of fun! Because this isn’t just any supermarket – it’s the supermarket zoo – and with a whole trolley full of animals on his list, Albie will never see shopping the same way again.
#88. THE TEAR THIEF by Carol Ann Duffy
Each night, in the hours between supper and bedtime the Tear Thief carries her waterproof, silvery sack over her shoulder as she soundlessly steals the tears of every child who cries. But what does she do with all of those tears?
This is a modern tale that illustrates a classic message which teaches children to value true feelings.
#89. THE THREE LITTLE PIGS by Stephen Tucker, illustrated by Nick Sharratt
“To build a house,” the third pig said, “I know the thing to choose. Not straw or sticks, but solid bricks. Yes, they’re the things to use.” It’s the three little pigs, but not as you know it! Parents and children alike will love this charming retelling of the classic fairy tale with lots of creative lift-the-flap surprises. Also in this series: “Cinderella”, “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Jack and the Beanstalk”.
#90. THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA by Judith Kerr
This classic story of Sophie and her extraordinary tea-time guest has been loved by millions of children since it was first published over 30 years ago. Now a new generation will enjoy this beautiful reformatted edition! The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big furry, stripy tiger! This modern classic picture book is perfect for reading aloud, or for small children to read to themselves time and again.
#91. THE UGLIEST DOG IN THE WORLD by Bruce Whatley
Everyone thinks the Ugliest Dog in the World is ‘ugly’, but in different ways. Mum thinks she’s ugly in a cute sort of way, the lady next door thinks she’s pretty, but you haven’t seen the lady next door. My best friend even screams when she sees her…But I think she’s beautiful, in a sloppy kind of way!
#92. THE VELVETEEN RABBIT by Margery Williams
Still as poignant today as it has ever been, Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit is one of the best-loved children’s books of all time. In the nursery, only the toys that are old and wise truly understand what it means to be Real. The Velveteen Rabbit, a newcomer to the nursery, asks one of the most knowledgeable toys, the Skin Horse, what being real means.
“Real isn’t how you’re made,” says the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real. It doesn’t happen all at once. You become …” And so begins the Velveteen Rabbit’s journey towards becoming real – through the love of a child …
#93. THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR by Eric Carle
A much-loved classic, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” has won over millions of readers with its vivid and colorful collage illustrations and its deceptively simply, hopeful story.
With its die-cut pages and finger-sized holes to explore, this is a richly satisfying book for children.
You might also enjoy The Very Hungry Caterpillar popup 3D app
#94. THE WAY BACK HOME by Oliver Jeffers
Award-winning international bestselling picture book creator of Lost and Found, Oliver Jeffers. Once there as a boy, and one day, he found an aeroplane in his cupboard…He didn’t remember leaving it in there, but he thought he’d take it out for a go right away. At first, all went well and the plane flew higher and higher and higher until…suddenly, with a splutter, it ran out of petrol. The boy was stuck on the moon…and he was not alone…
#95. THE WHALES’ SONG by Dyan Sheldon
Her grandmother’s tales of the beautiful, enchanting whales’ song that once filled the ocean leads Lily on a wondrous journey of imagination…
#96. TIME FOR BED by Mem Fox
Day is done. Darkness is falling everywhere, and little ones are getting sleepy.
This gentle book, with its rythmic verse and peaceful, loving illustrations, will lull toddlers whether it’s bedtime, nap time, or simply time for a snuggle.
#97. TOPS & BOTTOMS by Janet Stevens
Hare solves his family’s problems by tricking rich and lazy Bear in this funny,
energetic version of an old slave story.
With roots in American slave tales, Tops & Bottoms celebrates the trickster tradition of using one’s wits to overcome hardship.
#98. WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT by Michael Rosen
“We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one.” Will you come too? For twenty years, readers have been swishy swashing and splash sploshing through this award-winning favorite.
#99. WHERE ARE YOU, BLUE KANGAROO by Emma Chichester Clark
Lily loves Blue Kangaroo, but sometimes he disappears and Lily says, “Where are you, Blue Kangaroo?” And Blue Kangaroo waits for Lily to find him…When Lily goes to the park, she has a great time, but forgets to hold on tight to Blue Kangaroo and nearly loses him. And when Lily goes shopping with Aunt Jemima, she leaves poor Blue Kangaroo on the bus! Luckily he is returned to her, but by now Blue Kangaroo is feeling very anxious. Then one day, Lily goes to the zoo with Uncle George and again Blue Kangaroo is nearly lost, but the trip gives him an idea that will mean he never be lost again. But where, oh where is Blue Kangaroo the very next morning?
#100. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak
One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him ‘Wild Thing’ and sends him to bed without his supper. That night a forest begins to grow in Max’s room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are. Max tames the wild things and crowns himself as their king, and then the wild rumpus begins. But when Max has sent the monsters to bed, and everything is quiet, he starts to feel lonely and realises it is time to sail home to the place where someone loves him best of all.
Over to you now! What book have we missed that are your favourite bedtime stories for kids in your house? Share it with us in the comments below.