Favorite Bedtime Picture Books

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These are a few of my favorites to read to my lil’ preschooler before bed. He has a bit of a short attention span- bedtime is about the only time he’ll let me read to him. These stories are big on pictures, few on words, and brimming with magic.

Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger
I recommend anything by Barbara Berger. Her books are so beautifully illustrated. This story follows Grandfather Twilight along in his evening ritual of journeying to the ocean to put the moon in the sky, then back home again and going to bed.

Midnight Farm by Reeve Lindberg
This is simple narrative in which a mother takes a night-time walk with her son to see all the animals of their farm. The wording is beautiful and rhythmic. I think this is my son’s favorite.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This one has been around quite a while and I have to admit, it wasn’t instant an favorite with me; I think I just didn’t like the colors used. But my little boy loves it, and I guess it’s kind of grown on me. He likes the rhyming words of brush, hush, mush and repeats them when the story is read. The story has a kind of magical and comforting lulling quality.

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson
The words are few and mystical, so simple and so profound. The artwork really grabs you; scratchboard black and white with touches of gold. This wondrous and comforting book is sure to become a classic.

The Sandman by Ralph J. Fletcher
If there’s ever been a better story of the Sandman, I’d like to hear it. This miniature sized sandman (whose name is Tor) makes his sleep inducing sand from dragon scales. Kids love pointing out all the little details of the Sandman’s miniature world; a ladle for a bathtub, a thread spool table, postage stamp wall art, etc.

Rise the Moon by Eileen Spinelli
This one is another beautiful picture book that’s perfect for bedtime. It has a dreamlike quality. It’s more of a lullaby than a story, and shows the magical effect the moon has on different people and animals around the world.

Stormy Weather by Debi Gliori
Beautiful rhyming story of animal mothers lovingly putting their babes to bed. The words are so loving, it almost makes me tear up! The pictures are as beautiful and the story. You’ll want to linger on each page to absorb the details of the watercolor and ink illustrations.
It’s my favorite of the bedtime stories I read to my son.

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