Published on August 22nd, 2014 | by Bright Kids Books0
The very best short bedtime stories
These short bedtime stories are perfect for the times when you’re past bedtime but still want to maintain your reading routine.
These short bedtime stories are also perfect for tired children (and parents) – or younger children who struggle to maintain attention for longer bedtime books. In fact, these short bedtime stories are so good that you don’t need any excuse to read them whatsoever. The adage ‘quality over quantity’ has rarely been so true!
The very best short bedtime stories
by Jez Alborough
How can it be that a book with only one word – hug- repeated throughout, can be so good? The proof is in the pudding (or the wilds of Africa) in Jez Alborough’s picture book Hug, a delightful mini odyssey of a baby chimpanzee on the hunt for his mum and a cuddle.
Our little friend wanders through the trees, witnessing many other animals from chameleons to giraffes as they snuggle together. “Hug,” he says, happily, at first, but then with growing despair as he sees there are no hugs for him. The story is told purely by the expression on the little chimp’s face as his hopes are built up and dashed again and again… until eventually, with a huge smile, he finds his mum and reaps the reward.
Hug is a clever, unusual book that portrays the art of children’s illustration at its very best: a story brought to life with the stroke of a brush through facial expressions and body language that kids will immediately understand. Setting the standard for funny short bedtime stories for kids.
by Ezra Jack Keats
The Snowy Day, a 1963 Caldecott Medal winner, is the simple tale of a boy waking up to discover that snow has fallen during the night. Keats’s illustrations, using cut-outs, watercolors, and collage, are strikingly beautiful in their understated color and composition. Awakening to a winter wonderland is an ageless, ever-magical experience, and one made nearly visceral by Keats’s gentle tribute.
The book is notable not only for its lovely artwork and tone, but also for its importance as a trailblazer. According to Horn Book magazine, The Snowy Day was “the very first full-color picture book to feature a small black hero” – yet another reason to add this classic to your shelves. Today, it’s still as unique and special as a snowflake. One of the truly classic children’s books from your childhood, that also happens to be one of the truly wonderful short bedtime stories.
by Il Sung Na
This is one of those amazing kids books that delights your eye from the very first page and holds your attention to the very end. Il Sung Na makes his English language debut with this gorgeous bedtime offering. With a spare, soothing text and beautifully rich and textured illustrations of a starry night, this is one of the perfect short bedtime stories to encourage restfulness – a true “book of sleep”.
By Margaret Wise Brown
In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.”
In this classic of modern children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day. Goodnight Moon has literally helped send millions of little one’s to sleep – and is one of the most popular short bedtime stories for babies ever written.
by Mem Fox
You absolutely cannot go wrong with a Mem Fox book. In Time for Bed, Fox teams with illustrator Jane Dyer to create a charming, beautiful bedtime book that will soothe and calm even the wildest beast, or child. Gentle, rhythmic text and dreamy watercolors lead to yawns, sleepy eyes, and dozing babies. One of the very best short bedtime stories.
by Don Freeman
Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy, is even more popular today then he was when he first came on the scene in 1976. Corduroy is the perfect children’s book. It is a gentle, sweet tale of a little bear in green cordoroy overalls waiting to be purchased in a department store. Youngsters (and adults!) will never get tired of this toy-comes-alive tale with a seriously happy ending. One of our favourite short bedtime stories for kids.
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! Now available in its entirety in board book format, Nancy Tillman’s masterpiece is perfect for acknowledging the special people in our lives that they are loved. This is one of the short bedtime stories that will have both you and your child filled with love and happiness.
by Sam McBratney
“Guess how much I love you,” says Little Nutbrown Hare. Little Nutbrown Hare shows his daddy how much he loves him: as wide as he can reach and as far as he can hop. But Big Nutbrown Hare, who can reach farther and hop higher, loves him back just as much. Well then Little Nutbrown Hare loves him right up to the moon, but that’s just halfway to Big Nutbrown Hare’s love for him. One of the short bedtime stories that gets regular repeat readings in our house.
by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
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! Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault’s rhythmic text keeps the beat with Caldecott Honor illustrator Lois Ehlert’s bold, cheerful art. And while this is the full version of the book (there’s a shorter Board Book version available too), we feel this is still worthy of any list of short bedtime stories. Enjoy!