So it really helps us when the bed time story we choose is one that encourages sleep - I always like the ones with a relaxing tone and where the main character falls asleep at the end. Here are 10 of my recommendations...
Where is the Green Sheep? - Mem Fox
If you asked me what my favourite children's book is, I'd say this one. It teaches rhyming and opposites, it's cleverly written but oh so simple and can encourage early reading from very young children. We search through the pages to try and find our little green sheep - and where is he? Fast asleep (just like you want your kid to be!!) See! Go to sleep like the green sheep little ones!
Too Busy Sleeping - Zanni Louise
This book was so precious to prepare Miss M for becoming a big sister, and for when we brought the Little Man home (read my review here). It's another wonderful one for bedtime as our little friend Eleanor has a very busy day and is desperate to play with her little baby brother, but when he's finally awake and ready to play... you guessed it, Eleanor is too busy sleeping.
The Things I love About Bedtime - Tracy Moroney
I love this series of "The Things I Love..." books. They encourage a really positive sense of self in young children and they can easily relate to the little bunny. Off to bed he goes and we get to peek into his imagination and see what he might be dreaming about tonight! Miss M always notices that his Daddy is reading him the same book ;)
Hairy Maclary - Lynley Dodd
After much excitement and racing around with his friends, Hairy Maclary ends up going straight back home to bed, hiding under his blanket. Young children are naturally drawn to Lynley Dodd's sing-song rhyming text and repetition as each friend joins Hairy Maclary on his adventure.
Rudie Nudie - Emma Quay
This one is PERFECT for bed time! It takes us through exactly what happens LOL! Bath time, running around like crazy rudie nudies, cuddles with mum or dad, into PJs and snuggled up into bed. Another story book that is easy for children to relate to which mirrors their own experiences and bedtime routines (and being nude is pretty funny!)
Guess How Much I Love You - Sam McBratney
Oh my heart when your child says to you "I love you all the way up to the ..." (whatever). Your heart will melt! What a beautiful way to end a day and remind you to tell you kid you love them even after all the tantrums they've put you through that day. Another favourite in this house.
Bilby Moon - Margaret Spurling
Miss M loves moon spotting with her dad, some nights before bed they'll head outside to see if they can find it (and can I just mention I think she has super human eye sight because she can spot a day time moon like you wouldn't believe). Bilby Moon is a beautiful story which can help children understand the complexity of why the moon changes shape.
The Cranky Bear - Nick Bland
I was shopping with a friend one day and she recommended this one because her 4 and 5 year olds LOVE IT! That moment when the darling little sheep offers the Cranky Bear a pillow is just the sweetest! So that's why he was cranky all this time...
Noni the Pony - Alison Lester
Noni the Pony is a really lovely rhyming book about friendship and kindness. She comforts her friends in thunder storms, and after a song 'sleeps all night long'... Did you hear that kid? She sleeps all night long!! LOL
Sleepy Bears - Mem Fox
Ok I've just realised Mem has made this list twice! Well she is pretty awesome, she deserves to be. Sleepy Bears has a unique relaxing tone about it; 'Bella Bear yawned a BIG yawn...' it will have you and your kid yawning and relaxing ready for sleepy time. Each of the bears drifts off to sleep and has their own special dream.
Do you have a favourite not already on my list?
PS. Avoid "Press Here" at bed time, because you'll be reading it over and over again (that's what the book tells you to do!) and your child will be hyped up from all the activity. A great book don't get me wrong - just not very relaxing before bed!