Today I wanted to share some of our favorite toddler bedtime stories and perhaps hear what yours are. These books are mostly about bedtime itself (we like to set the mood!), although, like most people, we read other kinds of stories at bedtime as well. Let’s compare notes. I’d love to see what’s on your list, too!
Here are ten of our all-time favorite bedtime stories for one and two year olds:
1. Kiss Good Night by Amy Hest and illustrated by Anita Jeram
“It was a dark and stormy night on Plum Street,” as Mrs. Bear puts Sam to bed. What did she forget? This is a cozy book about a mother’s love and the bedtime routine.
2. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
“The sun has set not long ago; Now everybody goes below.” This is a fun way to end the day as an assortment of characters get ready for bed in typically silly Boynton style.
3. Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson
“Once there were three baby owls: Sarah and Percy and Bill.” They wake up to find their owl mother gone and each responds differently as they wait for her to return to their tree. Very sweet.
4. I Love You, Good Night by Jon Buller and Susan Schade; illustrated by Bernadette Pons
“I love you like blueberry pancakes!” A little mouse and mother mouse are pictured in this book about all the ways they love each other. A nice way to end the day.
5. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd
“In the great green room There was a telephone And a red balloon…” A little rabbit says goodnight to everything around him as he gets ready for bed. It might inspire your little one to do the same.
6. Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
“Mama, do you love me?” A little girl tests her mother’s love and finds out that she is loved no matter what. While not about bedtime, talking about love is always a good way to end the day.
7. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
“Before Monica went to bed she looked out of her window and saw the moon.” She wishes she could play with it, so her father gets it for her. Playful and serious at the same time, this book has an added attraction of fold-out pages for the very looong ladder and the very big moon.
A selection of classics illustrated by Lucy Cousins (of Maisy fame). Unfortunately this one doesn’t seem to be available anymore, but she has a new nursery rhyme collection out that may be similar. We also have and love My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells which is great and chock full of classic nursery rhymes, but on the large side, so can be slightly unwieldy.
9. I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis and Alison Jay
“I took the moon for a walk last night. It followed behind like a still summer kite…” Lyrical text and a playful idea make this a fun one.
And, last but not least, one of our absolute favorites (that I wasn’t able to photograph since we don’t own it but just check it out from the library rather often):
10. Mother, Mother, I Want Another by Maria Palushkin Robbins and illustrated by Jon Goodell
Baby mouse asks for another as Mother mouse kisses him goodnight. Misunderstanding, mother mouse goes to find another mother to kiss him goodnight. And then another and another. Comical and sweet at the same time.