The best bedtime stories for babies and toddlers with big colorful illustrations

100 amazing books and stories with big colorful pictures to lull your little one to sleep

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Last Updated: March 7, 2017

This is a list of my favorite books to read to my children when it’s time to sleep. There are some classics and new “soon to be” classics on this list.

I will update the books on this list as I go through our bookshelf, but here’s a few of my favorite stories to get you started.

All of these books are big board books and hardcover editions and they are beautifully illustrated with large and colorful pictures to grab your child’s attention. These stories are appropriate for toddlers to 4-6 year olds. I’ve tried to include only “feel good” stories on this list that will bring a smile to your child’s face and leave them feeling loved and unique by the time they fall asleep.

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  1. A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni – Beautifully written and illustrated. In this charming tale you’ll join a chamelon on his journey to discover a color of his own. A story about accepting others and accepting yourself.
  2. An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni – A funny tale about three frogs who adopt an alligator called “chicken”.
  3. I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love by Nancy Tillman – A beautiful story about each child’s uniqueness and differences. Very well written and guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes.
  4. On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman – One of my all time favorite bedtime stories that will leave your child feeling so special and loved because there is only one of them in the world.
  5. It’s Time to Sleep, My Love by Nancy Tillman and Eric Mextaxas – A gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous bedtime story about…sleep! This story rhymes and flows like a song to lull your child to sleep. I dare you not to fall asleep too!
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  6. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle – A fun rhyming story about friendship.
  7. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown – My favorite “farm” story that gives your child a view of a farm from the animals’ point of view. A quiet and graceful story without a lot of obnoxious animal oinks and moos like other animal stories.
  8. Goodnight Moon by Margaraet Wise Brown – This is a classic for a reason! From the mouse to the dollhouse and the pictures on the wall, this is one story that will stay with you for a lifetime. My mommy read this to me when I was a child and we are keeping the tradition alive.
  9. Sweet Dreams, Sam by Yves Got – A “touch and feel” book that you can read to your baby! Which stuffed animal should Sam take with him to bed? It’s never too early to instill the love of reading in your baby and this is the perfect first book to make reading fun.
  10. Kiss Good Night (Sam Books) by Amy Hest and Anita Jeram – A cozy and gentle story about Sam and his mama bear as he gets ready for bed. It’s a dark and stormy night on Plum Street and mama and Sam go through their bedtime rituals. A charming story with beautiful illustrations.
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  11. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss – “Green I’ve seen, Green I’ve been. I would not eat Green Eggs and Ham.” Teaches kids not to be afraid to try new things.
  12. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney – A slide and pop-up book featuring the Nutbrown Hares that expresses a mother’s love. Can you love all the way up to the moon?
  13. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney – Deals with nighttime and separation anxiety after that kiss goodnight. Baby Llama learns that “Mama Llama’s always near, even if she’s not right here.”
  14. Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue – An award winning magical story about a little girl who refuses to go to bed. “Does everything in the world go to sleep?”
  15. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton – A fun and colorful book about a motley lot of animals on a giant boat as they get ready for bed. “The sun has set not long ago./Now everybody goes below/to take a bath in one big tub/with soap all over—SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB!”
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  16. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
  17. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  18. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  19. The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey
  20. Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker
  21. Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
  22. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr.
  23. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
  24. Time for Bed by Mem Fox
  25. Again! by Emily Gravett
  26. All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep by Crescent Dragonwagon
  27. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
  28. A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na
  29. Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
  30. Song of Night: It’s Time to Go to Bed by Katherine Riley Nakamura
  31. Sleepy Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
  32. Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson
  33. Oliver Who Would Not Sleep by Mara Bergman
  34. No More Yawning by Paeony Lewis
  35. Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
  36. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
  37. The Goodnight Train
  38. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book
  39. Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late!
  40. The Napping House
  41. Bear Snores On
  42. Snoozers: 7 Short Short Bedtime Stories for Lively Little Kids
  43. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  44. Pajama Time!
  45. In the Night Kitchen
  46. Go Away, Big Green Monster!
  47. Bedtime for Frances
  48. Bread and Jam for Frances
  49. I Need My Monster
  50. The Night Night Book
  51. Tuck Me In!
  52. Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joose
  53. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
  54. Sylvia Long’s Mother Goose
  55. Close Your Eyes by Kate Banks
  56. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
  57. Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Rod Campbell
  58. Gossie by Olivier Dunrea
  59. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury
  60. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
  61. I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak
  62. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr.
  63. Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton
  64. Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You
  65. It’s Time to Sleep, My Love
  66. The Crown on Your Head
  67. The Spirit of Christmas
  68. The Heaven of Animals
  69. The Wonder of You
  70. Giraffes Can’t Dance
  71. The Pout-Pout Fish
  72. Peek-A Who?
  73. Doggies by Sandra Boynton
  74. Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo
  75. Bear Snores On
  76. The Hiccupotamus
  77. Moo Baa La La La
  78. Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You by Dr. Seuss
  79. Sheep in a Jeep
  80. Dragons Love Tacos
  81. Open the Barn Door
  82. I Just Forgot by Mercer Mayer
  83. You Are My Sunshine
  84. Happy Hippo, Angry Duck: A Book of Moods by Sandra Boynton
  85. Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton
  86. Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
  87. Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton
  88. Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
  89. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
  90. Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg
  91. The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
  92. Press Here by Herve Tullet
  93. Potty by Leslie Patricelli
  94. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
  95. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
  96. Good Night, Teddy by Francesca Ferri
  97. Duck & Goose, Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
  98. From Head to Toe Board Book by Eric Carle
  99. My New Baby by Rachel Fuller
  100. My Napping House by Audrey Wood

last updated 19/10/2014


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