Reading aloud is a great way to engage young children with stories while expanding their vocabulary, developing their comprehension, and instilling a love of reading and learning. For so many kids, bedtime stories are the most highly anticipated read alouds, and we have some wonderful books that are perfect for bedtime reading.
“Vivid, imaginative storytelling…a relatable tale for children of adopted, blended, and LGBTQ+ families…. Accompanied by Parsons’ bright, energetic illustrations, Peter’s rhyming text reminds young readers that all types of family structures are valid and that different kinds of families are capable of kindness, education, protection, and, most important, fun.” —Booklist
“Henrichs uses spare, repetitive language and perfectly coordinated, simply rendered cartoon illustrations to highlight Rabbit’s initial reluctance to comply followed by joy in the activities…. A thoroughly delightful, warmhearted bedtime story.”—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
Arlo the Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep
by Catherine Rayner
“Spellbinding…alluringly tranquil… Gentle and gorgeous.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
The Snow Lion
by Jim Helmore
illustrated by Richard Jones
“Unfussy prose by Helmore (Letterbox Lil) makes for lovely, measured storytelling, and it’s a fine match for Jones’s generously scaled art… Visually and emotionally, there’s expansiveness, poignancy, and hope in these pages, the Snow Lion’s benevolent presence presiding over it all.”
by Kate Read
“Lovely, potent, brightly colored illustrations in a combination of textured collage and paint against white space transition to a dark, moonlit backdrop. Little ones will eagerly count in subsequent readings as they also learn new descriptive vocabulary and cheer for the brave hens. A classic scenario flips the script in this engrossing adventure.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
Back to Bed, Ed!
by Sebastien Braun
“Reassuring and right up a toddler’s nighttime alley.” —Kirkus Reviews
Can You Growl Like a Bear?
by John Butler
“Large text curves gracefully through each image. Nature is depicted as ever-friendly, where frolicking, twinkly-eyed animals lope through soft grasses…This simple book will fit easily into any storytime or bedtime repertoire.” ―School Library Journal
One More Sheep
by Mij Kelly
illustrated by Russell Ayto
“Playful illustrations, colorful commentary by the sheep, and rhythm of the text will no doubt make this an excellent read aloud and bedtime staple. This is a must have for all picture book collections.”—Baker & Taylor CATS Meow
by Margaret Wild
illustrated by Kelly Argent
“Mischievous mix-ups rule in this fun-loving tale of barnyard babies who stave off the bedtime hour for as long as possible…. Wild and Argent depict these antics through simple, rhythmic sentences and muted watercolors that lend a cozy, snuggle-up feel to the story….Young readers won’t want these characters to say good night and will surely use this book to forestall their own imminent bedtimes.” —Publishers Weekly
Where is Baby?
by Kathryn O. Galbraith
illustrated by John Butler
“A heartwarming, read-aloud story perfect for sharing with the littlest of little ones, just before bedtime.” ―Midwest Book Review
Find these books on Amazon and Bookshop.org or at your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble! For more read-aloud recommendations, check out our blog post: “Great Read Aloud Books for Storytime, Bedtime, and More.”