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11 Books to Read to Your Child In Bed

by Cathy Carr

A young father sits in bed with his two young children, reading a picture book.

There's no better way to unwind before you go to sleep than with a good book in a comfy bed -- besides maybe sharing that book with your family.

Reading bedtime stories to young ones is a great way to improve a child's literacy, foster their creativity, and best of all, help them sleep more soundly at night. For parents of night owls, that last part must sound like an especially tempting prospect. Of course, making sure your kids are sleeping in beds that give them the support and comfort they need is the first step toward getting them to bed more easily, but reading is a great way to help restless kids start winding down for a better night's rest.

If you're trying to build a little more downtime into your kids' nightly routine, these bedtime books for readers of all ages are the perfect solution. Try a few of them out! Who knows, you might just find your new favorite story too.


1.    "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak

Over 50 years since the book was originally published, "Where the Wild Things Are" remains a classic for kids of all ages, and a beautiful depiction of how children use imagination to deal with emotions. Fantastical and fun, it's a great twist on the conventional idea of those monsters in the closet.


2.     "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein's essential poetry collection is packed full of wacky tales that will get your kids' imaginations running and might even have you laughing out loud too. Plus, the illustrations are as much fun as the stories themselves!


3.     "Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson

Another book of poetry from a more serious perspective, Jacqueline Woodson's "Brown Girl Dreaming" is a memoir told in free verse about her experiences growing up as an African American girl during the Civil Rights movement. Written for children and young adults, her storytelling can be appreciated by book-lovers of any age.


4.     "The Stories Julian Tells" by Ann Cameron

This hilarious book is the first installment of Julian's World, a series that relays the (sometimes tall) tales told by a young boy named Julian, and the trouble he and his brother get into when they get too caught up in their own imaginations. From magic fig leaves to an ocean of lemon pudding, this book is funny, sweet, and magical in equal measure.


5.     "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling

This list wouldn't be complete without everyone's favorite boy wizard! The beauty of the first Harry Potter book is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages -- grown ups too! The whimsy, fun, and magic prepares kids for a restful night of dreams, while the deeper themes of family, friendship, and love leave them with important lessons for the future.


6.     "Holes" by Louis Sachar

Thoughtful enough to keep older kids engaged and heartfelt enough for younger ones to feel invested every step of the way, "Holes" is the story of a teenage boy who is shipped off to a juvenile labor camp after being wrongly accused of a crime. You and your kids may have seen the 2003 movie already, but trust us, the book is well worth a read.

A stack of hardcover books sit on a wooden table, with shelves full of books visible in the background.


7.     "Stellaluna" by Janell Cannon

Perfect for young readers, this picture book about a young bat searching for a mother's love and learning to be herself along the way is as heartwarming as it is fun. You're going to want to get cozy when you break this one out, because your little one will want to hear it again and again.


8.     "Last Stop on Market Street" by Matt de la Peña

This story about a little boy riding the bus with his grandmother might seem simple, but in just a few pages it expertly conveys complex and powerful messages about finding beauty and happiness wherever you are. Another great option for young readers, the beautiful illustrations will captivate small children and you'll enjoy the full depth of its message about loving where you live and being kind to the people who live alongside you.


9.     "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin, Jr.

If you've got a musical kid, this book lets your little ones set their own rhythm. This book is fun to read time and time again, and both you and your child will have endless fun singing along. Plus, it helps beginning readers get more comfortable with the alphabet! Musical, educational, and fun -- that sounds like a win, win, win!


10.     "Esperanza Rising" by Pam Muñoz Ryan

This young adult novel tells the gripping tale of a young girl from Mexico whose once-wealthy family is forced to move to California during the Great Depression. A fictional tale full of real history that your kids will be excited to learn, this book is tragic, heartwarming, and inspirational, all in one. Be sure to break out the tissues!


11.     "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkein

This classic prequel to "The Lord of the Rings" series is lighter and more lyrical than the trilogy that follows it, with plenty of adventure for older kids and fantastical fun that young ones will enjoy too. This book is so good, the kids will be dying to hop in bed every night and hear the next chapter -- you'll struggle to resist reading ahead too!


Reading can be the perfect way to wind down before drifting off at the end of the day, but in order to get the most out of your sleep, you'll need the perfect mattress. So before you get cozy with one of these 11 amazing books, come by our shop and find mattresses that will get both you and your kids' sleep started on the right side of the bed. With the help of a good book and a better mattress, bedtime can be better than ever. So stop by our store and get snoozin'!