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At the beginning of last year we made a resolution to read to our daughter every day. When we started out she was 7 months old and the books we had to choose from that were appropriate to her age were limited, but we had lots of books for bedtime.
What we discovered was that bedtime book reading is the key to reading throughout the day. Once we started reading diligently each evening, her passion for books in general grew. She found new favorites and would spend hours looking at and “reading” books.
Here is a list of our favorite night-time books for ages 0-3.
My Go to Bed Book is from an earlier era where the word britches is used, so it has a kind of nostalgic feel. But we really like the last page where Mommy says, “Go to sleep now. Go to sleep. Go to sleep. Shh. Shh.” It provides just the right ending to a bed time book.
Goodnight Faces is always fun for both parent and child because it is a book that is a mask. You put your face to the back of the book and peek through the eye holes and you are the different animals and objects in the book! It is so fun to watch a babies eyes light up as she sees her mom or dad as a chick (etc.) The rhyme structure is very nice for this one.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is the perennial classic, but there is a good reason for it! It is so simple, but it does its job of calming and preparing little eyes and ears for sleep. I just love that the bunny in the book is saying goodnight to each item he sees.
Winnie the Pooh’s Sweet Dreams is a set of four books that have a go to bed or wake up theme. We really like Winnie’s Sleepytime Hum. Each book has sparse prose, which is perfect for short attention spans.
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton! We are definitely Sandra Boynton fans around here and no collection of bedtime books would be complete without this one. I still am baffled by the fact that they go and exercise so soon before bed, but hey, it’s Sandra Boynton! This is a great introduction to her characters and style. It is the perfect rocking chair book.
The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood is such a great read for any time of day, but we really like it at night. It gets our little one ready to be quiet and includes one of her favorite characters: Aunt Tilly. The illustrations are beautiful and there are many creative ways of showing quiet times.
Time for Bed by Mem Fox includes beautiful illustrations and wonderful prose for each page. This reinforces the idea that all creatures need some rest. I love that it has a parent-child relationship for each of the animals and at the end a human parent and child.
What do you like to read to your little ones before bed?