The bedside lamp is turned low, the covers form a cushy fortress of wool and knitted quilt, and the air is electric with anticipation. In a few moments, our parents or older relatives will crack the spine of our favorite bedtime story, opening a portal into a world we will never forget. No matter how old we become, the stories that are read to us as children remain in our memories until we pass those stories on to our children, forming a generational tapestry of imagination.
So it is with “Goodnight, Moon,” one of the most beautiful bedtime stories ever written. With spare, elegant prose, and lush illustrations that invite you to linger in the pages of the book long after you have fallen asleep, “Goodnight, Moon” is the story of a bunny rabbit who wishes every item in the house a good night’s rest. Simple, yet affecting, this book was originally published in 1947, and remains a staple of nighttime storytelling.
While still on a bunny rabbit theme, the adventures of “Bunnicula” are excellent bedtime fare for the slightly older child. The amusing stories of a vampire bunny, as told by the family’s dog Harold, will encourage kids to develop not only their imaginations, but their sense of humor and adventure.
Picture-based books, especially those that feature glossy, full color photographs or renderings of fantastic ancient cultures, will enrich a child’s dreams, and invigorate the desire to explore. “See Inside an Egyptian Town” features detailed cross-sections of ancient Egyptian dwellings, palaces, and pyramids. Nothing is more exciting than the sensation of being able to peer into the past, especially when that past involves such magnificent monuments and artifacts as ancient Egypt.
Despite the fact that the “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” was deemed to be suitable bedtime reading for the characters of the grandfather and grandchild in the television series “Mad Men,” analytical historical texts should not necessarily be employed as a way to put children to sleep. However, more complex fictional fare, such as Madeline L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” can make for quite exciting bedtime reading for exceptionally advanced children. A child will never forget the experience of reading an entire novel, night by night.
No matter the specific book, bedtime stories instill in us a feeling of being loved. To read, and be read to, is an experience that stays with us long after the lights have been turned off.
Here are a few of our featured bedtime stories just for kids:
Bear Snores On is a sweet story about a bear who just loves to sleep $16
It’s Too Soon is about a little bunny who isn’t quite ready for bed $14.95
Little Quack’s Bedtime is about bedtime for Widdle, Waddle, Piddle, Puddle and Little Quack $14.95
The Life of Pajamas is about how one very special pair of pajamas spends the day $11