The 25 Best Bedtime Stories of All Time

Getting kids ready for bed can feel like a constant struggle. One thing that makes it easier? A great read to trick entice them to put on their pj's and snuggle up for a magical adventure. Here, 25 amazing bedtime stories that kids of all ages will love. 

The Best Kids’ Books for Every Age

the world s worst children bedtime story by david walliams
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the World’s Worst Children By David Walliams

This hilarious collection of ten stories about ten delightfully dreadful children will have your kids rolling on the bedroom floor with laughter. 

a wrinkle in time by madeleine l engle bedtime story

a Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'engle

In this time-traveling adventure, a bunch of misfits embark on a perilous quest to find their father. But really this novel is about the battle between good versus evil and the triumph of love. Aww...

the ugly duckling by hans christian andersen bedtime story for kids
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the Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

This classic children’s story by the beloved Danish author comes with a lovely message—don’t judge someone by their appearance.

goodnight moon by margaret wise brown bedtime story for kids
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goodnight Moon By Margaret Wise Brown

An existential reflection on bedtime that has been helping kids get ready for sleep for over 70 years—and it’s still as relevant as ever.

are you my mother by p d eastman bedtime story for kids
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are You My Mother? By P.d. Eastman

This sweet bedtime read follows a baby bird searching for his mother and all the animals he meets along the way. It’s been delighting young children since it came out in 1960 and is still simply adorable.

the magic school bus by joanna cole bedtime stories
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the Magic School Bus By Joanna Cole

Want to spark your kid’s interest in the sciences? This educational series is a great way to do exactly that—from outer space and the human body to the city’s waterworks and the age of dinosaurs.

the very hungry caterpillar by eric carle bedtime story
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the Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle

This beloved tale lets kids participate in the story of a ravenous caterpillar and his metamorphosis into a butterfly. Extra bonus? The story will help teach little ones how to count and the days of the week, too.

pajama time by sandra boynton bedtime story
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pajama Time! By Sandra Boynton

“Pull on the bottoms. Put on the top. Get yourself set to pajama-dee-bop. It’s Pajama Time!” Your kids will love the fun rhymes, and you’ll love the message that bedtime is important. 

the little prince by antoine de saint exupe ry bedtime story
COVER: Random House Books for Young Readers/BACKGROUND:lavendertime/GETTY IMAGES

the Little Prince By Antoine De Saint-exupéry

An allegorical tale about love and loneliness written by a French aviator in the 1940s. This spacey read is pretty deep, so you might want to save it for your elementary schooler. 

one fish two fish red fish blue fish by dr seuss bedtime story for kids

one Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish By Dr. Seuss

This beautifully illustrated read from the brilliant author is one of the most fun ways to teach kids the basics of counting and colors.

anne of green gables by l m montgomery bedtime story
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anne Of Green Gables By L. M. Montgomery

Follow the courageous redhead whose feisty nature gets her as many friends as it does troubles in her adventures around Prince Edward Island. With her feminist and unapologetic ideals, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better female role model for your mini. 

curious george by h a rey bedtime story book cover
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curious George By H. A. Rey

This incorrigible little monkey has become one of the most beloved and cheeky characters of children’s literature, spawning multiple television series and films—but the books are the original magic. 

charlotte s web by e b white bedtime story
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charlotte’s Web By E.b. White

A captivating story about friendship and loss that will teach your kiddo that friends come in all shapes and sizes (and even breeds).

love you forever by robert munsch bedtime story
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love You Forever By Robert Munsch

You’re going to want to read this one to your kid with a box of tissues on standby—this heartwarming story about a mother’s everlasting love for her boy is a real tear-jerker.

brown bear brown bear what do you see by bill martin jr and eric carle bedtime story for kids
COVER: Henry Holt and Co/BACKGROUND:lavendertime/GETTY IMAGES

brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr. And Eric Carle

Sweet rhymes, funny characters and beautiful tissue-paper collage illustrations make this picture book a children’s favorite—especially for beginner readers.

guess how much i love you by sam mcbratney bedtime story
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guess How Much I Love You By Sam Mcbratney And Anita Jeram

A heartwarming tale in which Big Nutbrown Hare and his son Little Nutbrown Hare discover that love is not an easy thing to measure.

alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day by judith viorst bedtime story
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alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day By Judith Viorst

This charming tale of a young boy having an awful day is a great lesson on how not to let bad circumstances get the best of you. 

where s spot by eric hill bedtime book for kdis

where’s Spot? By Eric Hill

The author originally created this lovable pup as a bedtime story for his two-year-old son, and now Spot is one of the best-loved preschool characters of all time. And with this fun edition, children can lift flaps as they search for Spot on his first and most famous adventure. 

good night gorilla by peggy rathmann bedtime book for kids
COVER: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers/BACKGROUND:lavendertime/GETTY IMAGES

good Night, Gorilla By Peggy Rathmann

It’s bedtime at the zoo, but one sneaky gorilla has decided to tag along as the night watchman makes his rounds.

where the sidewalk ends by shel silverstein bedtime story
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where The Sidewalk Ends By Shel Silverstein

This poetry collection is funny, thought-provoking and guaranteed to challenge your child’s imagination. And the rhyming structure lends itself perfectly to being read out loud. 

where the wild things are by maurice sendak bedtime story
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where The Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak

Cherished by children and adults, this timeless classic is seemingly about a young boy being sent to his room without dinner who then discovers a magical jungle. But really, it explores big themes of anger, imagination and growth.

matilda by roald dahl bedtime read
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matilda By Roald Dahl

It’s hard to pick a favorite out of this author’s impressive collection, but this story about the intelligent and resourceful Matilda navigating a tricky childhood is one of his best.

harry potter by j k rowling book cover
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harry Potter By J.k. Rowling

Re-reading these magical books about a young wizard fighting against evil Voldemort is why you had children in the first place. Just kidding (sort of).

llama llama red pajama by anna dewdney bedtime story

llama Llama Red Pajama By Anna Dewdney

This rhyming tale about a little llama lying awake in bed is a dog-eared favorite on many bookshelves.

the tale of peter rabbit by beatrix potter book cover

the Tale Of Peter Rabbit By Beatrix Potter

First published in 1902, this charming tale of a playful rabbit and the trouble he gets into in Mr. McGregor's vegetable garden still holds up. A cautionary tale full of beautiful illustrations and delightful characters.

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...