Books for bedtime: find a new favourite

Baby, Sleepy Baby

Sharing a story is magical at any time - but there's something extra special about snuggling up for a story at bedtime.

We wanted to find some new favourites for you, so we put together a list of beautiful picture books that little ones will love, all published in the last few years, and all perfect to enjoy before settling down to sleep.

  • Goodnight, Little Bunny

    Author: Amanda Wood Illustrator: Bec Winnel and Vikki Chu
    Publisher: Magic Cat
    Interest age: 0-3

    Little Bunny sets out from her burrow for the first time - there are adventures to be had before it's time for bed. A simply told story and a very sweet book that combines illustrated backgrounds with real photography.

  • Goodnight World

    Author: Nicola Edwards Illustrator: Hannah Tolson
    Publisher: Caterpillar Books
    Interest age: 2-5

    When it’s time to say 'Goodnight', every language has a different way of saying the same thing. This soothing picture book has a lilting rhyme throughout as it helps us learn the phrase in various languages - along with the message that whatever our language or culture, we all sleep under the same stars, and bedtime is special for everyone.

  • More Would You Rather...

    Author: John Burningham
    Publisher: Penguin
    Interest age: 3-5

    Would you rather serve a meal to a very polite rat or a very bad-mannered cat? John Burningham's hilarious sequel to Would You Rather... poses this and other vital questions. A brilliant book you can turn into a game, which also ends with a particularly snuggly bed.

  • Shhh... Good Night

    Author: Nicky Benson Illustrator: Thomas Elliott
    Publisher: Little Tiger Press
    Interest age: 0-3

    The animals in the forest are finishing their day and settling down to sleep –  it’s time for quiet and time for dreams. A beautiful, lyrical, lullaby of a book that's perfect for soothing little ones into sleep.

  • Sleep Tight Very Hungry Caterpillar

    Author: Eric Carle
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 0-2

    You may be familiar with the tale of the Very Hungry Caterpillar and what he eats over the course of a week, but now it’s time to join him as he makes his way home to bed. A calming goodnight story from the nation’s favourite caterpillar.

  • The Best Kind of Bear

    Author: Greg Gormley Illustrator: David Barrow
    Publisher: Nosy Crow

    Bear is a very sweet little bear, but he doesn’t know what type of bear he is. Spectacled? Grizzly? Polar? He meets them all but none of them seem quite right - until his best friend Nelly helps him discover that he's the best kind of bear there is. An adorable friendship story that's perfect for young animal lovers.

  • The Big Dreaming

    Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Daniel Egnéus
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 4-5
    Reading age: 7+

    It’snearly time for the Big Dreaming. Big Bear and Little Bear will sleep through the Winter and wake in Spring. But Little Bear is worried he’ll run out of dreams, so he sets off on an adventure to find some… Perfect for bedtime reading.

  • Lulu's Sleepover

    Author: Anna McQuinn Illustrator: Rosalind Beardshaw
    Publisher: Alanna Max
    Interest age: 2-5

    In this sweet instalment of the Lulu series, Lulu has a new adventure with her cousin Hani – her very first sleepover.  

  • The Bookworm

    Author: Debi Gliori
    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    Max's pet worm loves listening to stories - and also loves curry and chilli crisps. As it grows, Max realises his pet is not a worm after all, but something MUCH bigger. This heartwarming tale of a boy and his unusual pet’s relationship is full of the everyday magic that stories bring.

  • The Boy Who Loved Everyone

    Author: Jane Porter Illustrator: Maisie Paradise Shearring
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 3-5

    Dimitri is new at nursery, and no matter how many people (and trees) he says 'I love you' to, no one says it back. Dimitri starts to get really sad. Even the guinea pig seems to want to get away!

    When Mum walks him to nursery the next day, she explains that people show their feelings in different ways: the mean old man on the park bench is telling the stray …

  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

    Author: Nicola Slater
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 0-2

    All the animals are off to a jazz festival – the are deer playing clarinets, the tiger is on the trombone and the elephant is twanging a banjo! When it’s time for a singsong under the stars, what better than Twinkle, Twinkle? This musical board book, with Nicola Slater’s delightful 50s retro-feel illustrations is a lovely one whether for bedtime, playti…

  • The Rabbit, the Dark and the Biscuit Tin

    Author: Nicola O’Byrne
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 3-5

    It's starting to get dark but Rabbit doesn't want to go to sleep, so he traps the Dark in his biscuit tin. Can the Dark convince Rabbit about the benefits of night-time and to let him out? The perfect book for little ones who might be a bit reluctant to put down their toys and say goodnight. 

  • Baby, Sleepy Baby

    Author: Atinuke Illustrator: Angela Brooksbank
    Publisher: Walker
    Interest age: 0-3

    This soothing picture book lullaby celebrates the beautifully tender moments that families share with their sleepy babies at bedtime.