Please welcome author Laura Sassi who has a new picture book out! We are giving it away (see Rafflecopter at the bottom) and she also has a list of Best Bedtime Books to share!
Goodnight Manger by Laura Sassi, illustrated by Jane Chapman
Imagine how baby Jesus must have slept on that busy winter night with everyone visiting! Laura Sassi reimagines Christmas eve, told in rollicking rhyme accompanied by cheerful illustrations that capture the chaos and movement from that night. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
p.s. I wanted to add this bedtime picture book. The rhyming scheme makes it exceptionally fun to read aloud!
What Will You Dream of Tonight? by Frances Stickley, illustrated by Anuska Allepuz
Best Bedtime Books
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Mia. I’ve selected the following Best Bedtime Books based on three criteria:
1. Did I (the parent) enjoy reading the bedtime selection as much as the kids enjoyed having it read to them again and again?
2. Is the story engaging, yet ultimately restful?
3. Does it lend itself to quiet bedtime extension opportunities/conversations?
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram
The 20th Anniversary Edition of this book was released last year, indicating that I am not alone in loving this sweet bedtime book that celebrates the special bond between parent and child. When my children were young, we often acted out this story while reading. Sometimes we extended the story by adding our own “love measurements”. Ex: “I love you more than chocolate ice cream.” But in the interest of snuggling down for the night, we always wrapped it up with one last sleepy bedtime kiss.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by Iza Trapani
Expanding on the traditional song, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, this version has the star take a little girl (and us, as readers) on a magical journey through space. When my kids were toddlers, we often sang our way through this book which made it a nice segue to other gentle lullabies. Sometimes we added finger actions. I also found it to be a good springboard for early conversations about how we fit into the bigger world.
Jesse Bear What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom, illustrated by Bruce Degen
In this cheery rhyming bedtime book, Jesse Bear wears everything from his shorts and shirt to sand and dirt. He even wears rice in his hair (which was my kids’ favorite line). My toddlers enjoyed this book because each spread paralleled nicely what their days were like. I loved it because it tickled their funny bones and provided lots of opportunities to foster a good little sense of humor. We often acted this one out, right down to the last spread when, just like Jesse Bear my kids were snugly tucked in bed.
The Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss*
In classic Dr. Seuss style, readers take an imaginative, and of course, rhyming, journey to see just how many folks are getting ready to sleep and in what fantastical ways. It’s a little long for toddlers but my kids loved it as preschoolers. It is my husband’s all-time favorite bedtime book. He still occasionally reads it aloud (from his tattered childhood copy, mind you) and my kids, now ages 10 and 15, eagerly gather round every time. It’s a great conversation starter for number sense and imaginative world-building.
Time for Bed by Mem Fox, illustrated by Jane Dyer
This is a snuggle-down favorite at our house. The quiet rhyme and soothing illustrations that pair baby animals nestling down for the night with their parents are perfect for that last bedtime book when you and baby are ready to call it a night. The illustrations and text provide a nice opportunity to make quiet animal sounds and whisper secrets and make wishes along with the story.
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
In this delightful circular story, Bear snores on while his friends gather in his den during a storm. It’s a lovely tale of friendship with crisp, concrete verse that’s fun to read aloud and provides lots of opportunity for giggles. It’s an extra favorite of mine because it was through Bear Snores On that I was introduced to Jane Chapman. When I read this story to my kids when they were little, I never imagined that Jane Chapman would one day illustrate not one, but two of my picture books! FUN!
Peek-a-Boo by Allan and Janet Ahlberg
This sweet book begins “Here’s a little baby, one two three, stands in his crib what does he see?” Then with a peek-a-boos through sturdy die-cut holes in the page, your little babies can enjoy everything “baby” sees. I loved this book for pointing and finding. And, of course, it ends with “baby” dozing off to sleep which is the perfect ending for a bedtime book.
Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late by Laura Overdeck, illustrated by Jim Paillot
This last choice isn’t really a bedtime story. Laura Overdeck’s books weren’t yet available when my kids were little. But, I LOVE the idea of incorporating this math-loving series into a child’s bedtime routine. Each spread includes a fun illustration, an interesting fact, and three math riddles or questions for little bedtime mathematicians. I would recommend having this be the first book in your bedtime line-up because it’s more fun than restful. But, oh my, is it fun!
*Posts about Dr. Seuss:
Picture Book Giveaway: Good Night Manger by Laura Sassi
Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to win a copy of Good Night Manger.
Laura Sassi, the author of GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, 2014) and GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz, 2015), has a passion for telling humorous stories in prose and rhyme. She writes daily from her century-old home in New Jersey where she lives with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie. In addition to picture books, Laura writes poetry, stories, articles and crafts for kids. Her work has appeared in Highlights for Children, Cricket, Ladybug, Spider, and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. Visit Laura Sassi at her website.
p.s. Related posts:
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.