Please welcome author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater with her list of 10 Books that Invite Falling Asleep with Animals. We are also giving away a copy of her newest picture book, Dreaming of You. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
What are your favorite bedtime books? Thanks for sharing!
Children and animals have a magical connection, and while not every child’s bed includes a dog or cat, most children’s beds welcome at least one stuffed creature. Children love to think and wonder about animals both real and pretend – in nature and in our imaginations. Here is a collection of animal bedtime books – some classic and some new – to help our littlest human animals fall sweetly into slumber.
10 Books that Invite Falling Asleep with Animals!
1. Dreaming of You by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, illustrated by Aaron DeWitt
Dreams are mysterious and magical, and this lyrical lullaby peeks into the dreams of a variety of animals, each of whom is dreaming of the child. Soft, cozy illustrations and poetic text end with a wish for young readers, “And when the sun rises may you still remember/sweet animals dreaming of you.” [picture book, ages 3 and up]
2. All My Friends are Fast Asleep by David Weinstone, illustrated by Magali Le Huche
A boy struggling to fall asleep visits a variety of animals for sleeping tips (Hang from your feet like a bat? Snooze in waves like a whale?) but none of these tips feel right. At story’s end, he decides to be a boy after all, and after a long adventure, falls asleep in bed. The final endpapers offer chords to sing this sweet book. [picture book, ages 2 and up]
3. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
Part of the How Do Dinosaurs… collection of picture books, this rhyming text asks in many different ways how a dinosaur drifts off. “Does he swing his neck from side to side?/Does he up and demand a piggyback ride?” In the end, wee readers learn that no, dinosaurs do not do these things. Rather they kiss, hug, and whisper, “Good night!” [picture book, ages 4 and up]
4. Good Day, Good Night by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Loren Long
This book by author of the classic Good Night Moon follows a bunny greeting the world in the morning with sun’s light and saying good night to the world in the light of the moon. Readers will hear echoes of Good Night Moon – “Good night toys/Good night/world/Under the covers/I cuddle and curl” sweetly soothe. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
5. Go Sleep in Your Own Bed! by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Lori Nichols
A pig tries to hit the hay only to find a cow in his bed. When the cow leaves to go to her bed, she finds a chicken snoozing. Animal after animal, from horse to sheep to dog to cat, kicks the next out of his or her bed until finally, the little girl on the farm invites the cat into her own bed, thus settling everyone. Lovely circular ending. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
6. Time for Bed by Mem Fox, illustrated by Jane Dyer
Each animal in this beautifully illustrated list poem hears tucking-in words such as, “It’s time for bed, little mouse, little mouse,/Darkness is falling all over the house.” Large double page watercolor spreads invite young readers into various natural environments, and the poem ends with, of course, a child being tucked in as well.[picture book, ages 1 and up]
7. Good Night Sleep Tight by Kristina Andres
Two friends, Fox and Rabbit, say good night and fall asleep together through 11 ½ different stories featuring a variety of animals and settings. A book about both sleep and friendship, this collection is filled with charming lines such as, “Soft shadows, Rabbit!” and Magnificent moonlight, Fox!” [illustrated very short story collection, ages 5 and up]
8. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
This funny brief poem illustrated with Boynton’s well-loved joyful animals follows animals getting ready for bed, from bathing tooth brushing and even exercise! This book is likely to stay in your head and in your child’s head too as you giggle yourselves off to sleep. [picture book, ages 1 and up]
9. Sweet Dreams of the Wild: Poems for Bedtime by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, illustrated by Katharine Dodge
A gentle collection of poems written in animal voices answers a child’s wonderings,“ Where and how do animals sleep?” Dotlich’s melodic rhymes coupled with Dodge’s warm illustrations make this a beautiful and cozy introduction to poetry for curious young nature lovers. [picture book, ages 5 and up]
10. All Ears, All Eyes by Richard Jackson, illustrated by Katherine Tillotson
Young sleepy readers discover hidden nighttime animals in this musical and richly illustrated text. Poetic lines such as “All ears,/a bat flies,/wings whirring” and “What scoots between roots?” invite little ones to both see and hear creatures who stir and adventure as people sleep. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Dreaming Of You GIVEAWAY!
We are also giving away a copy of her newest picture book, Dreaming of You. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
Dreaming of You by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, illustrated by Aaron DeWitt
photo by Melissa Deakin Photography
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is author of children’s books including Forest Has a Song, Every Day Birds, Read! Read! Read!, Dreaming of You, and With My Hands. She is a former fifth grade teacher, a nineteen-year writing teacher, and author of the professional book Poems Are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres. Amy lives in Holland, NY with her family, blogs for young writers at The Poem Farm and Sharing Our Notebooks, and posts on Twitter and Instagram as @amylvpoemfarm.
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