Here are my favorite stories that you will enjoy while putting your toddler to bed. These are cute, fun and short (because who wants to be held captive like an exhausted librarian when you could be opening a bottle of red and catching up on Sister Wives).
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman (click title to view on Amazon)
Try getting through this one without shedding a few tears. Almost impossible. It begins with, “On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, “Life will never be the same.”
This book has calming illustrations for the bedtime crowd, and it also focuses on how special and unique your child is in the world. It is the perfect length for a bedtime story, and it reminds me of how thankful I am to have my beautiful little daughter.
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees (click title to view on Amazon)
Gerald the Giraffe is a complete klutz, and he is upset because he doesn’t know how to dance. The other animals laugh at him until a cricket tells him that, “Sometimes when you’re different, you just need a different song.” The illustrations are almost as adorable as the lesson of being confident in your individuality. My daughter especially enjoys finding the cricket hidden on each page.
The Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton (click title to view on Amazon)
This one is a bit lighter of a selection, but I think it is my daughter’s favorite bedtime story. Before you go out and get this one, you need to know that it is weird. This is decidedly why I like it. First of all, the illustrations will give you pause—is that a dog or a bear? You will need to decide which animal is which because your toddler will ask for animal clarification 50,000 times while reading this book. The craziest part—after taking a bath AND brushing their teeth—these strange animals go upstairs on the boat deck to exercise! Why would someone exercise after all those bedtime rituals? It will drive you crazy if you over think it. This book concludes neatly with the animals all rocking to sleep. This puts my toddler in a sleepy, smiley place that works every time!
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss (click title to view on Amazon)
This book is a classic for both babies and high school graduates. It is also packed with good lessons about life (“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”). And of course the illustrations are wacky enough to keep any toddler interested. Ultimately, I feel that this book encompasses much of the wisdom we hope to instill in our children. And for that, it belongs in any mom’s bedtime story rotation.
Wishing you the best of luck with bedtime tonight!
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