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"Top 10 Bedtime Books for Kids Age 2 and Up: A Parent's Guide"

Updated: Mar 6

Books we all love them, we all read them. Mason in particular reads books of all shapes and sizes. He is 9 now and is reading books like Harry Potter and The Railway Mysteries but sometimes he just wants a familiar book that he’s had since he was little. Maybe it’s a comfort thing, for times of stress or maybe he just wants the familiar.


As Monkey is now 9, Here are our top 9 books that we have read since he was smaller and that he refuses to ever let us get rid of and are always a firm favourite.


If you do wish to purchase any of the books mentioned Click on the picture and it will take you to the Amazon Page!





1) The Biggest Kiss

Mason adores this rhyming book, he now knows all the words cover to cover, but he just loves it. In fact this book helped him tyo start to learn how to read and develop his skills due to the rhymes.

It’s a cute book all about kisses!

Sometimes we use this as a calming book, to allow him to feel centered and connected to us.


A little about the Author

JOANNA WALSH is a witty, inventive and highly individual picture book writer and illustrator, as well as an accomplished graphic designer. A graduate of Central St Martin's Illustration course, her work includes commissions from the Guardian, Elle Decoration, the Sunday Times and the New York Times. She has written several picture books, including The Biggest Kiss for Simon and Schuster. JUDI ABBOT was born in Italy but now lives in London. She studied Illustration at art school in Milan. She usually works with acrylics, collage and colour pencils. As well as illustrating, she plans and organises creative workshops for children.


RRP £2.84




1) The Hairy Maclary Collection


Again really great rhyming books and lovely stories, if your child loves dogs then these are definitely books for you… and if its Cat’s you like then there is no better cat than Scarface Claw, the toughest tom in town!


I used these a lot in schools as I knew they were always going to be a winner with all the children in class!


A little about the Author


Lynley Dodd is an award-winning author/illustrator enormously popular for her rhyming stories of the memorable Hairy Maclary, Slinky Malinki, Schnitzel Von Krumm - and many others! She worked as a teacher before beginning to write her own books in 1974. Lynley lives in New Zealand.


RRP £16.52 for a collection of 10 books.




2) Julia Donaldson’s Collection

If you haven’t heard of Julia Donaldson, you have been living under a tree!

If you have school-age children chances are they have all read at least 2 of her books. The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, are a firm favourite in this house, although there is a special place in our heart for one of the “lesser known” books The Paper Dolls.

There are even animated films of some of them.


Great little stories and even better to develop descriptive sentences in children who are key stage 1 (reception – year 2)


A Little about the author

Julia Donaldson has written some of the world's best-loved children's books, including modern classics The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, which together have sold over 25 million copies worldwide and have been translated into over one hundred languages. Further books illustrated by Axel include Room on the Broom, Stick Man, Zog and The Smeds and the Smoos – all of which have been made into much-loved animated films by Magic Light Pictures. Her other books include The Hospital Dog illustrated by Sara Ogilvie, The Christmas Pine illustrated by Victoria Sandøy and the hugely successful What the Ladybird Heard adventures illustrated by Lydia Monks. Julia also writes fiction, including the Princess Mirror-Belle series illustrated by Lydia Monks which has been made into a successful CBBC series, as well as poems, plays and songs – and her brilliant live shows are always in demand. She was the UK Children’s Laureate 2011–13 and has been honoured with a CBE for Services to Literature. Julia and her husband Malcolm divide their time between West Sussex and Edinburgh.


RRP £44.95 for a 10 book collection, normally £7.99 each.




3) Snuggle up sleepy ones

This book!!!

I can pick up this book and I can guarantee that before I have finished Monkey has drifted off to sleep. Not because it’s dull, but it is a beautiful rhyming book all about animals settling down for bed after a busy day.


Reading it with a low voice or whisper helps and often this one is chosen by Mason himself, knowing that he needs to sleep as he’s had a busy day.


A little about the author

Tina Macnaughton was born in Scotland and raised in the south of England where she still currently lives in Surrey with her husband and daughter. She began her illustration training when she drew every night in bed as a girl on a little chalk board until everything was blue, pink or yellow much to the frustration of her mother. Her parents' back garden was like a small woodland and with it came lots of wildlife and so she was always chasing something or examining some creepy crawly much to the horror of her family. When she was asked by teachers and other kids if she was going to be an artist when she grew up, her reply was usually 'No way, I am going to be a vet!' To the relief of many animals, it dawned on Tina that she was much better at drawing animals than examining them. After university she worked as a graphic designer for a few years until she decided to chase the dream of being a children's book illustrator.


RRP £7.95 and comes with an audio CD




4) Jill Murphy Collection

Now these books made the list, and have become a firm favourite because these are books that my parents read to me! They are a classic, and if you haven’t read them or even know they exist then shame on you!

I demand you get them immediately, even if you don’t have kids!

Reception age children will most probably read Whatever Next as it’s a fantastic tale of using your imagination as you join Baby Bear in his rocket!

More about the books


Whatever Next!:

The moon and back before bath time? Whatever next! Join Baby Bear as he finds a rocket, makes friends with an owl and has a picnic on the moon. Celebrate thirty-five years of the bear family with this very special edition of the classic bedtime story, Whatever Next!, a beautiful story of innocence and imagination, full of the characteristic warmth and humour of Jill Murphy, author of The Worst Witch.


Peace at Last:

Jill Murphy's bestselling classic Peace at Last has delighted young children for almost forty years and is equally beloved by tired parents who are all too familiar with the plight of poor Mr. Bear. With a snoring Mrs. Bear, an excitable Baby Bear, and a house full of tapping and dripping and ticking, peace is hard to come by – will Mr. Bear ever get a decent night's sleep?


Just One of Those Days:

Mr. and Mrs. Bear wake up late. It's raining outside, and Baby Bear is late for nursery. Then Mrs. Bear sits on her glasses at work and Mr. Bear spills his coffee! Oh dear – it seems this is just going to be one of those days! But the loveable Bear family muddle through cheerfully, and there's even a surprise for Baby Bear when Mr. Bear gets home from work.


RRP £15.49 for a 3 book collection.



5) Little Bunny’s Book of thoughts & Friends

These books are beautifully written and illustrated by the very talented Steve Smallman. They help children with their feelings, regulation, and friendships in a fantastic story. I even have a custom print taken from a photo of our family and turned into a family of bears.

The books are black and white, but each illustration is a work of art in itself!


A Little about the Author

Steve Smallman has been writing and illustrating children s books for over 30 years. The author of Smelly Peter the Great Pea Eater (Winner of the Sheffield Children's Book Award 2009) and The Lamb Who Came for Dinner (Shortlisted for the Red House Children's Book Award and read by Meatloaf on CITV s Bookaboo) Steve started working as an illustrator while he was still at art college then after about 20 years decided to have a go at writing stories of his own. He has so far written over 50 books, with more on the way


RRP £6.35




6) Dinosaur that pooped… collection

Kids and poo, if you have a boy then you will know anything regarding or mentioning poo then you are on a winner! Tom Fletcher (Mcfly) has just come up with comedy gold in this series of books. If you need your child to cheer up or just want to read a ridiculous story, then these are the books for you!

The dinosaur that pooped Daddy is most certainly a favourite… I wonder why?!


Tom also does more grown-up books that Mason has read The Christmasasaurus and The Creakers are firm favourites!


More about the Author

Tom Fletcher is a number one bestseller and one of the UK's most popular children’s authors. The Christmasaurus was the biggest debut middle-grade novel of 2016 and was shortlisted for a British Book Award, since then Tom has published several more chart-topping children’s novels including The Creakers, The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch and the instant number one bestseller The Danger Gang. Tom also writes the incredibly successful Who’s in Your Book? picture book series, and is one half of the author duo behind the Dinosaur that Pooped picture book series too, which has sold over 1.5 million copies. For older readers, Tom co-authors the Eve of Man series with his wife Giovanna Fletcher. Tom's books have been translated into thirty-three languages and to date he has sold over 2.5 million copies of his books in the UK alone. He is also a music-making, song-writing, guitar-playing, Guinness World Record-holding, nappy changing, galaxy-defending dad!


RRP £16.89 For a 5 book collection.



7) … Love underpants collection


Again, they are on the same level as the dinosaur that pooped books, but this time all about knickers and underpants, what more do you need?


Very entertaining, very funny!



Little bit more about the author


Claire Freedman is the highly successful author of several picture books including Aliens Love Underpants and A Squabble and a Squawk for Simon and Schuster. She lives in Essex.


Ben Cort has had his picture books published in many languages in many countries worldwide, including the hugely successful Aliens Love Underpants. Ben lives in Bedfordshire with his wife and children


RRP £18.49 For a 6 book collection.





8) Oliver Jeffers Books. Once there was a boy…

Now these are a firm favourite in schools across the U.K in fact I don’t think ive ever been into a school that has not had these books. Excellent for inspiring imagination, prediction and problem-solving. The books are beautifully illustrated and are always a favourite when it comes to story time!


More about the author

Oliver Jeffers is a highly acclaimed talent in picture books. He graduated from The University of Ulster in 2001 with First Class honours and has since exhibited his paintings around the world. His outstanding talent has already been recognised by several high-profile awards, including the Nestlé Children's Book Prize Gold Award, the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award and the Irish Children's Book of the Year.


RRP £15.69 For a 3 book collection.





9) The Chimpanzees’ Happy Tree

You will probably know this author by his worldwide bestseller Giraffes can’t dance, but this story is just beautiful. A rhyming book all about how one small action can bring about the biggest change. Inspiring children to be kind and most importantly to be themselves!


A little about the author


Giles Andreae is the author of many top-selling, award-winning picture books. These include Elephant Me, Rumble in the Jungle, Commotion in the Ocean and I Love My Mummy. However, it is for the international bestseller Giraffes Can't Dance that he is best known. Giles is also the creator of Purple Ronnie, Britain's favourite stickman, and of the artist/philosopher, Edward Monkton. These two ranges of greetings cards, books and merchandise have made Giles the country's top-selling living poet. Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children's clothes designer, and their four children by the river in Oxfordshire.


Guy Parker-Rees' exuberant and energetic illustrations have made him a household name and one of today's bestselling children's illustrators. Notable successes include picture book classic Giraffes Can't Dance, a worldwide bestseller; Spookyrumpus, winner of the Sheffield, Dundee and Portsmouth book awards, and most recently, Elephant Me. Guy lives in Brighton with his wife and three sons.


RRP £5.99


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