From poetic lullabies to rib-ticklingly funny antics, bedtime stories are a must. Experts have been extolling the virtues of reading to our children as early as in utero, so there’s no surprise that the choices for bedtime stories (because it’s all about getting to sleep) are vast.
So if you’re tired of your usual good nights to the moon and that big red barn, we’ve got this month’s SavvyFive, our favourite classic bedtime tales, ones you may not have heard of but that deserve a place on every child’s bedside table. Spoiler alert: they all end with lights out, goodnight (so as to better encourage little eyes to droop).
Good for: Very young children
Why It Made the List: This nostalgic British import is a modern classic that follows a day in the life of a baby in a busy household. The die-cut holes on each spread offer a sneak peek to the next scene. Because of the detail in the illustrations, this book can be enjoyed on many levels and its appeal will grow with your child. It’s as much fun to read (and look at) as it is to listen to. Buy the board book edition for added robustness. (Janet & Allan Ahlberg, Viking Juvenile Books, 1997, $9.99)
Where is the Green Sheep?
Good for: Rhyme, rhythm and repetition (which makes it a sure-fire hit with the toddler crowd)
Why It Made the List: By the author of “Time for Bed”, this story has a Mem Fox signature bonding-at-bedtime ending. The hunt for a green sheep takes numerous comical turns (we see a sheep skiing down a slide and standing on the moon) until the sheep is eventually found fast asleep (shhh!). The simple but clever rhyme is crisply illustrated with bucketloads of wit. Don’t be surprised if your little one asks for it night after night—and you find yourself chanting the catchy rhyme at odd moments during the day! (Mem Fox, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009, $8.99)