Make Read-Aloud Part of Your Child’s Bedtime Routine

The cooler nights of autumn are perfect for reading in a warm cozy bed with your children. After they have changed into nightclothes, brushed teeth, picked out stuffed animal friends, and are tucked into bed, share books with them and enjoy some one-on-one time together. Make books a regular part of your children’s bedtime routine and they may even look forward to going to bed.

For young children choose picture books that are soothing and put them in the mood for sleep. There are many stories that tell about a busy day that leads to a slowing down and a “good night.” There are books that talk about the bedtime routine. And there are humorous books about trying to get to sleep. Snuggle up and enjoy some stories together every bedtime! Here are some books to try:


“When Mama Come Home Tonight” by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Jane Dyer. A rhyming book with the rhythm of a lullaby, this story is soft and gentle. A toddler thinks of all the wonderful things that happen with mama when she comes home from work after a busy day.

“Good Night Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann. This is an almost wordless book that stars a little gorilla at a zoo. When the zookeeper is closing up the zoo, he doesn’t realize that a little gorilla is opening all the animals’ cages as soon as the zookeeper tells each animal “good night.”

“Snoozers: 7 Short Bedtime Stories for Lively Little Kids” and “The Going to Bed Book” by Sandra Boynton are both in board book format for the youngest listeners. Short, humorous stories with Boynton animal characters will become family favorites.

“Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo” by Kevin Lewis, Illustrated by Daniel Kirk. The story begins with the sun rising and ends when it sets. During the sun’s arc in the sky, a little train is bustling up and down mountains and through tunnels. He finally winds down to a slow pace and rests at the end of the day.

“Kiss Good Night” by Amy Hest, illustrated by Anita Jeram. Mrs. Bear put Sam to bed but the wind and rain outside keeps him awake. Does Sam need a cup of milk, a hug, or a book? What can help him get to sleep?

Saturday, September 28, 6:30-7pm, listen to bedtime stories read aloud by Family Reading Partnership executive director, Brigid Hubberman, at the Tompkins County Public Library, for the library’s Read-a-thon. Books will be read aloud starting at 6am until midnight as a fundraiser for TCPL. Learn more and donate to a reader at:

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by | September 26, 2013 · 11:03 am

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