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Posted by Tom, August 20, 2013

Ten of the best books about bedtime

Next month we’re publishing Pip and Posy: The Bedtime Frog, the sixth book in Axel Scheffler’s Pip and Posy series. And in honour of the occasion, today we’re counting down ten of our favourite books about bedtime. Here they are:

Husherbye by John Burningham

This book’s gorgeous, gentle rhyme could practically be prescribed as a sleep aid. Perfectly crafted prose and suitably sleepy illustrations.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd

An American classic that’s showing no signs of ageing, almost seventy years after publication. It’s almost deceptively brilliant, very reassuring, and excellent bedtime reading.

Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale

Another classic, and one that’s a bit more familiar to readers in the UK. This wonderful edition by Dinosaur Dig! illustrator Penny Dale is funny, eye-catching, with a very memorable rhyme – and a bit of counting thrown in for good measure.

Peace at Last by Jill Murphy

This book made our last list, of ten of the best bears in children’s literature. There’s obviously something about bears that’s very bedtime-y: the story and species work together perfectly.

Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss

Like all Dr. Seuss, there is something surreally brilliant about this book. A contagious yawn spreads from one odd creature (the Foona Lagoona Baboona, the Collaspable Frink, the Chippendale Mupp, The Oft, and so on) to the next, until the final line… “Good night”.

I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed by Lauren Child

The title of this Charlie and Lola book really says it all – a sentiment that will undoubtedly be familiar to parents everywhere…

The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson

This is a bit of a cheat, because it’s really the opposite of a bedtime book, but it is all about nighttime, and I think it’s one of the cleverest, funniest books ever, so I’ve decided it qualifies. Plop is a barn owl who’s decided that he’d like to be a day bird, “because what I are is afraid of the dark.” Gradually, however, he discovers lots of things about the dark that he quite likes – “dark is exciting”, “dark is necessary”; one chapter for every night of the week – until eventually he’s decided that he’s a night owl after all. Steer clear of the abridged version for the full, brilliant experience.

Noodle Loves Bedtime by Marion Billet

This is the first of three of our own books on this list. First up, a wonderful book for babies – Marion Billet’s Noodle Loves Bedtime. Perfect for sharing before bed, this great novelty book has touch-and-feel elements on every spread.

Because I Love You by David Bedford, illustrated by Rebecca Harry

In David Bedford’s heartwarming story, it’s bedtime for Little Bear – but as his mummy tucks him into bed, he wonders if he’s had enough love that day. So Mummy Bear takes Little Bear on a journey, reminding him of all that they’ve done that day – of all of the love they’ve shared. And Little Bear goes to bed happy, warm – and loved.

Pip and Posy: The Bedtime Frog by Axel Scheffler

And, of course, the book that inspired this post – Axel Scheffler’s Pip and Posy: The Bedtime Frog. Posy goes to stay at Pip’s house, and they have lots of fun together before bedtime. But just as they switch out the light, disaster strikes: Posy realises that she has forgotten her favourite frog toy, and she CANNOT sleep without it. Can Pip rescue the day?

There are MANY more titles that could have made this list but didn’t – what are your favourite bedtime books?

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