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Father reads The Wizards of Oz picture book to their child

Reading with children at bedtime is a great opportunity to bond, as well as helping to introduce them to classic stories and the magic of reading.

Choosing the right story to read is all part of the fun, but if you’re in need of some inspiration to help you get started, here are ten of our favourite bedtime stories (for every age!)

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

‘Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders’

A. A. Milne’s heart-warming and funny tales of a bear with a very little brain and his woodland friends is a true children’s classic. Curl up with this gem of a book, featuring the charming original illustrations by E. H. Shephard.

Cover for A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson

‘Dark is wonderful . . .’

Join Plop the baby owl as he overcomes his fear of the dark in a series of sweet interactions with humans he meets on his way. Filled with gentle humour and comfort, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark is a gem of modern children’s literature and beautifully illustrated by Paul Howard.

Cover for Jill Tomlison's The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark

The Night Box by Louise Greig, illustrated by Ashling Lindsay

‘Max has a key and a box of midnight blue. 
When he turns the key in the lock – 
WHOOSH!’

Pick-up this enchanting bedtime story about a small boy who is the custodian of night, from talented new picture book author and poet, Louise Greig, with beautifully atmospheric illustrations by Ashling Lindsay. The Night Box is a beautiful and reassuring tale for anyone trying to overcome their fear of the dark.

Cover of picture book The Night Box

The Littlest Dreamer: A Bedtime Journey by Suzanne Smith and Charlotte Cooke

Get ready for a bedtime journey with the littlest dreamer as you ride on a magical pony over a rainbow, have a cupcake feast with the woodland animals and dance with a prince at a spectacular royal party, all before settling down to go to sleep. This joyous picture book will help anyone snuggle up for a good night’s sleep.

Cover for picture book The Littlest Dreamer

Night Monkey, Day Monkey by Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson’s beloved rhyming picture book story about two monkeys who are as different as night and day yet still learn to be friends is the perfect for baby’s bedtime. Night Monkey, Day Monkey is one of the finest stories from the same author as The Gruffalo, and features adorable, sumptuous illustrations from Lucy Richards.

Cover of Julia Donaldson's Night Monkey, Day Monkey

Star in the Jar by Sam Hay, illustrated by Sarah Massini

‘Up high, in the dark, dark sky . . . a message: LOST, ONE SMALL STAR.’

When a little boy stumbles across a special star, he puts it in a jar and takes it on adventures. Together with his big sister, he takes his special treasure with him everywhere – to the cinema, to the swimming pool and even to the toilet! Sam Hay and Sarah Massini’s charming picture book is full of warmth and humour; a fantastic bedtime read for fans of Oliver Jeffers.

Cover of picture book Star in the Jar

The Adventures of the Wishing-Chair by Enid Blyton

Be whisked away with this classic fantasy story from the world’s best-loved children’s author, Enid Blyton. With its short chapters and beautiful illustrations, the Magic Wishing-Chair series makes wonderful bedtime reading for children aged five and upwards (and a trip down memory lane for parents and grandparents alike!)

Cover of Enid Blyton's Adventures of the Wishing Chair

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

‘Dear reader,

There is nothing to be found in Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ but misery and despair.’

If you want something that will have your family howling with laughter and sitting on the edge of their seats then Lemony Snicket’s hilarious A Series of Unfortunate Events is the bedtime read for you. Ideal for children aged eight and upwards — if you enjoy this account of the misfortunes that befall the terribly unlucky Baudelaire children then, fortunately, there are another twelve to devour…

Cover for Lemony Snicket's The Bad Beginning

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

A pilot stranded in the desert awakes one morning to see the most extraordinary little fellow standing before him. “Please,” asks the stranger, “draw me a sheep.”

There are few books that have been as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince. Share this enchanting fable with your kids and relive the magic of Saint-Exupéry’s classic tale of a young pilot trying to figure out the mysteries of life.

Cover for Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince

The Wizard of Oz by Sam Hay, illustrated by Meg McLauren

This is The Wizard of Oz – but not as you know it.

Follow Little Dot down the yellow brick road to the wonderful world of Oz in this brand new picture book adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s much-loved story. With friendly, colourful artwork, this is a fun reimagining of a classic tale for pre-schoolers.

Cover of picture book The Wizard of Oz

If you’re still looking for the perfect bedtime read, check out more of our books here.