The Best Goodnight Books for Little Ones

The Best Goodnight Books for Little Ones review

Please note this post may include affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure policy here.

If you’re a parent, you’ve more than likely read Goodnight Moon a thousand times. (Honestly, I read that book a thousand times to kids I babysat!) So I thought I’d compile a list of some of our favorite goodnight books. We love to read so I’m sure this post will have a sequel (or two) but for now, here are some of our favorites.

Goodnight Goodnight Sleepyhead book review @jenniemoraitis.comI think Goodnight Goodnight Sleepyhead was the first book our daughter memorized. I know, what a reason to include it on this list! But it really is sweet as the little girl says goodnight to each of her toys in turn (“Goodnight eyes” to the long-lashed toy lamb, etc.) I am always interested in seeing how different artists draw children, and Jane Dyer is particularly interesting to me since her style changes from book to book.

Big Thoughts for Little People review @jenniemoraitis.comBig Thoughts for Little People: ABC’s to Help You Grow is a favorite for us. We used to just read the little poem and Bible verse for the alphabet letters but as our daughter has gotten older, we’ve added the short paragraph as well. I do like that there are simple questions to ask your child too. And to be completely honest, we love searching for the ladybugs and multiple alphabet items on each page (the apple, acorn, and abacus on the “A” page, for example.) This book is very well-worn, and we love it.

Goodnight Songs review @jenniemoraitis.comDid you know that Margaret Wise Brown (author of the aforementioned Goodnight Moon) wrote songs? Apparently, she wrote many songs that were stashed away for years. Goodnight Songs has been one of those surprise finds that just keeps on getting better with each reading. My mom bought it for us for Christmas so it’s still fairly new, but I really like it. The book is full of poems and includes a cd that sounds like something I would listen to anyway: acoustic guitars, a thumb piano, a fiddle, and a penny whistle. Tom Proutt and Emily Gary create such beautiful melodies you’ll find yourself humming along and then laughing when you realize you’re singing about sleeping like a rabbit. Very sweet.

The Runaway Hug review @jenniemoraitis.comWe came across The Runaway Hug on a shelf in the library. (I love it when the librarians face out certain books; I almost always choose them.) The illustrations are darling: the house riddled with toys lying around and laundry needing to be done actually reminds me of a real home. This story is about a little girl whose mommy tells her that she can borrow her very last hug as long as she returns it. Of course, the little girl takes her mommy seriously and is very sad when one of the hugs runs away!

Time for Bed review @jenniemoraitis.comAnother favorite is Time for Bed. This was actually one of the first books we read to our daughter. All of the animals are saying goodnight to their babies. I love the line that the mother cow asks her baby, “What happened today that made you laugh?” Isn’t that such a nice question to think about? Jane Dyer’s watercolor illustrations are gorgeous. I began looking for her books after reading this one. (The one and only downfall in this book, in my opinion, is one of the spreads has a mother rattlesnake saying goodnight to her baby. My daughter could care less, but I cringe every time I read that page. I am not a snake person and would really rather not think about them before bed. !!!)

Sweet Dreams book review @jenniemoraitis.comI’ll admit that I bought Sweet Dreams because I love Amy June Bates’ illustrations. Love them. And in this book, she creates a magical world by using chalkboard-painted paper and sketching outlines in chalk and details with gouache. It’s such a beautiful way to create a dream world. The singer, Jewel, wrote the song, Sweet Dreams, and so this book, like Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Songs, is essentially lyrics. I think this book is magical.


Well, that’s it for now. As I wrote this list, more and more goodnight books came to mind but I’ll stop for now.

Did you have any favorite goodnight books from your childhood? Or a favorite goodnight book that you read to your kids today?

35 thoughts on “The Best Goodnight Books for Little Ones

    1. I think they would! I found all of these at the library originally; it’s a great way to test-drive books! 😉

  1. I will add Sweet Dreams in my ‘to buy’ list. Sounds wonderful. We – typically – read Goodnight Moon as the last book every night – the cue to sleep.

  2. We love Time for Bed. It made my list of top ten baby books (on my blog).

    Big Thoughts for Tiny People looks sweet. Pinned for later!

    We also like Time for Bed P.B. Bear.

    1. Oh, I’ll have to look up Time for Bed P.B. Bear! Thanks for the suggestion and for stopping by. 🙂

  3. Time for Bed is one of our all time favorite books! We also love The Big Red Barn, Guess How Much I Love You and the lesser know Going to Sleep on the Farm by Wendy Cheyette Lewison. Thanks so much for the list. I look forward to finding them at the library this week.

    1. Thanks for your recommendations! I’ve never heard of the book by Wendy Lewison–will have to check it out! 🙂

  4. Thank you for posting this. I want to stock up on books for my baby so they’re ready to read to her when she’s old enough. Sometimes I’m at a loss, except for the obvious classics, as to what is good anymore!

    1. I hear you! Our library has a little brochure that is for each age group (Babies, Toddlers, etc.) and that has been really helpful for me. 🙂

    1. Love those! 🙂 I need to check Big Red Barn out at the library again…love the library. Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  5. I’m visiting from the Pretty Pintastic Link-Up! I’m a new mom to a little girl just over a year, this is a very awesome resource!

  6. My 2.5 year old loves books and we are always looking for new ones to add to our library. These sound cute and new to us. Thanks for linking up with the SITS Saturday Sharefest!

    1. You’re so welcome! I’m always on the lookout for new books too–hope you enjoy these! 🙂

  7. Can’t wait to read to my granddaughters!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday – Link Party!! Hope you come back tomorrow and share some more!! Pinned!!

  8. Great list! We have read so many but my son’s favorite forever and ever was Big Red Barn. I can recite that whole book without the book. He can, too. 🙂 Thank you for sharing at Women With Intention Wednesdays! I look forward to what you will be sharing this week!

    1. I need to re-check Big Red Barn out at the library today–so many people have recommended it here in the comments and I can’t seem to remember it! :/ And yes, we have so many books memorized. I find myself quoting them and then have to stop…too funny. 🙂

    1. You’re so welcome! Thanks for stopping by–heading over to your blog right now. 🙂

Comments are closed.