The Best Tuck-Them-In Books

My favorite time of the day is putting my boys to sleep. One, because it means they will soon BE asleep, and two, because it is wind down, cuddly, I Love You So Much-type time. I know my days of reading picture books to curious, little ones are slipping away, so I cherish it all the more. However, if I read, “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site” one more time, I may blow my brains out. While it is a great read, how many times can I make the sound of a dump truck snoring?

I need some new ideas, so I asked the “experts” — my sisters. We grew up in a house where we didn’t have too much, but we always had our pick of books. Our Uncle Mike worked for the binding union, so we had a constant influx of slightly irregular children’s books — my favorite being the Danny and the Dinosaur which was half in English and half in Spanish. You could flip it over and upside down and pretend you lived in Mexico. The irregularities only served to make them more interesting. My father, a NYC police officer, went to night school and got his masters in English, and my mom, while she never had the opportunity to go to college, was an avid reader. We were frequent visitors to the library which was only a short walk away, and in our home, there were full bookshelves everywhere. The rule was, if we were reading, we had no bedtime. At a very young age, you could find me under my covers with a flashlight and a book until all hours. My sisters and I had almost no choice but to love reading and to have an appreciation for all books.

Here’s the short list of our favorite books to read to our kids — there are 4 of us and 16 children in all, so we’ve had ample opportunity to be critical. Of course, the list isn’t complete as there are so many beautiful children’s books. Let me know what you would’ve added to the list. Remember too, even big kids like to listen to a good picture book. I often find a few stray big kids wandering into the boys’ room at bedtime. Maybe I have more read aloud time left than I think.

Books That Make You Feel Good

No Matter What by Debi Gliori

Kiss Goodnight by Amy Hest


The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Books That Teach a Lesson

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane DeRolf

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Spoon & Chopsticks by Amy Krause Rosenthal & Scott Magoon


Books For a Laugh

When a Monster is Born by Sean Taylor and Nick Sharratt

Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin (kids will love all his adventures — he is a coooool cat!)

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

Too Many Toys by David Shannon

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Doctor, mom of five and founder of Tips From Town.

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