Page-turning ghost stories and nighttime adventures are all very well for night owls, but I suspect there are many of our readers who would rather their children not stay up all night. For those adults who really, really want to make sure their children get to sleep, I offer these soporific reads for bedtime.
Babymoon, by Hayley Barrett and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, celebrates the arrival of an infant into the world of doting parents. Its gentle text and warm, soft-edged images will lull many an exhausted caregiver to sleep while reinforcing the joy brought by their squalling new family member.
Bouncing toddlers and preschoolers receive a dose of cheerful behavior modeling in Everybunny Dream, by Ellie Sandall, which depicts impossibly cute bunnies happily getting ready for bed—even the appearance of a fox can’t disturb this bunny clan’s bedtime plans.
A bunny also figures in the dreamy import When the Moon Came Down, by Turkish creator Feridun Oral, which details the growing friendship between the moon and a young rabbit in quiet, lush language and gorgeous silvery-blue nighttime images.
In The Night Is Yours, by Abdul-Razak Zachariah and illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo, Amani and her friends play in the apartment courtyard through warm summer evenings, the moon and glowing windows offering soft illumination and a sense of safe coziness before the games die down and the children go to bed.
And The Silence Slips in, by Alison Hughes and illustrated by Ninon Pelletier, offers older preschoolers a lesson in mindfulness with the tale of a young girl who learns how to summon inner quiet even when she’s surrounded by noise—a skill young readers can put to use at the ends of their own busy days.
Vicky Smith is the children’s editor.