It’s been a while since we shared some of our favourite bedtime books with you, and since there are many more where those came from I thought I’d do another bedtime books round-up. A lot of our bedtime stories feature cute animals who either can’t go to sleep or won’t go to sleep, so for today’s selection I’ve picked some bedtime books that are a little bit different, and stand out for their stunning or unusual illustrations. I hope you enjoy them! So, clockwise starting from the top:
- You’re Safe With Me, by Chitra Soundar (author) & Poonam Mistry (illustrator) – This beautifully illustrated book is set at night time in the Indian forest, where a bunch of baby animal are scared of a storm that is brewing. But Mama Elephant reassures them that the wind, thunder and lightning are nothing to be afraid of and that they are safe with her. We were sent a free copy of this book by the author herself, for review, and we absolutely love it. It’s a great bedtime story, and the repetition (“You’re Safe With Me”) really appealed to my kids because they could anticipate it and join in. It would also be particularly suited for children who are afraid of thunder storms. And the detailed illustrations are absolutely stunning.
- The Dark, by Lemony Snicket (author) & Jon Klassen (illustrator) – This story features a little boy called Lasszlo, who is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in Laszlo’s basement and spreads itself through the house at night time, but Laszlo thinks he is safe from the dark in his bedroom, where a little night light keeps him company. Until the day his biggest fears come true and the dark pays him a visit. I’m not going to give away the ending, because it’s brilliant when you read it for the first time, but all ends well for Laszlo. This is a great book for talking to children about their fears of the dark, and showing them it’s nothing to be afraid of. The muted illustrations capture the night time mood brilliantly.
- Bed, Bed, Bed by They Might Be Giants (lyrics) & Marcel Dzama (illustrations) – This book is something a little different. It’s based on the lyrics of four songs by the band They Might Be Giants, which follow on from each other to tell a story. It also comes with a CD, so if you are really brave you can us the CD to help you sing the story, but you can also just read it like a book. The illustrations are as quirky as you’d expect from a TMBG book, and it’s a great choice for a fun bedtime story.
- Molly and the Night Monster, by Chris Wormell – This is one we borrowed from the library, and I chose it because of its unusual illustrations: the book is entirely illustrated in blue! The story is quite simple, it features a little girl called Molly who has trouble falling asleep because she imagined the noises on the stairs outside her room to be all kinds of wild things out to get her, from crocodiles and bears to night time monsters. But when she finally captures the beast with her monster-catcher, she has caught something entirely different. Another great book to talk with children about their fear of the dark, and since it’s quite short it’s particularly suited to younger kids.
- Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak – Last but not least, it’s a classic but if we’re talking about stand out illustrations I couldn’t leave this one out. For those unfamiliar with it, this book features a little boy called Max, who gets set to his bed without any supper for getting in to too much mischief. When a forest begins to grow and then an ocean springs up, Max sails off on a great adventure and lives as King of the Wild Things. But after he sends the wild things to bed, he realises he is lonely so he sets sail back home to the place where someone loves him best of all. This is a fantastically imaginative book, both happy and sad, scary and funny, with gorgeous illustrations. I have yet to meet a child – or parent – who has not fallen in love with it.
You can now also find videos of the weekly book round-ups over on YouTube, where I talk you through this week’s recommendations and give a bit more insight in to each book including a look at the illustrations inside! Watch this week’s video here:
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What are your favourite picture book bedtime stories? Please feel free to share your recommendations in the comments below!
Disclosure: Please note that all the book links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. That means if you buy any books via these links, I receive a small percentage – at no extra cost to you! – which helps to keep this blog running. We received a free copy of the book “You’re Safe With Me” in return for an honest review, but all opinions are our own.