We created a list of seven outstanding read-aloud choices to read any time of day. But, they will seem especially magical as your little ones are winding down at night.

The Blue Hour

Isabelle Simler
Ages 4 to 8

The sun has set, the day has ended, but the night hasn’t quite arrived yet. This magical twilight is known as the blue hour. Everything in nature—sky, water, flowers, birds, foxes—comes together in a symphony of blue to celebrate the merging of night and day.

With its soothing text and radiant artwork, this elegant picture book displays the majesty of nature and reminds readers that beauty is fleeting but also worth savoring.

“Richly Illustrated. . . . Each shade of blue seems prettier and more dramatic than the one before, giving emphasis to the color’s remarkable tonal varieties in a picture book that both dazzles and soothes.” The Wall Street Journal

For Every Little Thing

Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day

Edited by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling
Illustrated by Helen Cann

How do you find joy in ordinary moments? How do you mark small wonders like the return of the fireflies or a friend’s helping hand?  

Arranged from waking up to falling asleep, For Every Little Thing is an engaging collection of the day and its delights. This inspirational anthology gathers classic selections, modern prayers, and new poems from multiple cultures and faiths. From Emily Dickinson to Amma, from Ken Nesbitt to Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro, fifty-one voices encourage children to be present and thankful at all hours. 

Accessible language and richly detailed illustrations celebrate simple pleasures like slurping noodles and splashing in puddles. Perfect for sharing around the table or at bedtime, For Every Little Thing will awaken a sense of gratitude in readers of all ages.

Good Morning, Harry—Good Night, Daddy

A cozy book perfect for sharing at bedtime or breakfast

Katy Beebe
Valeri Gorbachev
Ages 4 to 8

As Harry and Gran head home for supper, Daddy’s day is just getting started. Daddy is in London, working as a conductor on an overnight train headed for Penzance, while Harry and the rest of his family stay cozy in their seaside cottage. As Daddy bustles around the train, Harry’s day is winding down with dinner, card games, and a hot bath. But when Daddy comes home in the morning after a long night’s work, he and Harry enjoy a happy reunion.

In this warm, soothing book, two parallel stories run side-by-side, finally coming together in a sweet ending that will delight both parents and kids. 

“A good pick for reading aloud at any time of day.” —Kirkus Reviews

Sleep Like Me

Written and Illustrated by Tatia Nadareishvili
Ages 3-7

A little boy can’t fall asleep, so he asks the animals how they do it. Will he doze off if he floats on his back like an otter? If he keeps one eye open like a duck? If he hangs upside down like a bat? Nothing seems to help, but all this trying is getting tiring…

This whimsically illustrated book features the real sleeping habits of ten different animals. Whether you snooze like a whale or nod off like a giraffe, Sleep Like Me is the perfect bedtime story for restless nights.

“A simple bedtime story with a bit of science quietly mixed in.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The muted color palette makes this a fitting bedtime tale, quietly funny and soothing.” — Booklist

Sleepy Time Blessings

Nicole Rutten
Sally Anne Conan
Ages 1-4
Full-color Illustrations Throughout

Sleepy baby
Time for bed
Angels gather round your head
Blessing tummy
Blessing toes
Blessing eyes and ears and nose

Simple text and an adorable bunny baby — watched over by sweet guardian bunny angels! — make this board book a favorite bedtime story for very young children.

Sweet Dreamers

Isabelle Simler
Ages 4 to 8

A gorgeous bedtime book from an award-winning creator

From the celebrated creator of Plume and The Blue Hour comes another enchanting animal book. Countless cozy animals are settling in for the night, but they all sleep in different ways. A bat dreams upside down, a hedgehog snuggles into a pile of leaves, and a humpback whale spins in its sleep like a ballerina.

With its poetic language and lush illustrations, Sweet Dreamers will dazzle young readers as they drift off to sleep themselves.

“Lyrical language and stunning, semi-realistic digital artwork strike a serene balance between dreamland and the natural world. Atmospheric spreads and imagery-packed verses depict a variety of sleeping animals in their habitats. . . . Contrasting dusky hues with bright oranges and greens, Simler’s handsomely composed images expertly use lines to create texture and depth. . . . Share this exquisite offering as an introduction to the sleep habits of different animals, an imagination-stirring example for poetry writing, or a soothing bedtime story to inspire sweet dreams.”
School Library Journal  (Starred)

Thank You, God

J. Bradley Wigger
Ages 3 to 8

This bright, lyrical book offers readers of all ages and backgrounds the perfect chance to reflect on all the things that they have to be grateful for. Thank You, God is a celebration of family and friends, of homes and food to share, and of the wonder of creation from the first light of day to the calm, peaceful night.

This inspiring book, with its elegant yet accessible text and vibrant illustrations, is sure to have a powerful impact on readers as it encourages them to view the world around them with fresh eyes.

“An inspiring and accessible introduction to the practice of prayer.”

Publishers Weekly (Starred)