Here is our selection of the best short stories for children’s bedtime reading. Tucking your child into bed is the perfect time to share a bedtime story. Nothing beats the feeling of floating away with your child into a world where animals and birds can communicate and sing. These stories are entertaining, yet they teach your youngster important life lessons. Plus, hearing your voice brings a sense of peace and comfort to a youngster, which facilitates slumber. Keep reading to learn how to select a book that will capture your kid’s attention and interest.
27 Best Short Bedtime Stories For Children
Let’s start with some tried-and-true stories about saying goodnight and getting some shut-eye: the classic bedtime stories for kids.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
In the short story Guess How Much I Love You, two rabbits try to quantify their feelings for one other. It’s a classic story that might help your kids learn to communicate their feelings and gain confidence in doing so.
They are walking through the woods when Little Nutbrown Hare turns to his father and says, “Guess how much I love you.” Little Nutbrown Hare stretches his hands and proclaims, “this much!” when his dad says he couldn’t predict. However, the Big Nutbrown Hare extends his larger arms and exclaims, “But I love you this much.” The young hare then raises his hands to his head and declares, “I love you as high as I can reach.” When Big Nutbrown Hare accomplishes it, Little Nutbrown Hare protests that it’s too high.
Little Nutbrown Hare says as she drifts off to sleep, “I love you right up to the moon.” The two hares continue their talk, each expressing how much they love the other. Big Nutbrown Hare gives the baby a kiss goodnight and tells it, “I love you to the moon and back.”
Anita Jeram’s artworks are amazing and detailed, with soft colors and backdrops.
Peace At Last by Jill Murphy
Jill Murphy’s short story “Peace At Last” is about a bear who longs for a quiet place to drift off to sleep.
It’s nighttime, and the Bear family is tired. Mrs. Bear starts snoring as soon as they get into bed. Mr. Bear, unable to sleep due to the noise, walks to Baby Bear’s room, where he finds the younger bear acting out an aviation scene and imitating the sounds it makes. Mr. Bear exclaims, “Oh no!” and wanders around the house in search of solace, but he finds none in the den, the kitchen, the yard, or the automobile. It’s dawn by the time he gets back inside and settles into his bedroom.
The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
The Going to Bed Book tells young readers some basic rules for the time after dark. The book’s bright pictures make it a wonderful resource for helping young children develop good lifestyle habits.
The Sun has finally gone down, and night has fallen. Before retiring to their bunks for the night, the animals of the ship take a dip in the pool, don their pajamas (both large and little), brush their teeth, and do some light stretching and exercise on the deck. They nod off while the water rocks the boat gently.
Is It Bedtime Wibbly Pig? by Mick Inkpen
What time is it, Wibbly Pig? is structured as a question-and-answer, with the narrator inquiring of little Wibbly pig if bedtime has arrived. Throughout the narrative, Wibbly makes amusing and endearing arguments why he shouldn’t go to bed.
The narrator inquires if it is time for bed while Wibbly Pig relaxes in the tub. After some hesitation, Wibbly Pig says, “No foolish!” I’ve been in the tub for a while. After the narrator inquires as to whether or not Wibbly has completed the bath, he is told, “No, I’m still drying my toes.” The story continues with the narrator repeatedly prodding Wibbly into night with a series of leading questions, to which Wibbly always provides an explanation. Wibbly goes to sleep with her stuffed animals at the end of the book. Toys like Flop the rabbit, Pigley the pig, and Dimple the teddy bear.
Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
A mischievous gorilla in a zoo is the protagonist of Goodnight Gorilla, a humorous bedtime story. It’s a fun story that will help your child unwind and enjoy reading.
At night, the zookeeper checks to make sure all the animals are safely confined to their enclosures. A mischievous gorilla is his first priority, so he checks on it first. The zookeeper is caught off guard as the gorilla steals the keys and the other animals sneak out behind him. The zoo’s animals all make their way to the keeper’s hut as he sleeps soundly inside. The animals make themselves at home in the keeper of the zoo’s bedchamber.
When the zoo animals groggily say “good night,” the zookeeper’s wife awakens to find them in bed with her. When she’s done, everyone goes back to their cages, except the gorilla and his mouse companion, who return to the cottage and the bed, where they both eventually fall asleep.
Funny Bedtime Stories
Difficulty falling asleep is a common complaint among those suffering from stress and worry (1). Your child can unwind and prepare for a restful night’s sleep with the help of some lighthearted play. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best humorous children’s bedtime stories.
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
In the tale titled “Interrupting Chicken,” a red chicken is so impatient to hear the end of a narrative that he constantly interrupts his father while he is reading.
When the little red chicken asks for a bedtime story, Papa chicken is putting her to sleep. After some convincing, Papa Chicken reads his son a bedtime tale but warns him not to interrupt. The red-headed chick nods his head in agreement, and his dad begins Hansel & Gretel. As Papa comes closer to the climax of the narrative, tiny red chicken gets enthusiastic and interrupts to finish it herself.
Again, when his father reads Tiny Red Riding Hood and Chicken Little, the little red chicken jumps in to interrupt. Eventually, Papa Chicken runs out of stories and begs his son to read to him instead. Within minutes of Chicken starting to read, Dad is sound asleep in Chicken’s bed.
Skippyjon Jones by Judith Byron Schachner
The story of Skippyjon Jones centers on a naughty Siamese cat with oversized ears that give it the appearance of a Chihuahua. This is a fun bedtime read thanks to the cat’s vivid imagination and exciting exploits.
Junebug Jones gets irritated because her son, Skippyjon Jones, always rises before the sun. Skippyjon enjoys bouncing on his big boy bed, and one day he happens to catch a glimpse of himself in the mirror. The mirror convinces Skippyjon that he is a Chihuahua named Skippito, rather than a cat. He dons a disguise and disappears into his mind, where he encounters a gang of Chihuahuas in the Mexican desert and faces off against a criminal known as Bumblebeeto.
While daydreaming about fantastical worlds, Skippito neglects to clean up his room. The question on his mother’s lips as she gazes lovingly at her son is, “What am I going to do with you, Mr. Cocopugs?” The next night, instead of sleeping, Skippyjon bounces on his bed and has another fantastical experience in his mind.
The humorous songs sung by Skippyjon Jones with a Spanish accent are just part of the story’s overall hilarity.
I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black
The main character in “I’m Bored” is a girl who always complains that she is bored. However, all of that changes as she comes face to face with a potato. It’s a hilarious exchange of ideas.
The tiny child cries out, “I’m bored!” And then she runs into a potato, who glances at her and declares, “I’m bored.” A bored potato, the kid wonders. As example, “Because I’m with a kid and kids are boring.” The potato challenges the girl to demonstrate her claim that children are entertaining. Attempting to do so, the young lady begins listing the many fun activities available to kids. It’s great that today’s youth have the opportunity to skip, turn cartwheels, play games, ninja kick, walk on hands, and, most of all, use their imaginations.
The narrative is an effort to show young readers that there are many ways to have fun, even when things may seem dull.
The Book With No Pictures by B.J Novak
Your child will be rolling on the floor with laughter after reading The Book With No Pictures. The lack of graphics is made up for by the absurdity of the words and noises that the reader is compelled to make throughout the book.
There’s no plot to The Book Without Pictures. The author begins by arguing that a story is nevertheless enjoyable even if it lacks illustrations. The author goes on to praise the child being read to, praising his intelligence for selecting a book without graphics. The author earns bonus points with the child by explaining that the book’s purpose is to make adults sound dumb and say silly things.
If you get this book and read it to your kid every night, you’re sure to have a good time.
Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book by Julia Donaldson
The book Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book is a great choice for kids because it features a discussion about each character’s favorite book. It’s like looking for a treasure chest and discovering it inside a box inside another box inside still another box.
Charlie Cook is reading his favorite book, which is about a cook who becomes a pirate and finds a treasure chest on a deserted island. A favorite book of the cook’s is inside the chest, and he opens it with his hook to reveal the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. Goldilocks is found by the bears reading Baby Bear’s favorite book, which is about a knight named Sir Percy Pilkington who discovers his book while slaying a dragon.
So it goes until they find out that Charlie Cook is a boy who likes to sit in his armchair and read books about ghosts.
Princess Short Bedtime Stories For Kids
Young girls adore taking on the role of a princess in make-believe play. However, kids also require positive examples to emulate. Each of the tales in our treasury of short stories for girls can serve as a bedtime story in its own right, or as a source of inspiration for your daughter as she grows up.
Sofia The First by Catherine Hapka
With a little bit of luck, Sofia the First follows the time-honored narrative of an impoverished child who becomes a real princess. Unlike traditional princess tales, this one features a woman who marries a king and becomes the queen, making her daughter the princess.
Sophia becomes a princess after her mother marries the king of Enchancia, but she has no idea what being a princess entails. King Roland, her adoptive father, offers her a magical amulet to keep her spirits up. He insists she wear it to the upcoming royal gala so they can have the first dance. Sofia is even more anxious since she cannot do the Waltz. Due to her step sister’s pranks, her attempts to learn dance at school end in failure.
She visits the royal sorcerer, casts a spell that backfires, is helped by the apparition of Cinderella, and learns to dance from her step-sister. Ultimately, Sofia realizes that being a princess requires nothing more than a kind heart, and not formal training in ballet or the proper use of a silver service dinnerware set.
Disney Princess: Jasmine’s New Pet
Jasmine, the princess in “Princess Jasmine’s Story,” leaves the palace in search of a love marriage. Your children will recognize this character from the Disney film Aladdin.
Princess Jasmine of Agrabah is reluctant to marry the man her father has chosen for her. She leaves home and meets Aladdin, a minor thief who ends up becoming an inspiration. They bond, but the king’s minister, the villainous Jafar, throws Aladdin in jail shortly afterward. On their search, Jafar and Aladdin visit a cave where they discover a magic lamp and a flying carpet. Jafar plots to abandon Aladdin in the cave once he steals the lamp. However, Aladdin uses the lamp to get out of there with the help of his monkey.
After speaking to the genie in the lamp, Aladdin finds himself suddenly thrust into the role of a royal. He runs into Princess Jasmine again soon, and the two quickly fall in love. However, Aladdin and Jasmine use a ruse to defeat Jafar and save the prince. Despite the fact that Aladdin is not a royal, Jasmine chooses to marry him in the end.
The Dragon and The Princess
Does anyone know of a princess who resented her royal status? Okay, in this tale you will have the opportunity to meet one.
The princess of an unnamed kingdom despises having to put in the effort to look attractive. She is an awful role model for the children of the realm because she used to tease the old knight mercilessly. Suddenly, a dragon appears in a cave close to the kingdom and decides to stay there. The princess goes to the dragon and asks it to capture her in an effort to annoy the elderly knight.
The princess was taken aback to see that the dragon was the exact opposite of what she expected. She is quiet and kind, and she even plays the piano! As soon as the dragon and the princess realize that they are not what they should be, they switch bodies. The adored princess transforms into everyone’s favorite dragon, and vice versa.
The Princess and the Pea and Other Favorite Tales
Hans Christian Anderson is responsible for the timeless fairy tale The Princess and the Pea. Your kids will want to listen to the whole narrative because of the engaging characters in it.
A young prince is looking for a bride, but he will only marry a “genuine” princess. And so he sets off for distant realms in search of the true princess of his fantasies, only to be disappointed time and again. Discouraged, he returns to his throne. A princess arrives at the palace on a rainy night a few days later. The rain soaked and dirtied her clothes, boots, and hair, leaving her in an unkempt state.
The queen lays twenty plush mattresses and twenty feather pillows on top of a pea to see whether the girl is indeed the princess her son has been promised. The princess sleeps on it that night, but wakes up the next day complaining about how uncomfortable it was. For who else but a princess could be so frail in the eyes of the queen?
The Paper Bag Princess
The Paper Bag Princess is a fantastic tale that reminds us that a princess is not defined by her attire. Being intelligent, courageous, and proud of oneself are what define a person.
Elizabeth, being a princess, naturally owns a vast array of exquisite garments and footwear. She and Prince Ronald have announced their engagement. Elizabeth’s garments are burned in a dragon attack, and Prince Ronald is kidnapped. Everything in Elizabeth’s house is destroyed by the fire, save for a paper bag. To save the prince, she transforms it into a frock and heads out immediately.
On the dragon’s own turf, Elizabeth utilizes her wits to outwit the beast. The dragon is so exhausted after she has made it fly across the world and breathe fire that it can’t even blink its eyes. She enters the cave to save Ronald, but he is appalled by her unkempt appearance and begs her to return. Elizabeth, insulted by the prince’s behavior, breaks off their engagement.
Disney Bedtime Stories For Children
Stories told by Disney, whether they’re retellings of classic tales or comedies starring anthropomorphic animals (such as mice, dogs, and cats), never fail to enchant. Here are some of the most well-known Disney short stories perfect for tucking little ones into bed.
DISNEY FAIRY TALES & NURSERY RHYMES LITTLE RED RIDING
Disney’s take on the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel is presented in Mickey, Minnie, and the Gingerbread House.
Mickey is the blacksmith’s apprentice, while Minnie is the baker’s helper. They’re both down and out because of how their respective jobs treated them, and they share a common poverty. However, they are much in love with one another and, one day, they decide to make a break for it into the woods. They come across a Gingerbread house and decide to take shelter there. A sweet old lady greets them as she opens the door.
She makes sure they’re well-rested after a satisfying meal and tucks them into soft mattresses. The following morning, she reveals herself to be the witch who robbed the baker and the blacksmith of their love and wealth. While Mickey is locked up, Minnie is forced to work in the kitchen. Minnie, when instructed to light the oven, tricks the witch into the flames and pushes her in. After rescuing their hearts and money from the witch, the couple goes on to live happily ever after.
The Lion King (Disney The Lion King)
The Lion King is Disney’s second excellent storybook collection for kids. Simba is a kind lion cub who, as an infant, is taken from his family and his clan.
The son of King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi, Simba is the newest member of the Lion King’s family. Scar, King Mufasa’s jealous brother, plots to assassinate him and his son in order to take over the kingdom for himself. After killing Mufasa, Scar manages to scare off Simba. Simba meets Timon the meerkat and Pumba the warthog while wandering the huge forest by himself. They learn to look out for one another from a young age on. Nala, Simba’s childhood sweetheart, reveals the kingdom’s dire situation to him one day.
Simba returns to battle his uncle and reclaim his kingdom after being convinced to do so by the wise baboon Rafiki. Because of his loyal companions, he eventually rises to the position of pride king.
Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Bears are traditionally portrayed as cute, affectionate, and cuddly. Bears are typically thought of as cute and cuddly, but Bruce the bear is anything but. Disney has been promoting the Bruce series of bear stories by Higgins, of which Mother Bruce is a part.
Bruce is an irritable bear that dislikes everything. The two weather conditions irritate him equally. The man doesn’t even have a soft spot for kittens and puppies. However, he enjoys eggs in a variety of preparations. Eventually, he comes upon a recipe for goose eggs in salmon sauce and procures the required components. In an effort to bring the eggs to a boil, he sets up a saucepan on the stove, but the heat never materializes. The eggs hatch into goslings while he’s out gathering firewood, and the goslings mistake the bear for their mother.
The bear abandons his meal after discovering the baby geese, and reluctantly returns them to their nest. Without their mother, the goslings decide to return home with Bruce. Since he can’t just throw them away, Bruce starts looking after them. Over the course of several months, the young geese matured into full-grown adults. Bruce uses the topic of migration as a way to get rid of the grownups. Geese, however, refuse to leave him alone. In conclusion, Bruce takes his geese south to Miami for the winter.
Short Bedtime Stories About Friendship
Young people who have supportive friendships are more likely to mature into compassionate, caring adults. Your children will learn the value of friendship through the tales we have gathered here.
Splat The Cat: Good Night, Sleep Tight by Rob Scotton
In 2008, the first Splat the Cat board book was published, and it quickly became a bestseller among children. Splat the Cat was a favorite among kids because they could identify with him. The book’s commercial success prompted the publishers to create more exciting tales about Splat the Cat. When it’s time for bed, we read from Good Night, Sleep Tight.
Splat is psyched for his first night of camping under the stars. His mother has invited two of his pals, Spike and Plank, much to Splat’s astonishment. When he confides in his mother, she assures him that everything will be fine. The three cats decide to set up camp in the open air under the night sky.
The three cats can’t get to sleep because Plank’s sleeping blanket is too small, Splat is worried of Spike’s shadow outside his tent, and Spike is afraid of Splat’s pet mouse, Seymour, crawling up his leg. Their struggle over, the three friends are able to find solace in each other’s company and fall asleep. Ultimately, it all worked out fine.
George And Martha by James Marshall
George and Martha is a novel on friendship, and it features five anecdotes between two best friends.
Together, the two hippos, George and Martha, form a tight-knit community. They find out the hard way that honesty is the best policy among friends. Despite their commonplace lives, the pals enjoy spending time together. Last but not least, even the closest of friends occasionally requires some alone time. One of the most crucial lessons that can be learned from these tales is the duty of friends to always look on the bright side and encourage one another without lying or fraud.
Poindexter Makes A Friend by Mike Twohy
It’s easy to see parallels between Poindexter and other kids who are timid and worried about establishing friends until they finally do. Wonderful tale of triumph over timidity.
Poindexter was a reserved piglet who found great solace in books. He enjoys spending time alone with his reading, whether that’s to his stuffed animals at home or at the library. In the library one day, Poindexter comes upon Shelby, a timid turtle. He guides Shelby to a book on social interaction, and the two quickly find themselves sharing their likes and dislikes. They hit it off right away and spend a lot of time at Poindexter’s house playing with toys and reading books.
Bob And Otto by Robert O. Bruel and Nick Bruel
Two worms named Bob and Otto are good pals. While Otto is slender and covered in pink skin, Bob is shaped like a caterpillar and has multicolored stripes all over his body.
Bob and Otto’s home is situated close to a tree. On a sunny day in the spring, Bob decides he wants to have a bird’s-eye view of the neighborhood from up high. As someone who enjoys burying themselves in the dirt, Otto is perplexed by Bob’s desire to scale the tree. Bob climbed the tree higher and higher above the ground as Otto dug further and deeper into the dirt below. They are exhausted and eventually fall asleep together. Bob is suddenly a gorgeous butterfly of many colors, while Otto remains unchanged.
Otto is a little jealous of his friends’ newfound flying abilities and improved looks when they all reunite at the tree trunk one day. He relates this to Bob, who explains that because of the disturbance caused by the digging, the tree’s roots were able to absorb more water and expand, producing new, healthy leaves that ultimately provided him with the strength to develop into the man he is today.
Bob tells Otto, “You’re not just a worm. You are my best friend, and I know how precious friends can be.
Stories to Inspire Dreams
The best stories get us out of bed in the morning and propel us forward toward the pursuit of our dreams. You may read some truly great and motivational bedtime stories for kids right here.
Harold And The Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
And what exactly can you accomplish with a crayon? There’s no telling what you could create with some creative thinking and this! Harold takes his purple crayon and his imagination on a series of exciting excursions throughout the book.
Even though it was late at night, Harold was not tired. He goes outside for a stroll in the moonlight. But the sky is moonless tonight. Harold takes out his purple crayon and sketches the moon and a long, straight route, then sets off on foot. At the halfway point, he makes a detour across some farms and into the forest. There, he depicts an apple tree with a terrifying beast standing watch over it. However, Harold is so frightened by the creature that he flees the area and eventually ends up in the water.
A boat, an island, a mountain, a hot air balloon, a city with towering buildings and windows, a policeman, and finally his home, bedroom window, and bed are drawn with the purple crayon as he continues his adventure and eventually falls asleep.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
No collection of children’s bedtime stories would be complete without at least one Dr. Seuss tale. One of the most uplifting and enjoyable Dr. Seuss books to read before night is provided here.
The book Oh, The Places You’ll Go! has lovely poetry and bright pictures that will delight children. Each verse introduces the child to a new life stage, a new issue, and a new set of options for dealing with that situation. Subtly, Dr. Seuss conveys profound truths about being an individual: you have complete control over your life. Additionally, he stresses the importance of maintaining optimism in the face of adversity.
This book is perfect for teaching kids that there will always be ups and downs in life, but that it is possible to enjoy it regardless of the circumstances.
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
A tale about an engine that proves that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. An excellent lesson for the young ones!
The children on the other side of the mountain are provided for by a tiny red railway. The toys, which include a jovial clown and a newborn elephant, are all smiling. The vehicle’s engine has suddenly stopped working, rendering it immobile. The toys abandoned the vehicles and flagged down passing engines for assistance, including a passenger train, a freight train, and an ancient engine that is convinced it cannot.
Then a tiny blue engine appeared, thinking, “I can,” and she actually did. She dragged the railway and its carriages down the mountain and into the village, saving the day by getting the food and toys to the youngsters.
A Color Of His Own by Leo Lionni
Finding a person who shares your interests and perspectives can be a great relief from feelings of isolation and alienation. There’s a chameleon in Leo Lionni’s novel who has trouble embracing his ability to change colors until he meets another chameleon who is just like him.
There is a unique hue associated with each species of animal. Contrarily, the chameleon doesn’t. A chameleon was riding on the tiger’s back when the idea to change his appearance occurred to him. He then proceeded to the tree with the greenest leaf and sit on it. Being green made him very pleased. As autumn approached, though, the chameleon also began to lose its colorful patterns and its leaves began to become a dull brown. As time went on, it changed colors to red, and the chameleon did as well. The chameleon changed back to its original color when it landed on the grass after falling from the tree.
It was then that he encountered a different chameleon, this one older and wiser. After realizing they were all about to lose their color, the chameleons banded together. If nothing else, at least they won’t be on their own.
In The Gruffalo, a clever mouse invents stories to protect itself from the dangerous and nasty woodland animals.
A mouse encounters a fox while wandering through the forest one day. For the sole purpose of consuming it, the fox entices the mouse into its den. Due to his fear, the mouse politely declines the invitation and explains that he will be visiting his good friend, the Gruffalo, who has awful claws, fangs, and tusks. The Gruffalo is scared off when the mouse reveals that roasted fox is the Gruffalo’s favorite dish.
When the mouse meets an owl, he repeats the tale for her. The owl flees when the mouse claims that “Owl Ice Cream” is the Gruffalo’s favorite treat. The mouse then approaches a snake, upon which he elaborates on the Gruffalo’s penchant for “scrambled snake,” which is his preferred meal. Somewhat ironically, the mouse actually encounters the Gruffalo and manages to convince him that it is the most dangerous creature in the forest. When the mouse sees that the Gruffalo has run away, it feels secure and pleased.