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What Are The Best Bedtime Stories For Kids?

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by Romy Page (subscribe)
Writer. TV producer. Film maker. Mum. Lovely food vs a great wine? Don't ask me to choose... This is me: www.chocolateboxmedia.co.uk
Published February 16th 2017
Stories For Kids To Treasure
If you love reading and want to pass that joy on to your kids, then a bedtime story is likely a fundamental part of your little one's bedtime routine. Ours goes a bit like this: bath, milk, teeth, story, bed. My little boy is only 10 months old, but we rarely skip a bedtime story and we have a few firm favourites. What are your favourites?

Best Bedtime Stories
Best Bedtime Stories


1) The Snail And The Whale
This book is written by former Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson MBE and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. They are the same pair behind the much-loved monster The Gruffalo. The Snail And The Whale is a magical book, wonderfully illustrated, about a tiny snail with big dreams to travel the world. The other snails tell her she's being silly and to be happy with her lot, but the snail 'with the itchy foot' refuses to settle. She decides to 'hitch a lift' and is offered a ride on the tail of a humpback whale. Together, they travel the world, seeing 'towering icebergs and far-off lands'. While the journey is mesmerizing for the snail, it also makes her feel 'terribly small'. That is, until the whale finds himself in big trouble and his only hope of survival rests with the tiny snail.

2) I Love You, Little Monkey
Alan Durant and Katherine McEwen's book I Love You, Little Monkey is about a mischievous little monkey. Little Monkey is bored and wants Big Monkey to play with him, but Big Monkey has chores to do. He encourages Little Monkey to play on his own, but Little Monkey soon gets bored. Little Monkey becomes a bit naughty, throwing figs and crushing the bed that Big Monkey just made. Big Monkey gets angry with Little Monkey, who starts to cry. The moral of the story comes next...

3) We're Going On A Bear Hunt
Michael Rosen's 1989 story is a beautifully simple tale that's long been popular. Four children, their parents and the dog head out on a walk to hunt for bears. They encounter all sorts of obstacles on their way like long grass and a deep, cold river. When they find a 'narrow, gloomy cave', they come across a big bear and make a run for it. This book is beautifully illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. There are many evocative, onomatopoeic words in this book for your little ones to learn and enjoy.

4) Zog
This is another book by the inimitable pairing of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It tells the story of a keen, young dragon who is at Dragon School learning how to be a dragon. 'Zog, the biggest dragon was the keenest one by far. He tried his hardest every day to win a golden star'. Their lessons cover flying, breathing fire, roaring. Zog has a few mishaps as he practices and is helped out by a little girl. When Zog has to master the art of capturing princesses, his friendship with the little girl takes a new turn.

5) Peppa Plays Basketball
Love it or hate it, it's impossible to avoid the phenomenon that is Peppa Pig. Peppa Pig is now a billion pound industry with the cartoons shown in 170 countries. This book is about Peppa and her friends learning to play basketball from 'Daddy Coach', but can they beat the grown-ups? This book really does grab the attention of my 10 month old at bedtime, at least for a few minutes... and any book that can do that is a winner in my opinion.
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Why? Stories for children to cherish
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