A dinosaur, a llama and even an alligator can help little ones wind down at bedtime

Bedtime stories are more important than you think!

They can be part of an enjoyable routine to ease the transition from being wide awake to winding down before falling asleep. It can be a time for lots of cuddles and spending quality time sharing favorite stories with a child. It can be a gentle reminder of how special reading is and how it can be part of anyone’s day.

Make evening story time a special part of your child’s bedtime routine with some of these new and classic bedtime stories available at the Fort Worth Public Library.

Goodnight Moon

By Margaret Wise Brown

Harper Collins Publishers, 1975

Ages 3 and up

This classic picture book is a childhood favorite. The dark green room with its simple objects and familiar pictures depicting nursery rhymes invites you and your child to “spy” all of the objects you see as each page turns. Follow along in a poetic rhythm to say goodnight to each object until at last sleep comes.

Good Night, Mr. Panda

By Steve Antony

Scholastic Press, 2018

Ages 3 and up

Introduce bedtime with the animals that tell Mr. Panda good night. You will soon be laughing at some of the animals that remind you of some familiar problems you can encounter at bedtime. Mr. Hippo says goodnight but forgets to brush his teeth. He promises to brush them twice in the morning! Skunk is ready for some cuddle time but has forgotten to take a bath. When Mr. Panda reminds him, Skunk tells Panda he only takes a bath once a month! These silly animals will definitely help you strike up a playful conversation about bedtime routines.

Bedtime for Frances

By Russell Hoban

Harper Collins Publishers, 1960

Ages 4 and up

This classic tale of a little badger that finds all kinds of reasons why she can’t go to sleep in her bedroom is sure to remind you of some children that have a difficult time sleeping in their own bedroom. Tigers and giants and ominous cracks in the ceiling keep her awake. Will Frances ever go to sleep?

Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy

By Drew Daywalt

Disney-Hyperion Books, 2018

Ages 4 and up

Roderick does not like bedtime. He always needs just one more thing — a drink of water, another story, or another bedtime kiss. His attentive parents get him a “goodnight buddy” in the hopes his buddy can soothe him at bedtime. This goodnight buddy is like none of his other toys. This buddy talks and he is anything but comforting. His demands start coming at bedtime and Roderick gets a taste of what it’s like for his parents in a very humorous way.

Llama Llama Red Pajama

By Anna Dewdney

Viking, 2005

Ages 3 and up

Baby Llama is all tucked in and kissed after his bedtime story. Just as he watches his mama leave the room with a worried expression on his face, the drama begins and escalates quickly! “Baby Llama wants a drink. Mama’s at the kitchen sink.” This silly story is told in a playful rhyme that any child will enjoy and can easily follow along with. Baby Llama’s wide-eyed expressions and his dramatic tantrum will surely be a hit with every child that has ever struggled with bedtime fears.

The Too-Scary Story

By Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Scholastic, Inc., 2017

Ages 5 and up

Two children want their papa to tell them a scary bedtime story with one exception — not too scary! Grace has her special wand so she is feeling especially brave and Walter is a little bit hesitant. Papa begins with a story about two brave adventurers in a dark forest with many creatures and gradually works up to a heroic ending! Follow along on this precious tale of a father sharing an “almost” scary story with his children and helping them fall fast asleep with the help of some adventurous storytelling.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

By Jane Yolen

Blue Sky Press, 2000

Ages 3 and up

This classic book is one of many in Jane Yolen’s popular dinosaur series. “How does a dinosaur say good night when Papa comes in to turn off the light? Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout?” Jane Yolen’s dinosaur books are a favorite with children and this one is no different. Read and compare to your little dinosaur’s bedtime shenanigans. For even more fun, try and find the names of each dinosaur on the page with the pictures and names found on the inside cover. This book will surely give you some humorous comparisons and end with a happy little dinosaur falling asleep.

Don’t Blink!

By Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Random House, 2018

Ages 3 and up

This big-eyed owl has a plan. He wants to avoid bedtime and the challenge for any reader is not to blink. Every time you blink, you have to turn the page! You can stare at the person next to you. You can stare up at the ceiling. You can even squint or hold your eyes open with your fingers! The little owl will keep you guessing what else you can do to keep from blinking. He will also help remind you that in the end, closing your eyes is ok because it will be morning in the “blink” of an eye!

There’s an Alligator Under My Bed

By Mercer Mayer

Dial Books for Young Readers, 1987

Ages 4 and up

This timeless favorite will entertain all kids. The hero in this story is a little boy and he is sure there is an alligator hiding under his bed. His parents come in and search and they find nothing. It is all up to him to conquer his fears of this mysterious creature. The elusive alligator hiding under the little boy’s bed is lured out with its favorite foods. As soon as he crawls into the garage, the boy slams the door shut! Just as the boy is back in bed, he wonders if his dad will have any troubles getting to his car in the morning. Uh-oh!

Dawn Guest is the library assistant at the Fort Worth Library.