When it comes to bedtime stories, what kind of books do you read with your kids? Are you into bigger books that take a few weeks to read or do you go with short ones that are done in just a few minutes.
Lately, we’ve been reading the Jack Stalwart series together. It’s easy enough that Zacharie can take turns reading some pages, and it’s thick enough that it takes a couple of weeks. The book series is about a nine year old boy who is a secret agent and transports around the world beating bad guys with James Bond-ish gadgets. The chapters are just a few pages long and it’s easy to read and find places to pause before bed.
When the boys were younger we loved curling up with modern gems from Ant Parker and Tony Mitton. The boys loved the adventures of birdie, rabbit, and mouse. From diggers to planes to cars to trains, the books are quick and cute and have great rhyming structure the kids quickly decode. We also loved the books from Oliver Jeffers. They are beautifully illustrated, the stories have an inspiring moral depth to them, and they’re easy to read before bed.
Then there are the classics. It’s fun to read the books that I remember as a child with my kids and, 40 yrs and more later, they still bring smiles.
SEE ALSO: CHILDREN’S BOOKS THAT DON’T SUCK
Here are 4 classics that you should look for in the library.
Caps For Sale – We would borrow this board book from the library every week. This one is all about the accents. I’d put on a weird British accent for the cap salesman, and I’d really raise my voice when he shook his fist at the monkeys. The boys would fall over laughing every single time. It’s simple, it’s quick, it’s classic.
Goodnight Moon – This one is sweet, and timeless. Well, sort of timeless. Mix in Goodnight iPad and subtley remind your kids that there’s nothing wrong with living an analog life. (There are many other parodies of this book)
The Little Prince – With the boys in French immersion classes in school, this book is our French practice book. I have it in English too, so I can brush up and help with the translation. This was the first book I read in French and it’s been fun going through it with the boys.
Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day? – the original Where’s Waldo. We have a vintage poster from the book hanging in Charlie’s room. The same poster my wife had in her room as a child. The books are less about the words and more about Scarry’s fantastic illustrations. Bedtime reading of this book turns into a game of I spy more than storytelling.
While those classic bedtime stories are great, others don’t translate to modern times as well. We bought The Complete Adventures of Curious George since our sons love the cartoons. Except when you read how the man in the Yellow Hat stole George from Africa to sell to a zoo, you see how things have changed in the 75 years since the book was written. There’s lots of smoking and, well .. the modern books are fine, the original one is just too uncomfortable.
Which books do you like for bedtime stories with your kids? Do you prefer classics or modern stories?
You can browse all of my picks here.