We’ve all been through those days when we’re so tired by the time we get our kids to bed that we’re practically running out of the room after we tuck them in. And who can blame us? Bedtime can be a real struggle — by the time we get the kids in PJ’s we may be so exhausted, the thought of reading or doing anything else is just too much. Add to that the repetition of reading the same book over and over again, and the bedtime routine becomes almost unbearable. Raise your hand if you can recite your go-to books by heart?
There’s nothing wrong with reciting Good Night Moon from memory, but if your bedtime book routine could use a little pick-me-up, here are some great books that won’t make you want to stab your eyes out after you’ve read them a few hundred times.
“Ada Marie Twist is an inquisitive African American second grader and a born scientist. She possesses a keen yet peculiar need to question everything she encounters, whether it be a tick-tocking clock, a pointy-stemmed rose, or the hairs in her dad’s nose. Ada’s parents and her teacher, Miss Greer, have their hands full as the child’s science experiments wreak day-to-day havoc.” A book that proves there’s nothing wrong with kids who dance to their own tune — they may just be little geniuses.
You may recognize the “Block” books — Alpha Block and Counta Block are amazing books for teaching little ones their letters and numbers. City Block takes kids on an adventure through the city, that city kids will recognize but any child will be entertained by. Bonus: these books are indestructible.
“Paula and Maggie have been friends forever. Paula thinks Maggie is the best—until mean girl Veronica says otherwise. Suddenly, Paula starts to notice that Maggie is big and clumsy, and her clothes are sort of snuggish.” This sweet story teaches kids about bullying and what it means to be a true friend.
“Meet Douglas, a dog with a big problem: he needs eyeglasses but doesn’t know it, and his bad eyesight tends to land him in some pretty hairy situations.” Kids will giggle along with Douglas as he mistakes common items for things they look nothing like, and rejoice with him when he picks out some slick frames. They’ll also learn that needing glasses is no big deal — and finding the perfect pair can even be a fun adventure.
“Frog does NOT want to grow up. Doesn’t need to be tall. Doesn’t want to be able to jump high enough to see the tree frogs. He’s just FINE being small. Besides, if you grow up, you don’t get to do fun things like jump in mud puddles with your best friend, Pig. Do you?” Your kids will love reading along while frog finds out getting big doesn’t necessarily mean you have to grow up.
When you see a cat, what do you see? This book expertly explains perspective to kids, and how one thing can be viewed in a million different ways. In this case, we go through the book experiencing the different ways other animals view a cat: from a mouse, to a bee, to a snake, to our own selves. Such a cool way to illustrate the power of perspective.
“For monsters, bedtime looks a little different. They brush their teeth, but not with a toothbrush. They get dressed for bed, but not in slippers and nightcaps. They snuggle, but not with a blankie or a teddy bear…” This fun book lets your kids guess what exactly it is that monsters do at bedtime, and they’ll love the silliness of it all.
“Mr. Drake’s second grade class has a new class pet. Fluffity appears to be a cute and docile hamster—but the kids soon discover that she is not the cuddly pet they expected.” This book delivers the important message of having respect and boundaries for pets, so it’s a fun read with a great lesson.
“Have you ever considered running away to Antarctica? Of course you have! Because it’s a land free of worries and responsibilities! All of your problems will surely be blown away by the icy winds of that lawless paradise! . . . Won’t they?” Your kids will fall in love with this grumpy penguin, and eventually learn the lesson that life is all about your perspective.
This one is actually written by a sleep expert, so hello! It’s a fun story for kids that doubles as a reminder for parents that kids benefit from routine before bedtime. There’s even a plush Bungee you can order on Amazon if your kid falls in love with the book.