Best Bedtime Book revealed
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Did your favourite make the top 10? Nicola Warren finds her most-loved bedtime story much further down the list.
It’s probably the most relaxing part of my day – reading a bedtime story to my daughter. Yes she’s full from dinner, relaxed after her bath, and tired from a busy day, but reading to her, particularly from a rhyming book, makes her go quiet, her little eyelids starting to droop, and it’s not long before she’s in the land of nod.
Our favourite bedtime book at the moment has to be Goodnight Spaceman by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Nick East. The book is inspired by astronaut Tim Peake and his sons, and features an introduction from the British astronaut.
It includes some wonderful rhymes. ‘Goodnight Neptune, goodnight Venus, goodnight light years in between us.’
Soon after you start reading you build up quite a rhythm, perhaps it’s that which helps my little one to drift off, but I also speak more and more quietly as the story goes on.
It’s a book which features on a list of the UK’s Best Bedtime Books, albeit at number 53…
The list was put together for World Book Day, which took place on March 7, by Happy Beds.
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They collated more than 26 online lists of best bedtime books from national newspapers, book review sites and literary bloggers and compiled a list of nearly 400 different titles.
The top 10 features a mixture of classic and modern children’s books, with the number one spot going to another book with ‘Goodnight’ in the title – the 1947 book Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd.
Here’s the top 10 in full, with details of their authors, illustrators and publishers respectively:
1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd (Pan Macmillan, 1947)
2. Where the Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak (Harper Collins, 1963)
3. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Macmillan Children’s Books, 1999)
4. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton (Simon & Schuster, 1982)
5. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram (Walker Books, 1994)
6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Hamish Hamilton, 1969)
7. Time for Bed by Mem Fox and Jane Dyer (Houghton Mifflin, 1993)
8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling and Thomas Taylor (Bloomsbury, 1997)
9. Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman (Simon & Schuster, 2001)
10. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld (Chronicle Books, 2011)
I have to confess I’ve only read three of the books in the top 10, one being The Gruffalo.
Julia Donaldson’s books are real favourites in our household, particularly A Squash and A Squeeze (no. 64 on the list), The Snail and the Whale (no. 113) and Sharing a Shell (way down in no. 391!).
There are many of the 399 books I’ve never read, but thanks to my local library I will start making my way through them. Reading at bedtime is such a great way to bond with my daughter.
Suffolk Libraries’ children’s librarian Sophie Green, who released her own children’s book Potkin and Stubbs on World Book Day and was shortlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award, agrees: “Reading to children before bedtime is the perfect way of spending quality time together as it helps to encourage a love of reading, sharing stories and can be a calming and reassuring part of the bedtime routine.”
Joy Richards, sleep specialist at Happy Beds, said: “For years, psychologists and parents have sworn by a good book at the end of a busy day to help children’s development and guide them serenely to the land of nod.
“Our research shows that there’s a huge market still for newer books – just over a third of those on our list have been published in the last 10 years.
“However, when it comes to favourites, it seems we still adore the old slumbersome classics – the most popular books like Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are are old enough to have been passed down through generations and have truly passed the test of time.”
Did your favourite make the top 10? Or even the top 399? Find out at Happy Beds.