Sweet Dream Reads: The 11 Best Bedtime Books

We asked hundreds of moms for their favorite children's books and these titles came up again and again.

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COPYRIGHT (C) 1963, 1991 MAURICE SENDAK.

Where the Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak

Recently made into a movie, Maurice Sendak's magical, ferocious book tells the story of a misbehaving boy named Max who sails off in a boat to a place where monsters "gnash their terrible teeth" and "roar their terrible roars." The book packs a powerful punch of adventure and whimsy, ending happily back at home with hot soup.

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Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton

Funny and fuzzy, Splat the Cat is the delightfully drawn tale of cat who learns all about school and mice. Full of physical humor and tender moments, Splat is the sort of likable, befuddled hero any kid can relate to and his antics help ease any fears about school.

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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Rendered in the boldly colored, instantly recognizable style of Eric Carle, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is a bedtime classic. Rhythmic as poetry, the book asks each animal to describe the animal on the next page, providing a simple early lesson in words and colors.

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Skippyjon Jones by Judy Scachner

Moms described this modern favorite as "hilarious." Skippyjon Jones, an energetic and imaginative kitty, stars in a series of lively books, including Skippyjon Jones in the Doghouse and Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble.In his self-titled first adventure, the cat imagines being a Chihuahua -- "Skippito Friskito," fighting a "bad bumble-beeto," all in silly rhymes and a dash of Spanish.

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Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

If you've ever been a parent, or you remember much of your childhood, you can probably still recite bits of this famously calming story about a little bunny saying goodnight to the rhyming objects in his room -- the moon, the spoon, the brush, the bowl of mush, and the cow jumping over the moon. The illustrations are, of course, classics.

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Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton

Sandra Boynton's bouncy little book turns bedtime into a pajama party -- some polka-dotted, some stripey, and all ready for dancing. Colorful and fun, this book puts a little "jamma-jamma-PJ" into your nighttime routine.

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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

This easy-to-read (and easily read) book uses Theodor Geisel's brilliant art to show off an underwater world with more personality than any real-life lake. The colorful and creative fish rhyme in Seuss' typically inventive style.

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I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt and Cyd Moore

One mom wrote that both of her children claim I Love You, Stinky Face as their favorite book, even though one child is 7 years old and the other is only 20 months. The story takes place at nighttime, as a child tries to delay going to sleep by asking his mom whether she would still love him if he were a variety of scary and yucky critters.

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Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann

As pink as its title, this adorable cautionary tale is about a case of Pinkitis caused by too many pink cupcakes. The prescription? Healthy green food, pronto. A sprinkle of glitter on the cover only adds to the book's girlish appeal.

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Guess How Much I Love You By Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

Filled with sweet illustrations, Guess How Much I Love You tells the story of a little bunny trying to express to his parent how big his love is. At every statement, the parent bunny the little bunny with an even greater expression of affection. The charming contest ends in sleep, perfect for a bedtime story.

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Llama, Llama, Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

It's Baby Llama's bedtime, but he's not quite ready to part with his mama. He worries and wonders where she's gone, until she returns to reassure him that she's "always near, even if she's not right here." This comforting message is just what many kids need before the lights go out.

Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.

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