Parental Queries

20 Bed Time Stories For Kids

By Sapana Bishwakarma | 12 September 2023 10:02 AM

Source : pexels

Establishing a habit for your child to get into bed early is easier when you set a specific time for a bedtime story. You can cite some tales to them so that they can fall asleep while listening.

Slowly, when they get older, you can give them different children engaging storybooks to read every day before bed. This will create a habit of reading in them from an early age. Here are 20 timeless masterpieces and recent tales of bedtime stories for kids.

1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Source : npr

Author: Margaret Wise Brown

Published Date: September 3, 1947

Copies Sold Yet: 48 million

Buy From Amazon

Goodnight Moon is one of the first books for young children. A classic bedtime story for kids is all about a little bunny who says goodnight to the objects and creatures in a green-wall bedroom, moving slowly to sleep as the light dims and the moon glows in a big picture window. It has genuine magical, doze-inspiring powers that rarely fail to calm a toddler.

2. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

Source : wordpress

Author: Hans Christian Andersen

Published Date: December 21, 1844

Buy from Amazon

A fairy tale The Snow Queen shows the struggle between good and evil, the two best friends Gerda and Kai. It is one of the author's longest and highest acclaimed stories.

Generally, it covers a theme of two friends where Kia is taken by the Snow Queen who lives in a world of ice and snow and Gerda is determined to find him and restore her friend to the boy she knows and loves. It is all about female strength, a rare relationship of good and evil, and faithful.

3. Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault

Source : pexels

Author: Brothers Grimm

Published Date: 1697

Buy from Amazon

In English, it is titled The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods. The story is about a princess the daughter of a king and a queen who gave birth to a beautiful baby princess so that all the fairies came to bless her but one evil witch cursed the baby to die on her 16th birthday.

However, one fairy was able to save the princess by blessing her, she would not die but only fall asleep till she is awoken by a kiss of true love. From this, children will learn that life and growing up come with many risks but you must brave your way through these difficulties.

4. The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Aesop's Fables

Source : pexels

Author: Aesop

Illustrated: Francis Barlow

Published Date: 1687

It is the theme of a shepherd boy who repeatedly fools villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his sheep. He always brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out Wolf! Wolf! but when neighbors came to help him he laughed at them for their pains.

However, when the wolf actually attacks his sheep and the boy calls for help, the people believe that it is another false alarm and all the sheep are eaten by the wolf. It tells the kids that there is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.

5. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

Source : pexels

Author: Hans Christian Andersen

Published Date: November 11, 1843

Copies Sold Yet: More than 100 million

A fairy tale story for kid's bedtime has been featured in numerous media such as musicals, opera, and animated films. In the story, an ugly duckling looked very different from his siblings and became fun and treated horribly by others because of not looking like them. 

The White duckling is bullied and discriminated against by others. The moral of the story is none looks the same but that doesn't mean that you treat them differently, we should accept people for their qualities and their humility.

6. Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm

Source : pexels

Author: Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm

Published Date: 1697

Little Red Riding Hood reflects the theme of a young girl who comes across a clever wolf on the way to her grandmother's home. The little girl talks to a smart wolf and points out the direction of her grandmother's house who seems innocent and even wants to be her friend.

Then, she finds herself in danger after a wolf deceives both her and her grandmother and eats them. The main theme of the story is strangers are not to be trusted because people are not always who they appear to be.

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Source : pexels

Author: Eric Carle

Published Date: 1969

Copies Sold Yet: 50 million

One of the greatest childhood classics of all time is about a small caterpillar who appears from an egg and begins eating everything in sight. He eats sweets and junk food in all six days and gets stomach ache. So, a little caterpillar eats green leaves on the seventh day and feels much better.

The story teaches the children that healthy foods like a leaf are better for all rather than eating too much sugary and junk food. These types of food only give you a stomachache like the caterpillar gets.

8. The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Source : phidal

Author: Brothers Grimm

Published Date: 1815

Copies Sold Yet: 100 million 

A children's bedtime story is all about a king's twelve daughters who all sleep together in one large bedroom and dance in secret every night. The king became worried and set the challenge to the men of his kingdom to solve the mystery of his 12 daughters.

The old soldier successfully reveals the princess's nightly trips to the underground kingdom from which the king is satisfied and allows a soldier to marry his eldest princess and become king after his own death. The children can learn that parents need to give their children room to grow as they get older.

9. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Source : pexels

Author: Beatrix Potter

Published Date: December 16, 1901

Copies Sold Yet: 45 million

A classic children's book covers Peter, a young rabbit, and his family. The story describes the misbehaves of Peter Rabbit whose disobedience leads to trouble.

In the book, Peter Rabbit's mother tells him and his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-Tail to avoid Mr. McGregor's garden because he killed their father. His siblings follow their mother's instructions but Peter decides to explore the garden and get into the risk. From this storyline, kids can learn about the importance of listening to elders.

10. The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

Source : pexels

Author: Carlo Collodi

Published Date: February 1883

Copies Sold Yet: 35 million 

A children's fantasy book is about an animated puppet, boys who turn into donkeys and other fairy tale devices. The main character Pinocchio makes a promise to the Blue Fairy that if he is be good student and son, the fairy will turn him into a real boy.

Unfortunately, a boy is tempted into misbehaving and finally learns to devote himself to his father and get turned into a real boy. The story wants to suggest to young kids about the dangers of not listening to their parents. It also teaches lying and disobedience can be dangerous.

11. The North Wind and The Sun by Aesop's Fables

Source : amazon

Author: Aesop

Published Date: 1960s

The North Wind and the Sun is a free bedtime story for kids which shows a quarrel about which of them was the stronger. Both of them bet who can remove the scarf and coat of the traveler.

The north wind started blowing at full force but a man felt cold and held his coat and scarf tighter and sat down on the road. Then, the sun began to smile from which he felt better and resumed his walk. After the sun shone brighter, the man removed his scarf and coat. From this story, young kids can learn that gentleness and kindness sometimes win over the mightiest power.

12. The Elephants and The Mice

Source : pexels

Author: Laura Liswood

Published Date: January 1, 1970

Copies Sold Yet: 24 million 

A good bedtime story for kids titled The Elephant and The Mice focuses on the thought of all animals that the elephant was too big and different to be their friend and they never need their help. One day, the elephants destroyed a lot of mice's lives because of their huge footprints by walking through the mice community.

So, a mouse requested the king of an elephant not to walk from their community. Since, then the elephant they changed their route. One day all the elephants became trapped by hunters, and the mice found they were tied up. Then they began chewing the ropes and set free from the trapped. It conveys the message of becoming a good and helpful friend.

13. Goldilocks and Three Bears by Robert Southey

Source : pexels

Author: Robert Southey

Published Date: 1837

Copies Sold Yet: More than 100 million 

The story begins with a girl named Goldilocks who enters a house where she finds to her delight three bowls of oatmeal. She ate all the breakfast and fell fast asleep. She went to their bedroom and rested for a while. When three bears came into the home they saw, that their breakfast was eaten by someone and looked at somebody sleeping in the baby bear's bed. 

After seeing this, baby Bear squeaked so loudly that Goldilocks woke up and jumped out of bed, and away she ran down the stairs and out into the forest. The three bears never saw her again. It teaches the kids that none should enter someone else's home without their permission.

14. The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen

Source : pexels

Author: Hans Christian Andersen

Published Date: May 8, 1835

Copies Sold Yet: Over 100 million 

The Princess and the Pea is a bedtime story for kids to read. It focuses on a prince who wants to marry a princess but is having difficulty finding a suitable wife. the prince meets many princesses but is never sure that they are real princesses.

One day in the thunder and rain, a girl comes into a prince's home and the queen tests her and asks her to sleep on the mattress to pass the night. The next day morning, his mother asked her how she had slept. She replied that she was unable to close her eyes the whole night through, from which they came to know that she was a real princess. It conveys the message of never judging a person by their momentary appearance.

15. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Source : pexels

Author: Anna Dewdney

Published Date: 2015

Copies Sold Yet: 200,000 copies

A bedtime story is available as an audiobook on eRead Kids. It covers LIama who is getting scared and thinking his Mama left him. It is related to all the parent's situation.

The Llama Llama Red Pajama captures the young children's fear of separating from their mothers and going to sleep. The main theme of the story is that the children always need something when their parents are busy.

16. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Source : pexels

Author: Margery Williams

Published Date: 1922

Copies Sold Yet: 2 million (US)

A children's story is about a toy rabbit so beloved by his owner. The main theme of the storyline is that one's sense of self-worth is often something that an individual only achieves after a long period of time.

The boy and the rabbit relationship shows how love can help one along the journey but that becoming real is ultimately something that comes from within. Overall, it is the journey of the Velveteen Rabbit, a Christmas present of a small boy to learn what it means to be Real.

17. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Source : pexels

Author: Raymond Briggs

Published Date: 1978

Copies Sold Yet: 5.5 million

The world's most popular picture book The Snowman has been translated into 21 languages. It is about a story of imagination and friendships as well as love and loss.

In the story, a boy creates a snowman on a snowy winter's day who comes to life at midnight. He and the youngster play around with household gadgets, toys, and other objects while remaining quiet enough not to disturb his parents. Unfortunately, the snowman has melted when the boy awakens in the morning. 

18. The Musical Donkey by Vishnu Sharma

Source : pexels

Author: Vishnu Sharma

Published Date: December 1, 2013

The Musical Donkey tells a story about a foolish donkey and a wise jackal who become good friends and meet every night. They used to have fun and steal vegetables from farms. When the donkey and jackal went to a farm to eat cucumbers, the dumb donkey started singing despite the jackal's repeated warnings. 

The farmer awoke while listening to his song and gave him a severe trashing. The jackal was saved because he was able to think with his mind and hide before the farmer arrived. The kids can learn that there is a right place and time for everything.

19. The Woodcutter and the Water Goddess by Aesop

Source : pexels

Author: Aesop 

Also known as: The Golden Axe and Mercury and the Woodman

Quick bedtime stories for kids The Woodcutter and the Water Goddess is about a man whose axe fell into water. Then, he began to cry.

At the same time, the water god appeared with a golden axe but the woodcutter refused. Again the goddess brought a silver axe and he again refused. At last, the water god brought his own axe, and the woodcutter received it. The woodcutter was awarded for honesty. The main lesson can learned by children is honesty is the best policy.

20. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Source : pexels

Author: Audrey Penn

Published Date: 1993

Copies Sold Yet: 6 million 

The children picture's book is about a young raccoon who is nervous about going to school. He feels comfortable and goes to school after his mother kisses his center palm and tells him that, she is always there for him. 

The story conveys a message for young children who confront a difficult situation and for the kid within each of us who sometimes needs encouragement.