Last updated on Mar 3rd, 2021 at 12:52 pm

Getting kids off to sleep is much easier when you have an established ritual, including some wonderful stories to send them to dreamland.

Darkness slipped inDarkness Slipped In

By Ella Burfoot, Pan Macmillan, R129

Daisy is busy playing when Darkness slips in through her bedroom window. But she isn’t afraid – she takes him by the hand and together they dance the night away. This enchanting story personifies Darkness as a friendly and welcome visitor. The bold design includes a wonderfully tactile varnish to highlight Darkness’s looming shape as he fills the room. The striking use of black and white is enlivened by vibrant accents of hot pinks and warm yellows.

Why we like it

With Darkness imagined as a friendly night-time visitor, this playful rhyming story makes a great bedtime read, perfect to reassure children who are afraid of the dark.

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A recipe for bedtimeRecipe for Bedtime

By Peter Bently, Hodders Children’s Books, R249

From the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, comes a classic baby bedtime book with a perfect lullaby ending. Baby, baby soft and sweet, almost good enough to eat! It’s night-night time so come with me, and hear my bedtime recipe. Parents will be enchanted by this sweet book as their voices calm their little ones.

Why we like it:

This book is perfect for reading aloud to babies and young children during bedtime. It has lovely illustrations with lots of details which are fun, relaxing, comforting and familiar.


Bedtime storiesBedtime Stories: Follow the Finger Trails

By Luana Rinaldo, Campbell Books, R145

Each page spread is a complete story that allows the baby and parent to spend time looking, talking about, exploring and touching the page with finger trails cut into the paper and textured illustrations for little hands to trace. The trails wind their way around illustrations so that baby explores the illustrations on the page.

Why we like it:

With beautiful, warm illustrations to capture the imagination, as well as a gentle rhythmic, lullaby-text, this book about sleepy people and creatures is perfect for little ones preparing for bed.


Rhinocephants on the roofRhinocephants on the Roof

By Dale Blankenaar and Marita van der Vyver, Tafelberg Publishers, R135

When Daniel goes to visit Grandpa and Grandma, things just don’t feel right. The room is darker than his room and the bed doesn’t feel as comfortable as his own. Then, when the lights go out he hears the sounds of huge, heavy animals dancing and prancing around the chimney.

Why we like it

This picture book with lovely illustrations is perfect for children who struggle to go to bed at night, as it will encourage them to be brave.


The midnight libraryThe Midnight Library

By Kazuno Kohara, Pan Macmillan, R119

When we are fast asleep in bed, the Midnight Library opens its doors to all the night-time animals. Inside the library, the little librarian and her three assistant owls help each and every animal to find the perfect book. With a noisy squirrel band, an upset wolf and a slow-reading tortoise all looking for their favourite book, they could all be in for a very busy night.

Why we like it:

Illustrated with only yellow, blue, and black, this book is perfect for introducing the library to little ones!