3 Classic Bedtime Stories to Read to Your Kids

3 Classic Bedtime Stories to Read to Your Kids

There are plenty of new children’s books on the market that are wonderful, well-illustrated, fun to read out-loud and great for bedtime stories. Some of the best bedtime stories, however, remain the same ones that today’s moms and dads might remember from their own childhoods. Here are three of the greatest bedtime stories that both adults and children love to hear again and again.

1. There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer 

Inthis fun and reassuring book, originally published in 1968, well-known children’s author and illustrator, Mercer Mayer, addresses the fears that children have had for generations. Every night before bed, a little boy closes his closet door and quickly jumps into his bed. He knows without a doubt that a nightmare lives inside his closet and each night he fears that it will come out and get him. Summoning his courage one evening, he decides that he’s lived in fear long enough and will confront the monster. Much to his surprise, he discovers that the nightmare was much more afraid of him than he was of it. It had left the closet to crawl into bed in the same way that frightened children climb into bed with their parents. From that night forward, the little boy and the monster were good friends.

 

Kids will love this tale because it reassures them, with humor they can relate to, that there is truly nothing to worry about within the shadows, nor within the closets of the night time world of their bedroom.

2. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz

 

At the end of a long, stressful day, it’s easy for parents to forget that they might not be the only ones who had a rough day. Kids also experience stress, resent their “colleagues” and “bosses,” struggle with difficult family members and have days where everything just seems to go wrong.Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day gives parents and children an opportunity to talk about these bad days and find constructive ways to deal with them.

The title is a perfect plot summary for this book, which was originally published in 1972. Alexander starts his day feeling bested by his brothers, is later embarrassed in front of his peers by his teacher, isn’t able to get the tennis shoes he had his heart set on, gets in trouble with his dad, eats a dinner he hates, sees things on TV he doesn’t like and finally the family cat decides to sleep in his brother’s bed instead of his. The book ends with Alexander’s mother assuring him that everyone has bad days from time to time, leaving the reader to imagine that tomorrow will probably be a better day.

3. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, illustrated by Ron Barrett

 

This book from 1978 is a bedtime story about a bedtime story. Before bed one night, a grandfather tells a fanciful tale to his two grandkids about the town of Chewandswallow, where all the weather includes food. Sometimes it would rain pancakes with a subsequent shower of syrup; other days Chewandswallow might have a hail of hamburgers. The weather of Chewandswallow one day took a turn for the worse, however; the food falling from the sky suddenly became dangerously large, harming homes and townspeople. Eventually, the people of Chewandswallow were forced to relocate to a normal town and get food from the grocery store like everyone else. When the grandchildren wake up the next morning after hearing their grandpa’s tale of Chewandswallow, they discover it has snowed overnight. They can’t be sure, but they think a large mound of snow in the distance might actually be a giant serving of mashed potatoes.

Unlike the other stories mentioned above, there’s no particular moral toCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It’s simply a light-hearted, imaginative story that will send children to bed with a sense of wonderment and a chance to dream of snowflakes made of cotton candy.

These three books are just a few of the bedtime stories from decades ago that are still lots of fun to read to kids today. Do you have your own favorite classic bedtime stories? Share them in the comments section below.

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