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Five of the Best...

Books for Bedtime

By Rob Gilroy

From lost penguins and always by your side bears, to unique pooches and the story behind dogs’ bums – our top five book suggestions just about cover all bases.

Bed times can sometimes be a chore, but with a good routine and the perfect reading material, that daily task can’t open up doors to magic and fun. Here are our top five suggestions.

1. I Want My Hat Back – Jon Klassen

This story of a bear searching for his missing hat might not sound like the recipe for a gripping story, but Jon Klassen has proved us wrong.

Funny and constantly surprisingly, this is a gorgeously illustrated children’s book that is sure to get them howling. With some lovely repetition for little readers, it’s a book they’re sure to way to return to time and time again.

And it provides one of life’s greatest lessons – never steal a bear’s hat.

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2. Odd Dog Out – Rob Biddulph

You may already have heard of this one.

Thanks to dog-loving, Batman-bating Tom Hardy and his recent stint on CBeebies Bedtime Stories – swoon at that voice – this book is sure to be a big hit for years, and with good reason.

Thanks to the proliferation of Disney, Pixar and other animated classics, Children are never short on stories on the value of being yourself, but this book manages to spin a yarn that still feels fresh.

The gorgeously designed characters bring the scenes to life, while the rhyming pattern adds even more colour to these already bright pages.

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3. Lost and Found – Oliver Jeffers

Another classic that you may be aware of, Lost and Found is still worth checking out.

From Oliver Jeffers, author of the also brilliant ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ (does that make this Six of the Best?), is this story of a boy and a penguin that shows up one day.

What follows is a beautiful story about friendship and how it sometimes shows up when you least expect it. It’s a stunning book that should be in every nursery or bedroom.

And if you haven’t seen the heart breaking animated version with Jim Broadbent, we really suggest you seek it out.

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4. Always There Bear – Trudi Granger and Gareth Llewhellin

Another book all about friendship is Trudi Granger’s Always There Bear. But instead of a surprise guest appearing from the South Pole, this book highlights that friend who is always by your side.

Whether you’re riding bikes, swinging high, throwing tea parties or feeling sulky, you’ve always got a companion in your faithful teddy bear.

The book manages to capture so many of those childhood moments and that cuddly friend who’s always there. With a playful rhythm to the words and Gareth Llewhellin’s sweet-natured images, it’s ideal for bedtime.

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5. The Great Dog Bottom Swap – Peter Bently and Mei Matsuoka

It’s always good to throw in a bit of a left field choice, and this story about dogs losing their bottoms is certainly that.

Telling the story of the Dogs’ Summer Ball, each dog arrives and promptly leaves their bottom in the cloakroom (the ball is a classy affair, after all) and when things take a turn the dogs must get out as quick as they can.

Offbeat and brilliantly funny, this is a lively book by Peter Bently that’s sure to get your little one giggling. With great illustrations from Mei Matsuoka, it’s a book we keep coming back to because we just can’t believe it exists. But the world – and bedtime – is a much better place for it.

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Rob Gilroy

Rob Gilroy is a writer and father to twin daughters.
He blogs about his experiences infrequently at Twinsights Blog.

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