5 Books About Sleep

Caroline Cook is a journalist, children’s book reviewer and a Bright Horizons parent! Caroline shares with us five fantastic books to help your little ones drift off to sleep...

While bedtime can be a wonderful end to the day with cuddles and stories, we also know it can be a challenge, with overtired toddlers and procrastinating preschoolers! Take a look at these brilliant books which might just help banish those bedtime battles...

Yawn by Patricia Hegarty and Teresa Bellon

Yawn by Patricia Hegarty and Tess Bellon

Published by Little Tiger, 2021

Age 3-6 years

Yawn is the perfect book for winding down before sleep, with dreamy illustrations, gentle rhyming text and brilliant cut-out elements. We don't know where the yawn came from but soon it’s passing from dog to cat and mother to father. Before long it's being sent around the world and then it goes even further into space! With all this talking of yawning surely it's making the reader yawn too? Just in time for bedtime...

Wide Awake Wolf by Georgina Deutsch and Megan Tadden

Wide Awake Wolf by Georgiana Deutsch and Megan Tadden

Published by Little Tiger, 2021

Age 3-6 years

After trying a nice bubble bath, a snack and even hanging upside down like a bat, Wolf decides sleep must be hiding and he sets off through the forest to find it. On his way he meets a variety of woodland animals but sleep is nowhere to be found. Could Owl have the answer? With gorgeous moonlight tones this is lovely and cuddly with just the right amount of adventure for bedtime.

Night Time by Anna Milbourne and Simona Dimitri

Usbourne Peep Inside : Night Time by Anna Milbourne and Simona Dimitri

Published by Usbourne Books, 2014

Age 2-5 years

Part of the brilliant Peep Inside series, this lovely non-fiction board book takes us through dusk in a little town. We open the doors of the bakery, see the street lamp glow in the dark and meet the bats hanging upside down in the trees. The variety of flaps are great for toddlers to explore with small doors and large, shaped elements like leaves - and there are lovely cut out sections too.

Sleep Tight Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Sleep Tight Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Published by Puffin, 2018

Age 0-4 years

A spin-off from all-time classic The Hungry Caterpillar, this is a lovely little board book which stars the famous insect and some animal friends who are all getting ready for a good snooze. With large, sturdy flaps to lift and sleepy critters to discover underneath it’s a calming, gentle read for bedtime.

Rabbits Nap by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Rabbits Nap by Julia Donaldson and Axel Schaffler

Published by Macmillan, 2020 (20th anniversary edition)

Age 0-4 years

Rabbit just wants to sleep, but she keeps being interrupted. If it's not Bear doing building work under one flap we lift, then it's Tortoise ringing his bicycle bell under another. Will Rabbit ever just get to cosy up and have a snooze? This sleepy story is part of the wonderful Tales From Acorn Wood series – also, keep an eye out for a new book in the series, Mole’s Spectacles, coming next year!

You can read more of Caroline’s reviews at @TeenyReaders on Instagram and Twitter.