16 books that make bedtime a communion of parent and child

Perhaps the most cherished of all childhood rituals is the bedtime story - that gorgeous twilight-ish moment when parent and child come together and forsake the world.


Daniel Pennac wrote this divine recollection of that time:

"A sudden state of grace after the uproar of the day, a coming together that healed life’s little wounds, the ceremonial moment of silence before the first words of the tale were spoken, our voice finally ringing true, the liturgy of chapters … 

'Yes, reading a story every evening fulfilled the finest function of prayer, the most impartial, the least speculative, the one that touches only the human kind: the forgivenesses of trespasses. No wrong-doing was confessed, we weren’t grasping for our portion of eternity, it was a moment of communion, the absolution of the text, a return to the only paradise worthy of the name: togetherness. 

'Without realising it, we were discovering one of the essential functions of stories – and more than that, of art itself – which is to call a truce in the daily battle we fight.

Here are a few favourites for just such a moment (click the images to go to the posts or a bookseller):

Plus some truly lovely, redemptive chapter books to read aloud or in tandem:

THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE by Kate DiCamillo and Bagram Ibatoulline (also mentioned here)

THE RED WIND - Isobelle Carmody (also on audio read by Isobelle Carmody)


IDA B - Katherine Hannigan

THE LAST WILD - Piers Torday


The books are linked to Book Depository or their posts, but in case you'd like to search for them through our other booksellers (thank you for supporting wtba!), here are the generic links: Amazon - Book Depository - Booktopia

Names in these books: Abilene, Edward, Zluty, Bili, Sophia, Theo, Ida, Kester