Bedtime Stories We Love and Why

[AD-Sponsored Post]. Our house is full of books. While my partner and I mostly read on our Kindles we still have shelves full of books we refuse to get rid of. Then there are all the children’s books all over our house. We have piles of them in the living room, a cupboard and several bookshelves in the girls' room and they seem to end up everywhere, even on the dining table as my eldest insists on reading while eating her breakfast. The magic of the written word and images take us to the world beyond what we could otherwise see and while the girls would spend all day reading (or being read to) one of the most special times to settle down to read is just before bed.

A selection of great children's bedtime story books

Have you read the one about the creature who goes out in the snow to search for a mythical mouse she’s heard about? Or the series about a witch who just can’t help getting into trouble? Or the siblings who find a wintery land inside an old wardrobe? The little rabbit who says goodnight to the moon? Or the bear with a sweet tooth who goes on adventures with a little boy and a collection of animals? (Answers at the end in case you are interested). There are so many books we love reading so it would be hard to choose a favourite. You can even make up your own stories that are special to your family. By the way, you can easily make a book online and get a unique book, which will definitely make the reading more enjoyable.

Title from  Furniture Village Deconstructing The Classic Children's Bedtime Story Infographic

Furniture Village looked at 20 books they consider classic bedtime stories from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to The Tale of Peter Rabbit and they have published an Infographic showing what makes the books so special, along with an analysis by Clinical Psychologist Linda Blair. It’s full of fascinating facts like: did you know that the most popular creatures in these stories are rabbits and monsters? And interestingly 95% of the books feature male characters, but only 50% of the books feature any female characters. Not to worry though, there are plenty of great children’s books available which means that every child will find a character they can identify with, no matter what their family background.

Text from  Furniture Village Deconstructing The Classic Children's Bedtime Story Infographic

We find reading a great way to bond and to relax for bed, but stories are so much more than that. They help explore new ideas and fears as well as normal every day activities in a safe and fun way. The simple act of reading the books also helps with language development through the repeated reading of stories with rhyme, questions and grammar which they might not hear in normal everyday conversation. You can see the full Furniture Village Deconstructing The Classic Children's Bedtime Story Infographic here.

Quote from Linda Blair, Clinical Psychologist, taken from  Furniture Village Deconstructing The Classic Children's Bedtime Story Infographic

When I asked my toddler what her favourite bedtime story was she said “this one” grabbing which ever one happened to be closet, she basically doesn’t mind what she is read as long as she gets a story (or several if Daddy is doing bedtime).

My 7 year old is a huge book lover and we rarely read to her anymore. Reading a book to herself is an essential part of her bedtime routine though, helping her to calm down and relax after a busy day. I asked her what her favourite book was and she said “The Worst Witch” (series by Jill Murphy) "I've read them all twice!". I bought her these books last year because they were my favourites as a child and I wanted to share them with her. I love that the stories continue to be enjoyed a generation later. 

I have few memories from when I was young, but I remember that in the bedroom I shared with my sister we had shelves on the wall with the complete series of The Wizard of Oz and Chronicles of Narnia. Our Dad used to read a chapter to us each night before bed. I remember him saying that if he was going to spend so much of his time reading to us he wanted to make sure the books were good. This is great advice, there are a few books in our house which are awful and they may have accidentally been shoved behind the bookcase (by me) so I don’t have to read them again.

A toddler enjoying reading a story on the sofa

I think one of my current favourite children’s books is “Five Minutes Peace”, a picture book by Jill Murphy (she and Julia Donaldson are probably my favourite children’s authors). Having recently had my 3rd child and living in a house that is constantly full of noise and distractions I feel for Mrs Large and her wish to have a cup of tea in peace. I’m hoping that through repeated reading my children will appreciate the importance of giving me a break every so often. Or maybe I have been reading too much fiction?

***Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. Snippets of the Furniture Village Deconstructing The Classic Children's Bedtime Story Infographic used in the post with permission. ***

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