No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
In this section we have brought together some of our favourite bedtime reads that we hope will become yours too.
October 2020 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2020 | Award-winning Oliver Jeffers will capture the hearts and minds of children and adults alike with this story of a father and daughter making plans to build a world that will keep them safe in the future. Brimming with hope but not ignoring the possibilities that the world and what happens next in it will present challenges, What We’ll Build is founded in the mundane (almost!) as the father and his daughter assemble building tools including a hammer, saw and drill – and a pig! What they go on to build including a place to store love, a hole to hide in, a wall to keep enemies out and a gate to let them, a tunnel to anywhere, a road to the stars and much more and the reasons why they may need them it is summed up in the briefest of texts and Jeffers magical, vividly coloured story- telling illustrations. Inspired by becoming a father, What We’ll Build is a childhood classic that will be shared over and over again.
October 2020 Debut of the Month | Full of a sense of tenderness but also possibilities, Songs for our Sons contains every wish you could have for a young boy growing up today, from ‘Never change, fib or follow, just to try to fit in./Be proud, free and happy in your own, unique skill’, to ‘Keep a still place inside, that you can call home/ and know how to find it, wherever your roam.’ The text is touching, heartfelt and always uplifting, while Ashling Lindsay’s illustrations depict children playing in a range of settings, from green fields to desert cities and magic trees, bold colours and shifting perspectives making every turn of the page an adventure. Giving this and receiving it, both will be a real joy.
From the inventive author-illustrator of the award-winning There’s a Bear on My Chair comes this smart sequel, and boy has Ross Collins delivered again. It’s a rollicking, rhyming, visually-pleasing treat in which it turns out that Bear isn’t terribly keen on getting a taste of his own medicine (to begin with, at least). The cause of Bear’s irritation is the presence of Mouse in his house (yes, the very same Mouse on whose chair Bear presumptuously sat in the first book). In Bear’s outraged words, “That rodent can’t live here, oh no! I’ll tell him that he has to go.” Of course, Mouse refuses to leave and proceeds to cause chaos in Bear’s house, before a mob of partying mice turn up. But then - the twist! – when Bear realises “Hey! These mice are nice!” With wonderful interplay between text, illustration and design, this is excellent for reading aloud - the kind of book that will have toddlers urging for it to be read again, and again (and again) while completing the rhymes before adults have chance to read them.
No matter how you start your day, What you wear when you play, Or if you come from far away, All are welcome here. Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcome. A school where children in patkas, hijabs, baseball caps and yarmulkes play side by side. A school where students grow and learn from each other's traditions. A school where diversity is a strength. Warm and inspiring, All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, and they are welcome in their school. Engaging lyrical text and bright, accessible illustrations make this book a must for every child's bookshelf, classroom and library.
A delightful board book with simple rhyming text and engaging interactive pictures. Children will be able to find characters that are mentioned in the text, such as Mother Hubbard and Cinderella. Wonderful detail in the illustrations provides endless entertainment in that with each view you find yet more in them – so clever and yet so simply done. Janet was an artist extraordinaire whose life was sadly cut short by illness some years ago. ~ Julia Eccleshare Kate Greenaway Medal winner in 1978.
This thoroughly charming picture book fills night-time with friendly bears and should delight little children. At night, when it’s dark and quiet, the Night Bear hops onto a night bus and sets off to find his dinner – nightmares. Travelling round he finds treats on doorsteps everywhere. Monsters with hideous eyes, dragons and scary pirates are all delicious, but a dream of rainbows and unicorns is so disgusting he has to give it away. The bear is super cuddly and lovable in Thiago de Moraes’ attractive illustrations and this will add fun and adventure to little children’s idea of the night, making it perfect bedtime reading.
This lovely story of friendship and understanding plays out to a soundtrack of monster rock and roll! Dave’s days of romping through the countryside and causing chaos are long over. Banished to Echo Rock, the old monster spends his days alone, with only his guitar for company. At least that is until Percival arrives, six years old, dressed in his knight outfit and ready for a fight. But once Dave points out that monsters have feelings too, they become firm friends, with a shared liking for classic riffs and watching the jousting on TV. When the townspeople turn up looking for a fight, Percy has to teach them a lesson too. Great fun to read and Sara Ogilvie’s delightful illustrations are full of life and energy.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | This gorgeous picture book tells the story of a little boy's fear of the dark. With friendly text and hundreds of tiny holes that show shadows and a starry sky, this is a beautiful book to share with young children.
This lively, cheerful picture book takes a positive look at one of the changes the arrival of a new baby can bring. ‘There’s a new baby now, I’m not the baby any more’, says the little girl who narrates the story. Sometimes she misses being the littlest, and tries to squeeze into her old baby clothes, now passed on to her new brother; but Mummy and Daddy reminder her how much they love their big girl, and she lists all the great things that big girls can do, from using the potty to playing with friends and enjoying a bedtime story. The little girl’s voice rings out loud and clear and it’s a great book for sharing with lots for adults and children to discuss together. ~ Andrea Reece
My five year old son and I absolutely loved Don't Drink the Pink. In fact, he made me read it to him twice, one straight after the other, partly because he loved it and partly because he wanted to read it the second time after taking on board what happens in it. The book begins on Madeline's first birthday. Her beloved grandfather is always busy in his workshop cooking up, as it turns out, wonderful potions that give Madeline a superpower. Each year, on her birthday, she gets to choose a new potion but each time her grandfather tells her "just don't drink the pink". She gets to be tiny, to be a giant, to be able to move faster than a locomotive and, my personal favourite, to be able to build rollercoasters for herself and her friends. So many things about this book make it special. Firstly, it all rhymes which I think gives it a rhythmical flow that really keeps children (and their grown ups) interested. Secondly, the rhyme about not drinking the pink is the same for every birthday and it gave my son the opportunity to join in with the "just don't drink the pink" line with a big smile on his face. He can read perfectly well himself but it made it a nice joint endeavour. Thirdly, the story is fun and magical. There's a sad element to it but it's tempered by an uplifting ending. Finally, the illustrations are gorgeous and complement the story perfectly. They're colourful and give an accurate depiction of what is happening in the story. I really can't praise this book highly enough. Be aware, it does deal with the death of a relative but it's sensitively done and although my son did feel a bit sad at that bit, he bounced back with the ending. It's a fabulous little read for the 3-8 age group. Nicola Smith, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
A wholesome hygiene message about how, when and why to wash your hands is here delivered through irreverent loo, poo and goo humour (even the queen gets slimed!) that’s sure to appeal to seven+ year-olds. Pands is woefully resistant to washing his hands. In fact, he “believed washing dirt off his skin was a bad thing.” But thankfully his brother Seb comes to the rescue as a hygiene Superhero, armed with an antibacterial cape and the knowledge that “germs were nasty and cruel”. Seb’s mission to persuade Pands to clean up his act begins at home (the detailed cross-section of their slide down a toilet pipe is sure to raise a few eyebrows and elicit some grins), before he undertakes an epic quest save the earth from succumbing to an invasion of zombiegerms. This provides parents and teachers with an original way to teach kids about hygiene, with the glossary and hand-washing instructions that follow the story delivered in the same comic style. Joanne Owen, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Benji Davies’ new book is a story of escape that has a particular resonance for little children. Tad lives with her brothers and sisters in their pond. The smallest almost-a-frog she has to wiggle her tail twice as fast just to keep up, and they all know that Big Blub waits at the bottom of the pond for left-behind tadpoles. With Tad the very last tadpole in the pond there’s a touch and go moment, but in a glorious burst of light, her legs arrive just in time. It’s the perfect story to reassure any child worrying they’ll always be at the back, and Davies handles light and shadow brilliantly to create and control the drama. A beautiful and very special picture book.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2018 | A charming story of bedtime fears with a neat twist to it. Dora and all her toys wake up grouchy and grumpy after a night spent tossing and turning on account of the scary noises coming from the wardrobe. Penguin, Bear, Lion and Dora herself had all been terrified and not one of them is looking forward to the next night. But the next time the banging from the wardrobe starts up, Dora and her friends bravely open the cupboard door…Nicely scary as well as appropriately reassuring.
When a little girl's nightlight goes out, she takes a magical midnight journey to the Star Tree in this beautiful bedtime read from fine artist Catherine Hyde. A little girl embarks on a magical midsummer night’s journey in this beautiful and atmospheric picture book. In the silvery moonlight Mia tiptoes to her window and glides out into the night on the back of a friendly owl. ‘Fly up to the planets,/ Up through the stars,/ This side is Venus,/ That side is Mars’ goes the text, a gentle lullaby that sets the tone for the story that follows and which is illuminated by Catherine Hyde’s illustrations, midnight-rich pinks, purples and blues, and golden morning light. Is Mia awake, or asleep for her wonderful journey? It’s up to the reader to decide, and either way her adventure will spark their imaginations. Andrea Reece
Having suffered heatwaves and COVID anxiety, we can all empathise with the tired and grumpy Arlo who just cannot sleep. The hero of the Greenaway medal winner’s new book speaks to us all, but particularly to over-tired and over excited small children who do not know how to let go of the day. Luckily for Arlo, and for children, Owl is to hand with some useful advice on how he manages to sleep when everyone is awake during the day. The logic of receiving advice from a nocturnal animal will really register with this audience. “Have a good stretch from your nose to your toes/ Do a little wriggle, let your eyes gently close/Relax your whole body, slow your breathing right down/ Imagine you’re sinking into the soft ground". The gentle refrain that Owl teaches Arlo is the perfect antidote for us all- a little bit of mindfulness that would also be a lovely calm down routine in the classroom! Not only are the illustrations a visual feast, with a stunning colour palette marking the transitions between night and day, but Arlo and Owl are beautifully characterised. Another trademark from this hugely talented author is the warm humour. Arlo is so excited by his long and restful sleep that he must tell Owl- and wakes him up! The song is reciprocated with success and their joint celebrations at dusk wake the rest of the neighbourhood and a duet is required to restore calm. The repeated refrain will be one that is copied in homes and classrooms everywhere. Useful for mindfulness and as an introduction to Night and Day topics, this stunning book is a real triumph of beautiful words and images working in absolute harmony.
Bedtime is a special time and we all have our favourite books that we love to read over and over....but sometimes we need new recommendations, and that is where we come in!
All bedtime routines are different. Some have a bath, others a warm drink but the best routines end with a cuddle and a good book.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.