10 Essential Bedtime Stories You Should Consider Reading To Your Kids

The transformative power of a good bedtime story is undeniable. Stories can transport young minds to enchanting lands, nurture creativity, and establish comforting bedtime routines. Based on a recent Google data study, here are the top ten most popular children’s bedtime stories you should consider sharing with your young ones.

Reasons To Read To Your Kids

Bedtime stories have been an integral part of children’s bedtime routines for centuries, and their true origin is unknown. But their popularity persists, and the stories we read to our children often hold a special place in our own childhood memories.

As a spokesperson from Furniture Village pointed out, “Bedtime stories are nostalgic, and we often remember our favourites from our own childhoods and enjoy reliving these memories once again with our own children.” Moreover, having a routine is crucial for a child’s good night’s sleep. Stories offer a soothing transition from the excitement of the day to the calm of the night.

For more insights on how to ensure quality sleep and understand the impact of daily routines on our rest, refer to Furniture Village’s 24-hour sleep guide. Remember, a good bedtime story is not just about bringing an enjoyable day to a close, but it also plays a role in ensuring our children get a good night’s sleep.


At the top of the list, we have the beloved Roald Dahl classic, “Matilda.” Published in 1988, this story of a brilliant little girl with neglectful parents and a monstrous school headmistress continues to captivate young readers. The enduring popularity of Matilda is evidenced by its adaptations into films and West End musicals. Storytelling is important for culture, and this story has had a cultural impact in the west for sure!

Mr Men

This enduringly popular series by Roger Hargreaves has delighted both children and parents alike since its publication in 1971. Renowned for its delightful illustrations and amusing storylines, the Mr Men series (alongside its counterpart Little Miss books) offers a wealth of entertaining tales for bedtime. The Little Miss trend has even taken over the internet in recent months!

Alice in Wonderland

Holding the third spot, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” is the oldest story on our list, first published in 1865. The tale of Alice’s journey through a fantastical world continues to spark the imagination of young readers, demonstrating the timeless appeal of this classic.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Another gem from Roald Dahl, this story sees a surge in popularity from February to May, hinting at a possible connection to the Easter period. The dreamlike journey of Charlie through Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory always makes for an exciting bedtime read.

Horrid Henry

Francesca Simon’s “Horrid Henry” offers tales of mischief and mayhem that resonate with many young children, making it a firm favourite for bedtime stories. Perhaps limit the amount of reading of this book that you do, as he is quite mischievous!

Winnie the Pooh

A. A. Milne’s tales of Pooh Bear and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood have charmed generations of readers, showing that love and friendship can make even the simplest adventures extraordinary. We all know Winnie the Pooh, and there is plenty of accessories and merchandise you can purchase to make their day!

The Gruffalo

Published in 1999 by Julia Donaldson, “The Gruffalo” is the most recent publication on our list. Yet, this heart-warming tale of a mouse and a monster has quickly become a beloved classic. You will find that this is often read in schools as well, so doing this at home can add to their education! There have been tv shows and movies related to this series too, that could be a great watch.

Funny Bones

When Halloween is approaching, “Funny Bones” by Janet and Allan Ahlberg could be a great choice for you and the family to read. This book tends to spike in popularity, indicating that this humorous, skeletal adventure is a seasonal favourite.

The Wizard of Oz: L. Frank Baum’s captivating story of Dorothy’s journey through the magical land of Oz is a classic that promises a mesmerising bedtime tale.

Fantastic Mr Fox

Rounding off our list is yet another Roald Dahl creation, “Fantastic Mr Fox,” a cunning and humorous tale that never fails to captivate its audience. There is also a wonderful film based on this book that you and the children could watch afterwards. This is a great comparison, and can be a fun visual aid afterwards to compare.

It’s time to tuck in your little ones, open a book, and let these tales work their magic. You should speak to your children the next day about the books, as this will be a great conversation starter. You will also gain more insight into how they enjoyed the book, and this can shape your book purchasing decisions in the future! If they tell you they think the book is too babyish, or too adult, then you can adjust accordingly. The main thing is that you find a book that you and your children get on with.