The Big List of Storytime Books

We read a lot of storytime books around here – before naptime, before bedtime, before breakfast, after breakfast, for breakfast – you get the idea. My daughters are three and almost two, which means that our library is well-loved (aka the covers now dangle from most of the books → aka time for some new books → aka cue all the jazz hands emojis because there’s nothing better than shopping for new books, right?).  I polled a bunch of my mom friends for their kids’ best storytime books, and here’s what we came up with – tried and true classics mixed in with some contemporary gems.

So! If you like Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, you might like these other books about going to bed:

The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Good Night, Good Night Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld
Goodnight Already by Jory John and Benji Davies
Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and Pamela Zagarenski
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Goodnight Train by June Sobel and Laura Huliska-Beith
Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan
The House In the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and Beth Krommes
It’s Time to Sleep, My Love by Nancy Tillman and Eric Metaxas
Dream Animals by Emily Winfield Martin

If you like Where’s Spot by Eric Hill, you might like these other board books:

The BabyLit Primer series by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver
But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
Clifford by Norman Bridwell
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Eric Carle
Go Dog Go! by P.D. Eastman
Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond
Baby Beluga by Raffi
We’re Going On a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
I Am a Bunny by Richard Scarry
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
If you like The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, you might like these interactive books:

The Monsters on the Bus by Sarah Albee and Joe Ewers
Dinosaur Dance! by Sandra Boynton
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance by Keith Graves
Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins and Eric Gurney
Press Here by Herve Tullet
One More Rabbit by Margaret Wise Brown
Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff

If you like The Day the Crayons Quit books by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, you might like these books with a sense of humor:

Life on Mars by Jon Agee
Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry G. Allard Jr. and James Marshall
Triangle by Mac Barnett
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
The Hat Trilogy (I Want My Hat Back, This is Not My Hat, We Found a Hat), Jon Klassen
7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar and Ross MacDonald
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin
Troll and the Oliver by Adam Stower
The Teacher From the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz

If you like Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, you might like:

You Belong Here by M.H. Clark and Isabelle Arsenault
Oh The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
No Matter What by Debi Gliori
If I Had a Little Dream by Nina Laden and Melissa Castrillon
Bunny Roo, I Love You by Melissa Marr and Teagan White
I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt and Cyd Moore
I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak and Caroline Jayne Church
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love by Nancy Tillman
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
The Wonderful Things You’ll Be by Emily Winfield Martin
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

If you like Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, you might like these books about adventure, imagination and (mostly unlikely) friendship:

The Fox Wish by Kimiko Aman and Komako Sakai
Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
The Whale and the Snail by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
Corduroy by Don Freeman
Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers
Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler
Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen
Littlest Family’s Big Day by Emily Winfield Martin

If you like Madeline, Eloise, Olivia, or Ferdinand, you might like the captivating characters in these books:

The Girl Who Wouldn’t Brush Her Hair by Kate Bernheimer and Jake Parker
Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton
Wild by Emily Hughes
The Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault
This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad
Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Max the Brave by Ed Vere
Odd Velvet by Mary Whitcomb
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham

So tell us: what’s your family’s favorite storytime books? Did we miss any of your must-reads? Let us know in the comments!


Kristen is a guest contributor who worked in marketing at HPB Corporate from 2011-2014. She now hangs out full time with her baby daughters in Houston and documents their days on Instagram.