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11 Bedtime Stories to Read to Your Children

Beyond fairy tales and classic stories, what should we read to our little ones?

C.S. Lewis once remarked, “I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children’s story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children’s story. The good ones last. A waltz which you can like only when you are waltzing is a bad waltz.”

Reading the great fairy tales and classic stories to our children remains a great responsibility for all parents.

But, beyond those indispensible tales we all know of – the works of Hans Christian Andersen, the collections of Andrew Lang, the fables of Aesop, and the like – what should we read to our little ones? More specifically, what are the great bedtime stories – that is, stories which can be read in one sitting (often again and again) – we should share with our children?

Here is my undefended list of 11 “must read” bedtime stories.

  1. St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges
  2. The Kitchen Knight by Margaret Hodges
  3. King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
  4. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  5. The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame
  6. The Dark by Lemony Snicket
  7. Wise Words by Peter Leithart
  8. The Complete Adventures of Curious George by H.A. Rey
  9. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
  10. Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall and Barbara Cooney
  11. Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

Which stories are on your list?

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