We are OPEN and delivering orders as usual. View our COVID-19 statement.
My Basket

World Book Day: 10 Familiar Faces Reveal Their Best Bedtime Reads

World Book Day: 10 Familiar Faces Reveal Their Best Bedtime Reads

Author of the best-selling book series of all time JK Rowling once said: “I will defend the importance of bedtime stories to my last gasp!”.

But, with so many magical stories to choose from, it can be hard to pick a mesmerising tale that will capture the imagination of your child.

So, in celebration of World Book Day 2019, I’ve been chatting to some well-known faces about their recommendations. Take a look below to find favourite books from their childhoods and the stories they read to their children before bedtime.


1. Davina McCall, Television Presenter


(image: @davinamccall)
Every time we’ve read The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams (I’ve read it three times) I’ve cried. It’s such a beautiful book with such heart.


2. Susan K. Mann, Blogger, Once Upon a Time


(image: @susankmann)
I love nothing more than reading a bedtime story to my children.

I've loved reading from a very young age and now my love for books has grown through the eyes of my children.

My youngest adores books with magic and fairies, and The Nutcracker is her current favourite. She is 4 and enjoys following the story along. There is nothing better than getting in from a hard day at work than snuggle up with her and read a book.


3. Jocelyn, Blogger, The Reading Residence

The reading residence

(image: @thereadingresidence)
Our favourite is The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. I think that one is a favourite as the characters are fun and we like trying out different voices for them when we read it. The story of the mouse outwitting everyone in the forest is great and the rhyming makes it a lovely book to read aloud. The last line is just the perfect ending… and my kids always say it with me!


4. Hannah Ogahara, Owner and Tutor, Love Learning Tutors


(Learn more about Hannah Ogahara)
My favourite book is Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.

It’s about a mouse named Chrysanthemum who loves life and everything around her; her family, the way she looks, her name. Despite the fact on the first day of school, her classmates tease her for being named after a flower, and having such a long name.

What I love about Chrysanthemum is that despite getting picked on, she starts each morning with the intention to make the day better than the last.

The illustrations perfectly complement the story, Henkes’ wordplay is something that both parents and children will enjoy, and the various adjectives will gently grow vocabulary. Young readers become invested in Chrysanthemum’s character and want to know what will happen to her next, making it a captivating bedtime read.


5. Rachel, Blogger, The Ordinary Lovely

the ordinary lovely

(image: @theordinarylovely)
My children are 5 and 7 and their favourite book is probably Iggy Peck, Architect. It's a story of a little boy who saves the day with his interest in architecture and keen engineering skills. The fact that he builds a bridge out of shoes and underpants makes my boys howl with laughter.


6. Samantha Bertish, Author and Owner of Zuma the Dog


(Find Zuma here)
My 10-year-old son still enjoys picture books and picture novels. He’s very visual and a budding animator. He’s also trilingual and speaks English, Portuguese and German, so we try to buy books that are a mix of all languages.

The dual language books are the best. I read in English and he reads and repeats it to me in Portuguese or German.

Like most children they identify with big brands, so my sons favourite book is Star Wars, So You Want to Be a Jedi? Because he feels like he’s actually learning to be a Jedi. There are some nice morals he can learn from too. The sketches keep him absorbed in the story and any books that keeps him hooked on reading is good for me.


7. Stacey Sheppard, Design Writer and Blogger, The Design Sheppard

stacey sheppard

My favourite bedtime book is called How the Library (not the Prince) saved Rapunzel. I have two little girls (2 and 4yrs) and I think this book is a great antidote to all the Disney stories in which helpless princesses wait to be saved by a prince. In today's day and age, I think these ideas are totally outdated.

This book has a great message for young girls. Rapunzel gets a job at the library and learns four new languages, how to play chess and cross stitch a dress amongst other things. The story celebrates a strong female character who is in charge of her own destiny and comes to realise that there is a lot to learn from library books. As a booklover and writer myself, this story really resonates with me.


8. Kelly Allen, Writer


(Learn more about Kelly Allen)
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is my all-time favourite children's book because it says so much in such a simple and beautiful way. I cry at the end of this book every time I read it, and my children pick it out all the time because I love it so much. The writing is gorgeous and the illustrations are perfect; it's sweet and sad all at once.


9. Jenny Jones, Head Preparatory School Librarian, Clifton College


(Learn more about Clifton College)
My favourite bedtime story is Peace at Last by Jill Murphy.

This book is bedtime perfection for tiny children. It's a gentle story about poor Mr Bear who finds noises too loud to sleep through in every room of his house, anything from his wife snoring to the tap dripping. Simple language, familiar household objects and noises, and a very funny punchline make this a perfect book to share with even young babies.

When my eldest son was 9 months old, before he could talk or communicate directly, I read this book to him every night for a while as he loved the sound effects in particular. One night he amazed me by joining in with the 'punchline' sound effect and I knew then that he was following the story and was having as much fun reading it as I was!


10. Joy Richards, Sleep Specialist at Happy Beds

My favourite children’s bedtime story has to be Impossible Parents by Brian Patten.

It’s a story about two children who’re embarrassed about their parents (Dad has a ponytail and a nose-ring, whereas mum is a fishnet-wearing belly-dancer) and are dreading parents’ evening where they will meet all their friends’ ‘cool’ parents. Of course, nothing is as it seems, and the other children lied about their parents to make them sound more interesting.

My boys can relate to the story and it makes them laugh out loud. Whereas, I love the vivid descriptions and the fact it teaches children to look past superficial factors, because deep down we’re all just people


What’s Your Favourite Bedtime Story?

We’ve collated 26 different lists of ‘The Best Bedtime Books’ across the internet, and gathered them in one essential list in order to find out the internet’s favourite book. But, what’s your favourite? Tweet us and tag us on Instagram @HappyBeds with your top tales. #HappyBedsBookDay

Want to know the internet's favourite bedtime book?