Arthur’s Favourite Bedtime Stories

Sunday 26 October 2014 by

Bedtime stories, Children's stories, Reading, Books

Arthur is three and a half now and one of his favourite parts of the day is story time before bed – although he is far from averse to curling up with a book at other times of the day too, much to my joy.

We read loads of different books – we have a multitude at home and we regularly use the local library too – but there are very definitely a few favourites that are returned to again and again.

1. Disney 365 Bedtime Stories

Bedtime stories, Children's stories, Reading, Books, Disney

This book was actually given to Tori for her first Christmas but has been firmly adopted by Arthur in recent months. It features 365 page-long stories starring loads of the Disney and Disney Pixar characters which are perfect for bedtime. The stories either tie in with the movies or are very simple tales that follow on. There are all sorts of characters in there from The Lion King, Toy Story, The Fox and Hound, Finding Nemo, Aladdin, Monsters Inc., The Aristocats, Mulan, Peter Pan, The Rescuers, Mickey Mouse – pretty much everything you can think of! This huge variety means you can find a story to suit your little one regardless of which Disney film is their current favourite. We read a lot of the Toy Story and Lion King stories at the moment as they are Arthur’s favourites.

2. Stick Man by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Arthur is a fan of Julia Donaldson books in general but Stick Man is the one we share most often (closely followed by The Gruffalo). Arthur loves spotting the details in the pictures and joining in with the repeating ‘I’m Stick Man, I‘m Stick Man, I’M STICK MAN!’ refrain throughout.

I enjoy reading this story a lot (aside from one rhyme which relies on you having an accent more RP English than mine that catches me out every time!) There is something about the Donaldson/Scheffler team that makes the most charming books for sharing – we have quite a shelf full now and there’s still a couple missing.

3. Say Hello To The Snowy Animals by Ian Whybrow & Ed Evans

This is a very simple rhyming story book with incredibly cute illustrations. Little Husky Puppy takes a walk around his snowy home and says hello to all the animals he meets and finds out what noise they make. Then he goes round again to say goodbye before bedtime at the end.

A lovely one to share and have fun making growly polar bear noises and pretending to be seals because sometimes you just need a bit of simple fun to relax at the end of the day.

Bedtime stories, Children's stories, Reading, Books, Stick Man, Say Hello to the Snowy Animals, The Fish with the Deep Sea Smile, Hairy Maclary

4. The Fish With The Deep Sea Smile by Margaret Wise Brown

This simple story of fishing for a whimsical sounding fish rhymes gently and repeats itself lyrically throughout.

The bold, cheerful illustrations are bright but not too busy – just right to compliment the text itself which weaves around the pages beautifully. Arthur finds this story quite calming so it is a good one for the end of days which have been very busy or emotional – I think it is the lilting narrative and pictures of the sea that does it.

5. Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd

We have most of this series of books, and a couple of the complimentary cat series about Slinky Malinki and they are loved to death. I had a few of them as a child and can pretty much recite those ones from memory without any effort at all. I love it when we discover new ones to share together and I’ve yet to find one I dislike.

The rhymes are fun and often a little tongue-twistery which makes Arthur laugh as I get all in a tangle trying to recount the comical capers of the dogs in the stories. The pictures are gorgeous and the stories are timeless – I look forward to digging them all back out when the kids are 18 and challenging them to read them after a couple of drinks like my parents did with me!

6. Usborne Farm Yard Tales illustrated by Stephen Cartwright

Another lot I remember reading myself, the Usborne Farm Yard Tales are a favourite with Arthur too. He enjoys the simple stories from around the farm, laughs at the animal escapades and loves spotting the funny little details in Stephen Cartwright’s iconic illustrations.

And, of course, there is the ever exciting task of spotting the little Usborne Duck on every page. He gets everywhere that duck – my parents even got me a little cuddly one that still lurks in their house to be spotted periodically.

7. Worried Arthur by Joan Stimson and Jan Lewis

There is an obvious reason why Arthur finds this series appealing, but aside from that they are great books.

Arthur the penguin is a worrier and the books cover various situations most children encounter, such as birthday parties and sleep overs, which can be a little daunting the first time round. The stories carefully handle Arthur’s worries and both reassure him and show him finding confidence and having fun by the end, leaving his worries far behind.

They are great little books and are perfect if your child is a bit of a worrier too!

Bedtime stories, Children's stories, Reading, Books, Usborne Farmyard Tales, Worried Arthur, Mike the Knight, Thomas and Friends

8. Mike The Knight

The tie-in books for the hit CBeebies programme, this series of books is really good fun and goes down a treat with my little Knight in Training (and his big sister who also loves Mike the Knight). They cover a variety of knightly adventures all with friendship at heart and have bold illustrations featuring all the characters from the programme which Arthur loves to look at.

9. Thomas and Friends by Rev. W. Awdry (or based upon his original books)

Arthur LOVES everything Thomas the Tank Engine related. He can name all the characters on sight and I am always falling over his trains in his bedroom, so the Thomas books make perfect bedtime stories. He has all the classics along with a selection of board books, a couple of compilations and one of the tie-in books for the latest film – so there is never any shortage of Thomas stories to choose from.

Bedtime stories, Children's stories, Reading, Books, Disney, Pixar, Cars

10. Disney Pixar Cars

Arthur’s second true love is the Disney Pixar Cars movies and his most read books of all are his Cars ones. He has a huge selection of these as well – not just the ones pictured. He particularly loves the one with the squeaky Lightning McQueen in the middle and the Touchy-Feely one because he can interact with them himself when he has quiet reading time in bed before lights out.  He also has a ‘My Cars Adventure‘ book which his grandparents bought him for Christmas and stars Arthur himself and some of his friends from school as characters – this one is a bit longer than the others but always goes down well because of his leading role in the story!

You can follow Carole on Twitter: @caroleheidi

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