Bedtime Problems

Milo Mouse and the scary monster / Louis Baum & Sue Hellard.

Milo dreams of a scary monster chasing him. He tells members of his family each morning, who suggest ways to sleep better.
Age 5+

Sophie's big bed / Tina Burke.

Brief, simply illustrated story of Sophie’s fears about moving into a big bed. Fears are expressed through her toys – but she herself resolves the decision to move from her cot.
Age  1+

Emily Brown and the Thing / Cressida Cowell.

A humorous book with a very positive message about night time fears.
Age  3+

Best Bear / Emma Dodd

A simple and satisfying story of a small boy cuddling up with a favourite bear at bedtime in order to allay fears of shapes in the dark.
Age  2+

Billy Monster's daymare / Alan Durant.

An amazing look at night time fears, with the monsters cast as the good guys and the humans as scary.
Age  4+

Dinosaur sleepover / Pamela Duncan Edwards.

A young boy who is anxious about staying over at a friend’s house reassures his dinosaur, and so discovers how much fun a sleepover can be.
Age  4+

Stormy weather / Debi Gliori.

Various animal mothers reassure their babies that, whatever happens in the night, they are safe with them.
Age  3+

Kate's giants / Valiska Gregory

Kate learns to 'think out' her imagined monsters, thinking them back as friendly things to play with.  The ending is warm and comforting. Attractive illustrations.
Age  5+

Snap! Snap! / Colin and Jacqui Hawkins.

A scary start to the story which soon changes into fun at the park for Sally and the monsters, until it is time for Sally to wake up.
Age  3+

Harry's Stormy Night / Una Leavy

Harry's family prepares for bed as a storm rages outside.  Everything is cosy and reassuring until Harry is alone in his bed, then he feels afraid.  This fear is overcome when the baby wakes and he goes to comfort him.  Accompanied by gentle watercolours, this is a warm, reassuring story.
Age  4+

Goodnight, Harry / Kim Lewis.

Harry the elephant can’t get to sleep and gets very worried and upset.  His friends Lulu and Ted come to his rescue and he finally finds sleep.
Age  2+

Sabby and the dream monsters / Hiawyn Oram.

Sabby is having bad dreams about monsters.  Her Dad tackles the problem by making her a monster of her own to frighten away the dream monsters.
Age  3+

It's that dragon again / Chris Powling.

Beautifully told simple tale of Sam's fear of a dragon in the bedroom.  Grandad's inventive reassurance ensures that everyone gets a good night's sleep.
Age  4+

Cassie and the kiss soldier / Marion Rose.

A charming, comforting story about a little girl frightened by the scary things under the bed.
Age  3+

I don't want to go to bed / Tony Ross.

The little princess doesn’t want to go to bed, but the king and queen are firm and after several attempts succeed.  Fun with lots of child appeal.
Age  4+

There's no such thing as monsters! / Steve Smallman

Reassuring look at Little Bear’s night worries, sleeping in his own bedroom.  He is scared that monsters are lurking everywhere, but each has a practical explanation.
Age  3+

A hairy, scary night / Alex T. Smith.

A fresh and humorous approach to coping with fears and phobias which adults and children could enjoy sharing and discussing.
Age  5+

Can't you sleep, Little Bear? / Martin Waddell

Little Bear is afraid of the dark in the back of the cave, so Big Bear brings him a tiny lantern - but to no avail.  It is really the dark outside that Little Bear is afraid of.  Big Bear takes him out and shows him the moon whereupon Little Bear falls asleep.
Age  3+

Molly and the night monster / Chris Wormell.

Reassuring story with beautiful illustrations.  About a young girl who hears a noise on the stairs and imagines all sorts of horrible creatures until she discovers that the ‘monster’ is just her mum.
Age  3+

When a book might help

Sharing stories about various situations can put a child’s mind at ease and make transitions and new experiences easier to cope with and more understandable.

See also