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*NOW CLOSED* What's your favourite bedtime story of all time? Do tell (and you could win a bundle of children's books worth £100) *NOW CLOSED*

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JaneMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-Aug-13 12:55:04


This October, we'll be publishing The Book of Bedtime Stories by Mumsnet and Gransnet - a collection of ten brilliant original bedtime stories written by the winners of our bedtime stories competition with Walker Books. Watch this space - from over 400 entries, former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen selected the ten winners, and the stories are beautifully illustrated by up-and-coming artists.

To launch the book, we'll be taking a nostalgic look at bedtime stories, and we'd love to know: what's your favourite bedtime story of all time?

Maybe it's one that you read were read as a child, and now read to your children? A magical picture book for babies and toddlers or a page turner under the covers, for older kids? Take a look at our children's book reviews if you need your memory jogged.

We'd love to hear what you think, so if you have a second, please tell us your:

- favourite book for under 5s (babies to 4 year olds)
- favourite book for 5-8 year olds
- favourite book for 8-11 year olds
- overall favourite bedtime story of all time?

All posters who tell us about their favourite books on this thread will be entered into a prize draw - one MNer will win a bundle of children's books worth £100.

Many thanks,


laeiou Tue 13-Aug-13 13:29:47

Under 5 - peepo
overall - peepo

Vajazzler Tue 13-Aug-13 13:31:40

My favorite preschool bedtime story is Goodnight Moon. 5-8 books are anything by Julia Donaldson but especially The Gruffalo and Zog.
Age 8+ is Danny the Champion Of The World. I loved it as a child and now love reading it with my children.

BeenieBaby Tue 13-Aug-13 13:32:14

We love our books here, and ds (2.5) has many favourites. In no particular order, there's shark in the dark (Peter bently), the duck in the truck and fix it duck (jez alborough), choo choo clickety clack (Margaret mayo), green eggs and ham (dr Seuss), the boy on the bus (penny dale), the hairy toe (Daniel postgate) and little rabbit foo foo (Michael Rosen).
As a parent I like the duck books and shark in the dark as they're so amusing, and green eggs and the hairy toe lend themselves so well to me putting on silly voices and make it much more fun!

BornToFolk Tue 13-Aug-13 13:35:56

I love anything by Shirley Hughes, but especially the Alfie stories. They are so gentle and calm, perfect for bedtime. I suppose they would be for the under 5s, although my 5.5 year old still enjoys them.

mamamidwife Tue 13-Aug-13 13:41:48

As a child I loved The Magic Porridge Pot, and I read the Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, over and over again, I just loved the idea of that tree!

To my 2kids (under 5) I love reading Each Peach and current favourite What the Ladybird Heard grin

Melissakitkat Tue 13-Aug-13 14:00:52

- favourite book for under 5s (babies to 4 ) - giraffes can't dance - it's the story of Gerald the giraffe who can't dance - great rhymes and lovely pictures.
- favourite book for 5-8 year olds - the faraway tree - just perfect - dd loved it.
- favourite book for 8-11 year olds - not at that age yet - possibly asterix as dd loves reading these with me or anything by horrible histories.
- overall favourite bedtime story of all time? The faraway tree & enchanted wood. X

Justshabbynochic Tue 13-Aug-13 14:07:17

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Simply illustrated, but incredibly moving. A story about a tree who loves a boy, and gives him everything to make him happy.

dahville Tue 13-Aug-13 14:09:54

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams is my favourite over all but Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein are close contenders as well!

LentilAsAnything Tue 13-Aug-13 14:11:56

Under five: The Snail and the Whale.

TeaAndCakeOrDeath Tue 13-Aug-13 14:14:25

At bedtime DS (2.7) always demands Julia Donaldson - A Squash and a Squeeze, The Smartest Giant in Town and The Gruffalo to finish, I can do all 3 with my eyes closed!
When I was little I loved a fairy tale book I had, big book with beautiful ornate drawings and fell asleep to Rumplestiltskin or The Magic Porridge Pot etc

SmokedMackerel Tue 13-Aug-13 14:14:26

Under 5s: I think my 2 year old would choose Julia Donaldson - either Room on the Broom or a Squash and a Squeeze. Personally I would go for The Tiger who came to Tea or Each Peach Pear Plum.
5-8 year olds: I was going to say The Owl who was afraid of the dark, an old favourite. But we have just started reading Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and 5 year old DD is listening with rapt attention like never before (DH is hooked too!). Even the 2 year old has been listening in!

mignonette Tue 13-Aug-13 14:25:27

Under 5's-

Harold & His Purple Crayon
The Big Blue Balloon
Crab Cat

daimbardiva Tue 13-Aug-13 14:33:06

There are many books that I love but my favourite has to be "Guess How Much I Love You?" as it is a good, entertaining story but also just so heartbreakingly sweet, and with such a lovely message to share with little ones at bedtime.

NomDeClavier Tue 13-Aug-13 14:48:29

Under 5 it's 'Guess How Much I Love You'
5-8 Fantastic Mr Fox, or George's Marvellous Medicine, or James and the Giant Peach....
8-11 I have really fond memories of a chapter a night of the Arthur Ransome stories - even though I was able to read then myself there was something special about being read to and they're good yarns!

Overall it would be Guess How Much I Love You - some books you never grow out of.

CousinArnold Tue 13-Aug-13 14:53:13

The Very Hungry Caterpillar was one of my favourites as a child, and my 2 year old DS now loves it too. I love that it has stood the test of time. Very simple yet effective.

Not sure about the older age groups but as a child I loved the What Katy Did books by Susan Coolidge. DH is looking forward to reading the Faraway Tree and Roald Dahl books with DS.

TotallyEggFlipped Tue 13-Aug-13 14:58:03

DD1 is 2.6. Favourite bedtime stories include Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper, Monkey Puzzle and Night Monkey, Day Monkey by Julia Donaldson and I Like it When. I don't think any if us could pick a favourite.

Books I remember fondly from my own childhood include Ant & Bea and The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark.

I'll need to have an even longer think about all-time favourites.

nextphase Tue 13-Aug-13 15:11:06

What makes it a bedtime story?
We read anything at any time.
Saying that ds1 (4y) currently demands beatrix potter every night. DS2 (2y) demands something from my old battered traditional fairy tales book (ie the one I had as a child).
We were at my parents over the weekend, and Roald Dahls Revolting Rhymes were very popular, as was another compilation of songs and short tales from Mr Dahl.

EasyMark Tue 13-Aug-13 15:18:36

I have two under fives:
Monkey puzzle
The smartest giant in town
Aliens love underpants
Dear zoo
Thats not my dragon
Where is that monkey

Current fav of dd (20 months) is Dear Santa with flaps as I am asked 30+ times a day to read it that even my 4 year old can read it off by heart now.

all time fav is monkey puzzle because the kids can shout "No No No thats the ......." and a big shout of "MUM at the end of the book (it always makes us laugh)

JazzAnnNonMouse Tue 13-Aug-13 15:25:45

Classic fairy tales by Helen cress well because it has the line 'the witch, for which she was'

We quite like ' time to sleep Alfie bear' at the moment (2yrs old)

8-11 the serendipity series, the faraway tree, aesops fables - morals!

As they get older I imagine reading some CS Lewis etc mainly because that's what my dad read to me.
My husbands answer would be some rudyard Kipling stories.

LauraChant Tue 13-Aug-13 15:31:53

Peepo is a strong contender but my favourite bedtime story for under fives is The Baby Who Wouldn't Go to Bed by Helen Cooper. I love the illustrations, and the line about the mother who was "ever so weary" but couldn't go to bed ntil the baby did.

MerylStrop Tue 13-Aug-13 15:35:33

under 5s: Iggy Peck, Architect
5- 8s: We are loving Clarice Bean at the moment, for reading out loud, but it is a close run thing with anything by Mini Grey.
8 - 11s: I was a Rat by Phillip Pulman
favourite ever: Where the Wild Things Are. Without a shadow of a doubt. We read it most nights

ShatnersBassoon Tue 13-Aug-13 15:41:17

Peace at Last by Jill Murphy has been the most read bedtime story by a long way in our house. Lots of joining in but with the theme of going to sleep seems to have made it a winner with every child I've put to bed with it.

Anything by Shirley Hughes, particularly the Alfie series, gives a nice, safe homey end to the day for younger children.

MrsWeasley Tue 13-Aug-13 15:42:01

I dont have just one favourite for each category, sorry
Under 5s -Rumble in the Jungle, Duck in the Truck, Room on a Broom, The Little Mouse, the red ripe strawberry and the big hungry bear and the ladybird books - The gingerbread man, the magic cooking pot.
5-8 years - the Mog series (mine love that cat), Ladybird Books (ageless imho) On my way home by Jill Murphy, All the Large family books. Roald Dahl books.
8-11 years - Roald Dahl books, Shark Island by David Miller, Harry Potter grin Secret Seven, Famous Five,

All time favourite - Gosh thats impossible to say. If I had to chose a book that has given us the most pleasure over the years it would have to be The Gingerbread Man. Often its not the book being the best thats important its the experience of reading with your children and the conversations that follow.

piprabbit Tue 13-Aug-13 15:47:31

I love reading to my DCs, books are a big part of our lives but, TBH, my favourite stories are always the ones that we make up.
My DDad told my sisters and I a series of stories about the fairies and elves (with our names) who lived in mushrooms by The Old Oak Tree. I remember them being wonderful stories, very comforting and special.
Now I make up stories with my DCs. DS is currently having a series of stories in which he features as a superhero (who always puts on his superhero uniform one item at a time) who mostly defeats evil dinosaurs.
I know they love these stories because they would rather listen to them than anything else.

However - on the nights when I'm not up to story telling, it is hard to beat The BFG for everyone's enjoyment, whatever their age.

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