11 Bedtime Stories to Read to Your Children

Beyond fairy tales and classic stories, what should we read to our little ones?
May 27, 2015

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?


Brian  Phillips

Brian Phillips

Dr. Brian Phillips is the Director of CiRCE Consulting & the Headmaster of the CiRCE Academy.  He also serves as a pastor in Concord, NC, where he lives with his wife and their four children.

The opinions and arguments of our contributing writers do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute or its leadership.

Subscribe to the CiRCE Institute Podcast Network

Stitcher iTunes RSS