Books to Read with Movers and Shakers

Not all kids like to sit still to hear a book. It might be pent up energy, it might be their insatiable curiosity, it might even be because they just don’t like it. 

Sometimes, though, as parents, we are looking to books for a little help to channel that energy or quiet them down (especially at bedtime). This list of picture books list is designed to help with that. 

Bedtime Books for Busy Bodies – These books are little “noisier” than quiet, soothing lullaby-like stories, but they are great choices at the end of the day.

Books for Midday Play – Think: funny, silly, musical. These are stories that encourage movement and invite kids to make noise. 

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4 Bedtime Stories for Busy Bodies

sandra boyntonThe Going To Bed Book
by Sandra Boynton

Audience: 1 to 4

Like all Boynton books, there’s a rhythm that simultaneously keeps the story moving along and soothing at the same time. There are plenty of opportunities to point out the different characters and imitate their activities. Read the review …

See also: Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton

funny bedtime bookGood Night, Gorilla
by Peggy Rathmann

Audience: 2 to 7

Readers will want to imitate the sounds of the animals and mimic the facial expressions of Mrs. Zoo Keeper. This is an unusual yet fun book because the only words are “Good night.” The nuances of the pictures, with lots of detail, play a large role in the story. Read the review …

girl didn't go to bedThe Little Girl Who Didn’t Want To Go To Bed 
by Dave Engledow

Audience: 2 to 6

Readers will see this as a fun story, but it does have a message about the importance of sleep. The photography is a nice change and it complements the humor of the story very well. Read the review …

bedtime story trainSteam Trian, Dream Train
by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Audience: 1 to 8

The narrative mimics child’s play as far as how children tend to play with their toys, especially toy trains, which makes it easy for a little reader to identify with the animal crew and their work. Read the review …

4 Books for Midday Play

finger puppetI Can Dance
by Betsy Snyder

Audience: 0 to 3

The rhyme is cute and fun, but making the characters dance with your fingers will have every reader “out on the dance floor” and playing with this book. Read the review …

See also: I Can Play by Betsy Snyder

book playLet’s Play!
by Herve Tullet

Kids won’t be able to resist helping Yellow Dot! This is a book meant to be played with and shared. A fun way to engage kids – especially those who like to “do” stuff as they read.  Read the review …

truck book toddlerMy Big Rig!
by Jonathon London

Colorful pictures, a chance for sound effects, and a truck (!) make this a fun boos. It is designed for little hands to hold and explore. Read the review …

wild playtimeWild! Playtime
by Courtney Dicmas

Audience: 1 to 4

This larger-than-most board book is about animal playtime. Introduce animal babies by their names and let the book guide you to playing with your toddler. Read the review …