Top 10 popular bedtime stories of all time

Bedtime stories have long played a part in children’s night-time routines. Not only do they relax children to get them ready for sleep but they also build family bonds.

The interaction has even been credited with boosting a child’s brain development and strengthening their language skills so it’s important you give it the time and attention it deserves.


First, you should create a cosy bedroom that’s conducive to sleep. Settle your kids in comfortable children’s beds and make yourself just as comfortable. Some beds can even be transformed to look like they’ve come straight out of the book themselves – a great idea if you want to give your kids the best experience.

Roma Sleep Station Open


Image shows Roma children’s bed

Get your child to pick a book before they get into bed and position it so they can see the pages – this allows them to follow the words as they’re reading and look at any pictures that will help them imagine the stories.


If you’re looking for new titles to put on the bookshelf, our top ten suggestions cover everything from short tales you can read in one night to longer books read over a period of weeks.

1. The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The story of rebellious Peter Rabbit recounts his risky adventures into Mr McGregor’s garden and has kept generations of children enthralled with over 45 million copies sold.

2. The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Judith Kerr’s popular story tells the tale of Sophie and her mother who are quite literally eaten out of a house by a visiting tiger.

3. Watership Down

With sales figures in excess of five million, Richard Adams’ tale is another favourite. It depicts the epic journey of a group of rabbits from an endangered warren to their new home.

4. The Gruffalo

Selling over 10.5 million copies, this story’s rhyming couplets and iconic illustrations have captivated millions of young minds as the cunning mouse scares various woodland creatures with tales of his imaginary friend.

5. Winnie the Pooh

AA Milne’s iconic tale follows the adventures of Christopher Robin’s teddy bear and his faithful friends as they get up to mischief in 100 Acre Wood. Winnie’s unwavering popularity is worth £500 million a year and it’s a franchise that children are sure to love.

6. The Faraway Tree

Enid Blyton’s tale of a magical tree continues to inspire young imaginations and the vivid scenes are ideal children’s bedroom décor for parents looking to make fantasy a reality.

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle’s iconic caterpillar has sold over 30 million copies and is ideal for younger readers. Look for pop-up versions to add another dimension to storytelling.

8. Wind in the Willows

With hundreds of thousands in annual sales, Kenneth Grahame’s tale of friendship and moral growth within these iconic countryside characters is one that all children are sure to love.

9. Where the Wild Things Are

Maurice Sendak’s story has sold more than 19 million copies and his temperamental character is always popular with children.

10. Swallows and Amazons

More popular with older children, Arthur Ransome’s tale of Lakeland sailing adventures is a clear winner in our book!

So, would you agree with our favourites from The Telegraph’s analysis of the greatest children’s books? Let us know by tweeting us @carpetright.

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