Favourite Bedtime Stories

In a brand new series, book-lovers share some of their old and new favourites for reading aloud to children at bedtime. This month, Readings' Marketing Manager Emily Harms with Ava, 4, and George, 18 months.


Ava and I love to read lots of different stories together (and George who is 18 months listens and looks in!) and at nearly 4, Ava loves to sound out new words.

An old favourite from my childhood:

dark_tale A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown

This book was one of my favourites as a little kid and when I read it with Ava it brings back how scared I used to get turning each page. Ava and I know the words off by heart and like to read it really slowly so we can build the level of anticipation. Other times we enjoy whizzing through it really quickly so the ending makes us laugh! Without giving away the ending, it’s a wonderful read for kids who aren’t afraid of the dark.

The one she wants to read over and over again:

winnie Winnie the Witch by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

As soon as we finish this one, Ava wants to re-read it herself, recounting the story in her own words. Ava thinks it’s hilarious that Winnie has a black cat called Wilbur that she keeps tripping over because it’s the same colour as her house and everything within it. Luckily Winnie can wave her magic wand and say ‘Abracadabra!’ and change the colour of anything she wants, including her cat, so she doesn’t trip over him anymore…until her house also changes colour! This is a fun book about colours and magic that Ava never gets tired of.

The latest ‘star’ of our bookshelf:


Magic Beach by Alison Lester (20th anniversary edition)

While this is an oldie, Alison Lester’s Magic Beach is new to our shelves.

Ava and I particularly love reading this book because it reminds us of our beach, where we’ve recently moved. In this book, kids fly kites, collect shells and make sandcastles. They light a big camp fire on the beach at night and toast marshmallows. Then they turn into pirates, find treasure and jewellery on the shore, swim on seahorses, catch a shark, and sail away on a boat to discover islands on the edge of the world. We love the rhyming words and the fact that Magic Beach gets us excited about summertime!

Exhausted at the end of the day, the kids snuggle up in bed together and listen to the sound of the waves, with the whimsical illustrations of Magic Beach in their heads as they fall asleep.

emilyharmsEmily Harms is Readings' Marketing Manager.

Magic Beach 20th Anniversary Edition

Magic Beach 20th Anniversary Edition

Alison Lester

$19.99Buy now

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