Some Read Aloud Bedtime Story Recommendations

Image: Sinead Fox

Image: Sinead Fox


I asked on twitter recently for recommendations for books to read to the boys at bedtime. (Yes, I’m on twitter, if you’d like to follow me- see the button in the right column with a list of my recent, and entirely fascinating tweets or just check me out here .)

Here’s what I asked:

I’d love kids’ book recommendations for boys aged 3 and 5 who love Roald Dahl- for stories parents can read to them.


I got loads of replies from lots of lovely tweeters-

Mum of 4 @evlury suggested

  • Pippy Longstocking
  • Harry and his bucketful of dinosaurs
  • The Owl who was afraid of the dark
Image Credit: Amazon

Image Credit: Amazon

@unamccaffrey’s  two small boys are a little older than mine- she recommended the Mr Gum series, and Dirty Bertie in small format, warning that Captain Underpants is looming.

Image Credit: Amazon

Image Credit: Amazon

  • Paddington Bear
  • My Naughty Little Sister? – I remember reading this as a child but have ruled this out as it’s not fair to Laoise to give them the title for her until she’s earned it properly.
  • The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe?
  • Anything by Enid Blyton – although I’ve heard a lot of these are very unPC these days, my childhood favourite was the Faraway Tree series.
  • Horrid Henry
  • Roddy Doyle’s “The Meanwhile Adventures”


@Joycehickey suggested
“for the older boy the Moomins, the easier Morpurgos and the O’Brien’s flyers. Also Giles Andrae, and the timeless truths in Max Velthuijs’s expressively beautifully illustrated Frog books. Friendship, loyalty, acceptance”

What lovely recommendations.

We have our own favourites to add of course.

In our house we love Dr Seuss for the rhythm and general silliness, this time last year “The Cat in the Hat” was the only story that Cathal ever wanted. Every night. It got tedious.

Anyway, back to what twitter had to say

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid; David Walliams (but maybe not for 3 * 5)
  • The Gruffalo – We’ve done the Gruffalo so many times, we’ve even made the cake in his honour
  • Horrible Histories
  • Hairy Maclary
  • The Tiger who came to tea – We have this one too, the boys like the idea of going out in your pyjamas to a cafe 
  • Dirty Beasts
  • Revolting Rhymes
  • Esio Trot
Image Credit: Amazon

Image Credit: Amazon

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me was our first Roald Dahl, it was perfect for beginner listeners. I must confess that I didn’t read Roald Dahl as a child, and by the time my brother became a huge fan I thought I was much too cool to read them so I hadn’t even heard of this book. The story is simple and easy to follow and a bit silly, all great for our boys.

Since then we’ve read Fantastic Mr Fox (obviously), James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, George’s Marvellous Medicine and this week we’ve started Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. For me, since it’s my first time reading many of these stories and I’m enjoying them as much as the boys are, and I’m in dread of finishing them!

How would you have answered the question? I’d love to hear your recommendations too.



With many thanks to


  1. My twins are 4 and a half and they are loving Roald Dahl right now… Perhaps a little frightened of the B.F.G. to begin with but when they finally realised it was just a story they were grand. Right now we’re reading Matilda and before that, The Witches.
    Have you tried anything by Oliver Jeffers? My little boy loves them. They’re short and quite expensive, so I borrow them from the library. 🙂

  2. What a gorgeous idea for a post! Our choices are usually random, it’s whatever is in stock in the library that is colourful and not too long 🙂 I’d love to start reading RD though as I adored his writing as a kid, so the Giraffe, the Pelly and Me will be next on the list. Thanks for passing on the suggestions!

  3. My kids loved Hairy McClary when they were little and it’s really easy to read aloud too, brilliant rhythm, funny and they love rolling the bigger words around their little mouths – cacophony was a particular favourite 🙂

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