Nightmares are terrible no matter what your age, but they’re especially scary for children. We know how to tell ourselves that it was only a dream, but kids haven’t learned that skill yet, so we need to teach them nightmare coping skills. What’s a good way to do that? The same way we teach our kids many other things: with books. Storybooks about nightmares can show your children that they’re not alone in their fear of the dark, nighttime noises, and scary dreams. These books can also help the child to see the power of positive thinking over dwelling on the negative – which is a life skill that everyone can benefit from. Here are 16 storybooks about nightmares to soothe your little sweetie so all of you can sleep better!
There’s a Nightmare in My Closet – The pesky nightmare in the closet won’t stay in there at night, even with the door closed all the way. When he gets out, what do you do? Comfort him and put him to bed, of course! The ultimate afraid-of-the-dark story has helped generations of kids deal with the nightmares in their own closets. A perennial favorite.
The Dream Jar – One little girl, with the help of her sister, discovers the secret for turning bad dreams into good ones. Original, quirky, and rich illustrations complement this sparkling story that deals with the very real problem of children’s nightmares. Discover the Dream Jar and the power of your imagination—and turn your terribly horrible dreams into dreamy ones.
Sweet Dreams for Sydney – Sweet Dreams for Sydney tells the story of a pair of goggles and how positive, happy thoughts made a difference in Sydney’s life. Suggestions for parents and caregivers on helping children sleep peacefully are included in an afterword in this book.
The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream – After watching a scary movie, both Brother and Sister Bear are troubled by nightmares until Mama and Papa explain what causes bad dreams.
Rosie and the NIghtmares – Rosie is haunted by monster nightmares. Waking up in a pool of sweat, she is bound and determined to confront her fears. Her solution is so deft and clever, missing a deep knowledge of childhood, exuberant energy, and…a kiss, that it will leave young readers cheering and, more important, armed with some of the tools to tackle their own night monsters.
Tiger Taylor The Boy Who Talks To His Nightmares – Tiger Taylor is a little boy who has nightmares. One night, his mommy suggests that Tiger confront his nightmares. And that’s when Tiger formally meets Dreamwright (DW for short), the creator of his dreams. DW takes Tiger on a tour of his dreams, explaining as they go how dreams work and why they can sometimes be so frightening.
Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream – When Joey, a bouncy happy kangaroo, has a series of bad dreams, his parents lovingly help him understand them. Children will be fascinated and enlightened as Joey learns to make sense of his bad dreams and to put himself back to sleep feeling comforted and in charge.
Bye-Bye Bad Dreams – Has your child ever woken in the night fearful of a bad dream? ByeBye Bad Dreams is a timeless comfort to all children experiencing nightmares. This story deals with real life emotions and fears in a fun, silly way that will leave children wanting to return to their world of fantasy and keep dreaming!
How to Knock Out Nightmares – They come at night and disturb our slumber . . . filled with creepy crawlers and daunting demons, nightmares inspire fear in even the best and bravest. Luckily, this book is filled with tricks and tips to finally banish all those bad dreams. Created to help young readers sleep better at night, How to Knock Out Nightmares is packed with fun, colorful illustrations and witty text that encourages children to overcome their bad dreams.
Scaredy Squirrel at Night – In Scaredy Squirrel at Night, the world’s most lovable worrywart learns to appreciate a good night’s sleep only after confronting his bad dreams — and some hungry intruders.
How Zac Got His Z’s – One out of every four children experience nightmares that disturb the sleep of both the child and parent. While nightmares are common, they can still be quite distressing. Even if a parent is able to comfort the child, fear of recurring nightmares can make children afraid to fall asleep. There’s an answer! “How Zac Got His Z’s: A Guide to Getting Rid of Nightmares” is a simple, three-step guide to solving nightmare issues.
Little Rabbit and the Nightmare – One night, while Little Rabbit is sleeping, a very scary creature appears in his dream. Little Rabbit is so worried about the “nightmare” that he can’t eat or sleep–and he certainly can’t work on his school report that’s due at the end of the week. He makes signs. He builds traps. But nothing keeps that nightmare away . . . until Little Rabbit dreams up a brave and brilliant solution.
The Berenstain Bears in the Dark – After a scary bedtime story, Sister Bear is too frightened of the dark to shut her eyes. “Sound psychological advice and a night light help Sister conquer her fears. Children will empathize with Sister Bear in this well-written story.”–School Library Journal.
What a Bad Dream – Little Critter, Mercer Mayer’s beloved character, stars in his own bad dream. Turning himself into a scary, disagreeable monster who won’t go to school or take a bath or eat anything but fudge pops and pizza, Little Critter discovers that his family has decided to go away and leave him alone. Trapped in a lonely dream, Little Critter has to make a choice. The sweet and funny ending to this picture-book story will satisfy every young reader.
The Sleep Fairy – Helping children learn to stay in bed after they have been tucked in for the night is a challenge many parents face. With the help of Peterson’s delightful book, The Sleep Fairy, now in an updated hardcover and better-than-ever second edition, families everywhere can have pleasant bedtimes. The Sleep Fairy is a proud recipient of the Mom’s Choice Award for excellence in children’s books.
Young Eli Trebuckle is the “fixer of all things fixable.” He fixes the vacuum cleaner, the fan, and even the radio, hoping to catch some news of his father who is away at war. But there’s one thing that Eli simply can’t fix—his bad dreams.
Have any other recommendations? Please share them in the comments! And for extra help banishing bad dreams, be sure to check out our award-winning plush pals that double as nightlights – making fear of the dark a thing of the past.