Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.” These books about sleep are perfect for naptime and bedtime routines for the young and the young at heart.

“Big Brothers Don’t Take Naps” by Louise Borden, Illustrations by Emma Dodd, Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011, Ages 3-7.

Nick’s big brother, James, goes to school, uses the telephone by himself, and types fast on their dad’s computer. Although Nick cannot do the same things as his big brother, he is glad when James read to him or tells him a secret. James says, “When you are older, Nick, you won’t ever have to take another nap”, and Nick can’t wait!

“Dream Away” by Julia Durango & Katie Belle Trupiano, Illustrated by Robert Goldstrom, Simon & Schuster, 2011, Ages 4-8.

A father coaxes his young son to sleep by reading a book about the two of them floating through an ocean of stars in a paper boat. On their journey, father and son see two pixies, a wandering knight, and Mr. Moon winking an eye. Written as a rhyming verse, this bedtime story shares the tenderness of this heartfelt end-of-the-day routine.

“Good Night World” by Willa Perlman, Illustrated by Carolyn Fisher, Beach Lane Books, 2011, Ages 2-5.

As a young child lies in bed preparing for sleep, a bird passes by the window. The child imagines the bird’s travels and bids a good night to the sun and stars, mountains and deserts, and animals near and far. Vivid illustrations of paint and collage bring to life the beauty of Earth and space.

“Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to Nap” by J. C. Phillipps, Viking Press, 2011, Ages 3 and up.

Wink may be a famous ninja, but all of his work performing ninja tricks in the circus left him tired and ready for a nap. Wink’s fans had a different idea. They hounded him for autographs and pictures, until Wink concocted a plan, with the help of his teacher, Master Zutsu. His plan left his fans tired and Wink rested.

May these books about sleep inspire a nice, long nap or a restful night’s sleep.