Five children's picture books perfect for bedtime

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      If you've got young kids, you know that one of the best parts of the day is when they're sleeping. Helping them get there, by reading aloud to them, is pretty great too.

      Good material for bedtime combines a calming story, imaginative illustrations that hold your kids' attention, and characters that don't annoy you (so you don't mind reading the book again and again). Of course, you could just read Lawrence Martin's Harperland: The Politics of Control to them, but they might have nightmares.

      Here's a quick list of five board books that I and my eight-month-old son have enjoyed together.


      1. A Book of Sleep

      Author and illustrator: Il Sung Na

      Publisher: Random House


      2. The Goodnight Train

      Author: June Sobel

      Illustrator: Laura Huliska-Beith

      Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


      3. The House in the Night

      Author: Susan Marie Swanson

      Illustrator: Beth Krommes

      Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


      4. Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody

      Author and illustrator: Michael Rex

      Publisher: Penguin


      5. Sweet Dreams Lullaby

      Author and illustrator: Betsy Snyder

      Publisher: Random House