Our favorite Bedtime Stories (Part 1)


Important part of our bedtime ritual, the bedtime stories are one of our favorite moments of the day.

  • "The 14 Forest Mice and the Harvest Moon Watch" by Kazuo Iwamura. In this house, we all love the unique univers of Kazuo Iwamura's drawing and stories. We enjoy following the adventures of this little family of 3 generations and 14 members (I have already recommended other books about the mice family here and other books by Kazou Iwamura here)

En français: La famille souris dine au clair de lune ; Auf Deutch: Vierzehn Mäuse und der Mond

  • "La famille souris se couche" by Kazuo Iwamura . Unfortunately I haven't found online an English version of this book so I don't know if it has been translated in English

There is a German version: "Familie Maus sagt Gute Nacht"


In the Montessori pedagogy books with talking animals should be avoided but this little family of mice looks so real and their every day life is so close to the customs of a traditional Japanese family (the hot bath ritual, the Harvest Moon Watch celebration, the way they talk and way they address each other  with "little sister", "eldest sister", "eldest brother", etc...) that for me, the Kazuo Iwamura's books are truly Montessori books. And they remind us of the traditions and celebrations we enjoyed in the Asian countries we lived in or the ones we visited.

  • Another beloved Japanese illustrator in our family is Kamako Sakaï. The drawings are sumptuous and they catch so well the night atmosphere

No English version I'm afraid. En français: "Réveillés les premiers!" ; Auf Deutsch; "Hannas Nacht"

  • "Bonne nuit mon tout-petit" by Soon-hee Jeong. Inspired by a traditional Korean lullaby, illustrated with minimalistic drawings, full of poetry and magic, this book is definitely one of our favorite bedtime stories. The drawing remind me of our time in South Korean

Translated from Korean in French; unfortunately it's not available in other languages as far as I know.

  • "Lost my name" by David Cadjy-Newby. Brilliant idea! A personalized book with a message that fosters self-confidence and courage. It's the story of a little girl (or the little boy) who lost her (his) name and went through many adventures helping different characters to follow their dreams. Each of them helps the child with a letter and in the end, she (he) finds her name. The child discovers her/ his name on the last page and I love the spark in my daughter's eyes when she finds out that the courageous little girl has the same name as she.  The book is available in eleven languages ("Oh, j'ai perdu mon nom!" en français; "Ah, du Schreck, mein Name ist weg" auf Deutsch) and is personalized for the name of your child. You can also print a dedication on the first page. We love this book!
  • "So Sleepy Story" A different univers, the one of Uri Shulevitz and a book that makes me as sleepy as my daughter :)

En français: "Une histoire à dormir la nuit"

  • "Ecoute le silence"  by Marie-Hélène Place. In English the title would be something like "Listen to the silence" but unfortunately the book is available only in French. 

This is special wink  at my French readers who are as passionate about Montessori pedagogy as much as I am. I think we all love Balthazar's books: minimalists, full of poetry and love, and ... Montessori ;) My daughters loves them all and this one in particular as a bedtime story. Probably the oldest bedtime story we have in our library. She likes listening to it over and over again since she was a baby


Sweet dreams everyone!

Note: Each child is different so they might be interested in this books at different ages but all of them have been great choices for us between the age of 9 and 21 months. And we will definitely continue reading them.

We started reading Bébé Balthazar's collection when my daughter was around 9 months. And she still loves it at 21 months!

We bought the "Lost my name book" when she was 14 months but the story is quite long so at the beginning she just wanted to read small piece of it. The first time she enjoyed the whole story was around 18 months.