The Going to Bed Book

Common Sense Media says

Sweet, silly board book makes bedtime fun and cozy.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Sandra Boynton's The Going to Bed Book teaches young children about essential parts of a bedtime routine.

Positive messages

The Going to Bed Book tells kids that bedtime can be warm and fun.

Positive role models

The animal "children" in the book model healthy, cheerful bedtime habits.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sandra Boynton's The Going to Bed Book is a sweet, funny look at children's bedtime routine. Animal "kids" on a boat wash, change, and brush their teeth. This being a Sandra Boynton toddler book, the passengers also do some funny exercises before finally rocking to sleep. Because all the creatures get ready for bed together, little ones get the feeling that children everywhere are performing the same nighttime rituals, and the rocking of the boat offers parents a moment at the end to rock their children into bed. There's also an app version

What's the story?

In Sandra Boynton's THE GOING TO BED BOOK, several wild animals on a boat watch the sunset and then get ready for bed together. They head to the lower deck to wash, change into pajamas, and brush their teeth. Then they go back to the upper deck and do silly exercises before returning to the lower deck, where the boat rocks them into a peaceful sleep.

Is it any good?


Among Sandra Boynton's board books for toddlers and preschoolers, The Going to Bed Book is one of the sweetest and funniest, making a soothing, entertaining end to any child's day. As the animals in the book wash, change, and brush teeth together, young children get the warm feeling that kids everywhere have the same nighttime routine. There's lots of fun to be had in the pictures as animals first put on the wrong-size pajamas and then do silly exercises before heading to bed. The lovely rhyme and the boat's rocking at the end invite parents to rock their little ones.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about bedtime. What do the animals do before bed? What do you do when it's bedtime?

  • Do you think you'd like to live on a boat like these animals? Is it a fun thing to pretend?

  • What's your favorite picture in this book? What do you like about it?

Book details

Author:Sandra Boynton
Illustrator:Sandra Boynton
Topics:Wild animals
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Little Simon
Publication date:November 30, 1982
Number of pages:14
Publisher's recommended age(s):2 - 5
Available on:App, Hardback, Kindle, Nook

This review of The Going to Bed Book was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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