Currently our bedtime rotation is Hello Washington DC!, The Duckling Gets a Cookie?! and I Love You Through and Through. Same three books every night over and over because that’s comforting and it helps her know what happens next.
“DC,” as Rocketship calls the first book, is great because it has lots of objects she can identify. She points out Obama (a racial ambiguous presidential figure standing on the White House Balcony), eggs (on the White House lawn), flowers (cherry blossoms), books (Library of Congress), boots and train (there’s a page about riding the metro when it rains), ball and kite (on the national mall), and various animals (at the national zoo). It’s fun, because when she’s older, we’ll get to tell her that she actually visited all of those places!
We love the Pigeon books, and I love that this one is a really simple concept she seems to understand — that if you want something, you should ask for it. If your friend wants something, you should share it. And she laughs when the pigeon says, “Hubba-what?” when he realizes the duckling is sharing his cookie (SPOILERS.)
And I Love You Through and Through is a bedtime story because of the line, “I love you when you’re angry.” I bought it when I bought her her big girl bedding, because I knew she would get angry at us for doing a modified cry-it-out with her. We loved her through that transition, even though it was hard for all involved.
However, if I had to read one story for bedtime each night forever and ever, I think it would be Goodnight Moon. I just love the sense of calm and peace it gave me as a child, and I hope it would do also for my daughter. (The copy in our house was actually gifted to me as a Big Sister gift in 1989.)