For Readers

5 Books for Kids – For Bedtime or Beyond

By: Hidden Gems on March 10, 2020

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on March 10, 2020


When you subscribe to Hidden Gems, you’ll have the opportunity to select from over 15 different genres of books to receive FOR FREE, sent straight to your inbox for you to read and review. This week, we’re looking at some of the top-rated books for kids that have been enjoyed by subscribers – ranked according to their popularity and reviews.

When Dinosaurs Go to Bed by Josh BlumanWhen Dinosaurs Go to Bed by Josh Bluman

How do dinosaurs go to bed? It’s a legitimate question – and one I bet they never taught you the answer to in school! In this beautifully illustrated children’s classic, author Josh Bluman explores the possibilities – and gives young readers a fun way to learn all the names and attributes of everybody’s favorite retro-reptiles.

“Just WOW!” Praises reviewer NabooksSL in a 5-star review. “Any dino-mad kid (or adult) will absolutely LOVE this. The colors are so vivid and cute. I can foresee reading this every night for the next few months at bedtime. My sons are dinosaur FANATICS! And I too, by association, know much about them. Yet, we were surprised to see Brontosaurus included in this. I subsequently did a search and read in Wikipedia that the genus had been resurrected as separate from the Apatasaurus in 2015! We learned something new!”

“I always like to take the time to point out when authors care about their reader’s experience and their own work enough to take the time to format it,” praises James N Simpson. “When Dinosaurs Go to Bed is formatted to be read in landscape mode (holding your device horizontally), where it takes up the entire screen. Words and pictures display together on the screen like a traditional picture book. A lot of self published Kindle authors can’t be bothered to format their work and it displays like a mess with bits of text on one page and an image on a small part of the screen on another.”

Hush Up and Hibernate by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Howard McWilliamHush Up and Hibernate by Sandra Markle

For parents who haven’t yet resorted to Go The F**K To Sleep by Adam Mansbach and illustrator Ricardo Cortés, a slightly more kid-friendly version of the same message can be found within the pages of this fun picture book, about the challenge of getting baby black bears to snuggle up for the winter months.

“This book is fun and very cute. McWilliam’s illustrations compliment the writing perfectly. Baby bear’s facial expressions throughout the story really make the book,” praises Sarah M in her 5-star review. “This is a really sweet story to read for bedtime. Great for daycare curriculum as well to teach about hibernation vs migration. There are a couple of educational pages added into the back of the book to teach fun facts about hibernation as a follow up to your reading and in case your child has any questions. Relatable for any parent who has experienced the battle of trying to get your little one to go to bed but who is absolutely determined to try to hoodwink you and push back their bedtime for as long as they can. Coming up with wilder and wilder reasons as to why they couldn’t possibly go to bed just yet.”

Randal the Elephant by Ciara Gavin Randal the Elephant by Ciara Gavin 

As parents, we often tell our children “you can be anything you want to be.” However, in the case of Randal the otter, it’s not quite as simple – because his ambition is to be as big as an elephant! In this delightful children’s book, author Ciara Gavin explores self-identity, self-discovery, and embracing who you are in a fun and engaging way for children.

“The illustrations in this book were amazing! They were soft and colorful and made the reading experience so much better. They really filled the story out for the reader,” writes reviewer She Just Loves Books in a 5-star review. “It’s an adorable story of trying to find what you want to be, and then trying again. I was happy with the message of this book. You can be anything you want to be and it’s ok to think you want to be one thing, try it, and decide it is not right for you. For our children, giving them the courage to try new things is important and letting them know that it’s ok to not succeed at something is perfect. I loved Randal’s determination to be an elephant and his letters home were cute and made my daughter and I giggle. Randal’s adventure with the elephants wasn’t quite what he thought it would be, but we enjoyed watching him try.”

“This a cute, cute book about an otter who wants to be an elephant,” writes Werecat 2 in another 5-star review. “The illustrations are perfect for this story. This is a wonderful story about imagination and dreaming – a bedtime or daytime storybook, wonderful and imaginative. There is even a fact section about elephants enclosed in the book!”

Papa Can Fix It! by Pamela Tomlin and illustrated by Tamara PiperPapa Can Fix It! by Pamela Tomlin

It’s never too early for another Christmas classic, and this January Hidden Gems subscribers raved about this cute picture book stressing the importance of family, friends, and self-reliance; with gorgeous illustrations to accompany the story.

Top 1000 reviewer Barbara Mojica wrote: “This is a cute and beautifully illustrated story to teach children the value of strong family relationships and teamwork. Each one does his part to strengthen the other. The text is excellent for a family read aloud, bedtime story or sibling shared read. Recommended especially for elementary school age children, but an appropriate choice for all ages.”

“Christmas sweetness!” Exclaims Tricia Schiro in her 5-star review. “I read to my grandson every day and as a discerning three year old he is very vocal about what he likes and dislikes. This book was a winner in the eyes of said three year old. It is a sweet Christmas story about a little girl, her fluffy toy pals, and her Papa who can fix anything. The illustrations are beautifully drawn and vibrantly colored. These visuals help tell the quaint story perfectly. By the end of the book my grandson was cheering “Papa can fix it.” If you are looking for a new Christmas story to read to your little ones then this Book should be added to your collection.

I Want To Be Super Messy by Cam R. Pearce, illustrated by Kristina Djenadic Nicolic I Want To Be Super Messy by Cam R. Pearce 

Surprisingly, this isn’t my 8-year-old’s autobiography, but a delightful tale of a rambunctious 9-year-old who loves soccer, dogs, farts and pranks. Very much in the style of the famous Wimpy Kid series, this book will delight even those boys who claim not to love reading – and the illustrations keep the narrative flowing across each chapter. Even more incredibly, it’s written by a 4th grader; making it a real insight into a fun-filled era of life.

In a 5-star review, CoxCrewReviews writes: “The book is stressful at times coming from a parent perspective! A few of his messy ideas had me praying my kids wouldn’t consider doing the same. All around my kids really enjoyed the book and looked forward to listening to it every night. They didn’t like the ending, only because they didn’t realize it was coming until the final page. I will definitely have my kids read it again! My 9 yr old related to the story line itself about school, friends, the struggle with fitting in & making new friends. My youngest thought it was an all around funny book because of the silly messes he would create or things that would happen.”

“A cute story about a 4th grader, by a 4th grader!” Writes MnK Newman. “This was a cute story about how a boy wanted to change people’s perception of him. He was tired of being made fun of and he chose to focus on that specific trait. He does typical 4th-grade boy activities. I enjoyed that since it was written by a grade-schooler that it forced me into that mindset. As an adult and now a mom, forget that the goal of life is to have fun and explore, not keep everything presentable. A fast-read for any youngster that wants to escape reality and get a little dirty!

If you’re looking for other awesome books for kids, you’ll get as many as your children can read  (or that you can read to them!) when you sign up to Hidden Gems. Subscribers receive invitations to read and review new children’s books each and every day, plus your pick of titles from 15 other genres!

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