Fantastical worlds and magical characters are brought to life in every single one of the brilliant books in this category. Whether you’re on the hunt for a vast array of unbelievable worlds or want to hear about dragons and flying snowmen, we have the book for you and your child. Each book in this list will ensure your child has a sleep full of magical worlds and beings.
Our other categories look at age specific books, funny books or those books that can help your child through a tough time. To view these, and more, head to The Bedtime Story Finder.
Editor’s Note: See more on our dedicated bedtime story topic page.
The Nowhere Box by Sam Zuppardi
With two younger brothers constantly pestering him, it’s rare that George gets any time to himself. Until, that is, he escapes into the most magical place he has ever found: Nowhere! Whether it be as a pirate on the high seas or an astronaut in outer space, George can be anything he wants to be in Nowhere. But in a land of countless possibilities, could George be missing the best thing of all? A beautiful celebration of the power of imagination and an answer to that perhaps increasingly modern question: ‘Why do children always prefer the box?’
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
This children’s picture book contains no words but has long captured the imagination of children and adults everywhere. The iconic pictures tell the story of a boy’s Christmas adventure as his snowman comes to life, and takes him to explore the wonders of a white Christmas on their way to the North Pole.
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillippa Pearce
One of the best children’s books ever written and worth reading no matter how old you are – Tom’s Midnight Garden is full of magic, mystery and adventure and keeps you guessing until the very end. Tom is sent away for the summer to stay at his aunt’s and uncle’s house and prepares himself for a long spell of deep boredom. Then, one night as he lies awake he hears the grandfather clock in the hall strike thirteen! He rushes downstairs and out of a back door which usually leads to a scruffy yard, but now opens onto an enchantingly beautiful garden which unaccountably disappears during the day. Is he dreaming? Is the girl he meets there real or a ghost? Is he the ghost? Beautifully written and full of depth and excitement, this book will entrance you and its last poignantly moving lines will stay with you forever.
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
In the colourless town where Annabelle lives, everything seems to be covered either with snow or soot. Until one day Annabelle comes upon a box of colourful yarn; so she knits herself a jumper, and then makes one for her dog, only to find that she still has yarn to spare. As it turns out, Annabelle’s store of colourful yarn appears to be endless, so she knits and knits until she has decorated the whole town with her beautiful, colourful creations. A wonderfully simply illustrated book, this will give you and your child lots to meaningfully talk about. But do keep a look out for the powerful archduke and for any other surprises that might spring out upon you along the way!
The Worst Witch by Jilly Murphy
Mildred Hubble tries her best but never has much luck when it comes to her school work. Unfortunately she attends Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches, and her trouble with the broom and disastrous potions lesson seems to make her officially the worst witch! Yet something is brewing and Mildred may yet be an unlikely hero. Following its publication in 1974 the book has gone on to become one of Puffin’s most successful titles.
Quest by Aaron Becker
Enter into the magical world of the quest, where each new crayon is ready to take you on the next amazing adventure. Map in hand, you must overcome the soldiers in the castle whilst avoiding being seen. You have only one another to rely upon. With not a word to be found in this book, you’ll find the pictures here will transport you to places you might never even have dreamed of.
Skellig by David Almond
I found him in the garage on a Sunday afternoon… I thought he was dead.’ Ten-year old Michael is having a difficult time, on all fronts. He’s just moved into a decrepit house where an old man died and wasn’t discovered under the kitchen table for a week. His parents are distraught over his new baby sister, who is seriously ill due to complications from an early birth. And now here’s this man is he a man? in the garage at the bottom of the garden. The award-winning debut novel from David Almond, Skellig is atmospheric, even claustrophobic, and packs an incredible emotional punch as we journey with Michael through his isolation and grief to a truly miraculous and uplifting ending…
Do you have any other magical tales that you think we should know about? Inform us in the comments section below!