Bedtime book both girl (8) and boy (5) will like.

My children have fairly typical interests for their gender and age. I read to them every night, each child gets a chapter in a book they had picked out from the library.

But I was hoping there’d be something out there compelling for both of them. Perhaps in the fantasy genre, a go-to ‘Princess Bride’ except for kids. A picture or two every few pages would go a long way and if it holds their interest longer chapters wouldn’t be an issue.

Thanks in advance for any help.

The Stick Dog (and now Stick Cat) series is popular in my house (currently 9 year old boy and 7 year old girl, but they began loving these books about 2 years ago).

The books are by Tom Watson. They’re funny books (even I laugh), but not gross-out stuff like Capt. Underpants.

Chronicles of Narnia? I was about that age when it was read to us in grade school and it kept my attention pretty good.

I’m sure there are illustrated versions out there.

Harry Potter? The books get more complex as they go, but I’ve heard of plenty of young kids who enjoy them.

The first thing that occurs to me is Roald Dahl’s The Witches. Of course, he has some other good stuff too. :slight_smile:

The ***Bunnicula ***books are hilarious.

Any of Marguerite Henry’s books (e.g., Cinnabar, the One O’Clock Fox; White Stallion of Lipizza) are good.

There are so many I remember from my childhood, written by Beverly Cleary, Carolyn Heywood, Betty MacDonald, et al. Too many to list here.

Astrid Lindgren’s books are also good; my daughter loved *** Karlson on the Roof*** when she was little.

Oh! How about Mr. Popper’s Penguins? The edition I linked to has lots of charming illustrations.

I’m conferring with sibling now. That was around when our father started reading Tolkien to us. It took a few years.
Before that, not necessarily in order, Robert Louis Stevenson, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Daniel Defoe, I don’t remember who wrote The Swiss Family Robinson but we liked that one.

We read the Swallows and Amazons books on our own but those would have been good bedtime reading.

8 might be pushing it for having Beverly Cleary read to the oldest but maybe not. I think it’s ok to read stuff to kids even when they can read it themselves because the adult can add a bit more depth. E. B. White, Roald Dahl might fit here.

Totally second Roald Dahl (I like James and the Giant Peach best myself, but they’re all good)

The Faraway Tree is a great, if rather old, escapist kids fantasy which is still very popular

You probably won’t have heard of him (though I believe he’s currently trying to crack the American market) but Andy Griffiths is an incredibly popular Australian author of kind of surreal off the wall fantasy. The Treehouse books are aimed squarely at your kids’ age range - all my kids loved them

Not to be a party pooper, cuz a lot of these book suggestions are good books, but they might be a little old or intense for a five-year-old, or even an 8 year old. The Witches, and some other Roald Dahl stuff, has some pretty dark stuff that might be a bit too intense for bedtime reading for a Kindergartner or first grader. I think I got into him when I was a pre-teen. Tolkein, the Narnia books, Stevenson are all classics, but, again, might be a bit much for younger kids. They would’ve been for my kids when they were 5, but YMMV.

I can’t say enough good things about the Stick Dog books. Very well written, funny, and every story has a similar structure, so kids will begin to recognize a certain rhythm when the books are being read to them, which my kids enjoy very much. And there’s artwork every second or third page. My 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter love them equally.

Nate the Great is also a popular series in my house.

The Phantom Tollbooth, The Toothpaste Millionaire, there’s a lot out there.

If pictures help, you’ve got the Great Illustrated Classics versions of many golden oldies. Every other page is a picture.

I don’t have kids, so I have to cast my mind back to my own childhood for ideas.

There were the Ribsy and Ramona books by, I think, Beverly Cleary. Istr I enjoyed them.

There was one book where a brother and sister ran away and lived in, I think, a museum, while not alerting the staff or guards. No title or author there, but maybe that rings a bell with someone. I recall them scavenging coins from the fountain to raise money.

I recall being caught up in HAVE SPACESUIT WILL TRAVEL as a fourth grader, but the book goes into the protagonists math homework quite deeply, iirc, so some judicious verbal editing might be needed on the fly.
Loved the alien races, and the Mother Thing.

well, I used to like The Famous Five when I was a kid, but they are probably too old-fashioned now.

I don’t know the book, but I remember watching a movie which google tells me is called "From the “Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler” which was that sort of premise, kids in a museum.

Damn, I love the Dope. That was it, thanks.

Depends on the kid. I’ve read a lot of Roald Dahl to my five-year-old, and indeed am almost done reading The Hobbit to her (we’re just at the end of the Battle of Five Armies). What scares kids is often not what you’re expecting will scare kids.

Obviously I recommend Roald Dahl, too, with the slight caveat that he relies a bit on ethnic stereotypes and British imperialist attitudes for humor, and it can get a little squicky sometimes.

As for more recent stuff, there’s The Tale of Despereaux (also has some real dark bits), nearly anything else by Kate Di Camillio, The Girl Who Drank the Moon – hell, nearly everything I’m gonna recommend can have some dark parts, so I’m gonna stop with the warnings about that. The first Harry Potter might be all right.

My kids are still in love with these books (14, 13 now), and as a family, we all enjoyed reading these together. There are some others that the kids still have. I’ll go peek.

Goblin Quest series, by Jim C Hines.

Tui T Sutherland Dragonets of Prophecy series

Tuesdays at the Castle (Castle Glower series Book 1)

Heh–weirdly, since I left the Hobbit at home on vacation, I had to pick up a different book to read to my 5yo. Guess which one it was?

And speaking of castles, here’s one that’s really not very dark at all, in fact is totally hilarious and fun: Castle Hangnail. Someone on the boards recommended it to me, and I fell in love with the author, Ursula Vernon. My wife just got her books for adults, and they’re next on my list.

From my own childhood: the Oz books.