When it comes to bedtime stories, I am all in. An avid reader myself, I have tried to inspire a genuine love of books and reading in my two children. I love many classics, including Where the Wild Things Are, Peter Pan, Mike Mulligan, and His Steam Shovel, and ANYTHING by Dr. Seuss.

And while reading classics is a tradition I hope my children will pass on, there is something fun and unique about discovering a new book together, something that is not mainstream; an indie book.

Here is a list of some of my favorite indie books to read and experience with your children.

Think Outside the Box, written by Justine Avery and Illustrated by Liuba Syrotiuk

‍The illustrations in this book alone are enough to get the imagination going. They are beautifully done and a great companion to the text. But what makes this book so unique is our children learn the art of problem-solving and how to creatively solve problems when they arrive.

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Pug Meets Pig, by Sue Lowell Gallion and Illustrated by Joyce Wan

‍If it were not for my 6-year-old, who has developed a deep love of both pigs and pugs, I might not have discovered this book or its companion Pug and Pig Trick-or-Treat. Both books deal with changes in our lives, forming new friendships and making compromises for the ones we love. These books are an excellent option for a child going through a life change or learning to adapt to a new sibling.

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My Whirling, Twirling Motor, by Merriam Sarcia Saunders and Illustrated by Tammie Lyon

‍This book is a must-have for parents and kids struggling with ADD, ADHD, or other types of behavioral issues. It helps children make sense of all the motion and thoughts trapped inside their body and provides them with clues to help recognize it, control it, and exhibit those feelings appropriately.

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Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music, by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael Lopez

‍This book may not fall under the traditional Indie category as it was written by an author who has written dozens of books and produced by a major publishing house. Still, it is one I find many educators and parents are not familiar with. It is an empowering story for girls, showing them how they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. It is also a wonderful book about Latin-American music. Any book about music is a winner in my mind!

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Everyone's Awake, by Colin Meloy and illustrated by Shawn Harris

‍This is a delightful bedtime romp that takes a simple bedtime routine and spins it on its ear. It will leave both you and your child laughing. It is a great helper for children who struggle with bedtime routines. The rhyming patterns are musical, soothing to the ear, and easy to follow. You and your child can spend time exploring the highly detailed pictures as well as enjoying the story.

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These are only five of the fantastic indie books that exist out there. They may take a little more time to purchase and discover, but they are well worth the extra time.

Consider purchasing your books from independent bookshops or used book stores to help small businesses thrive.