Motherhood

What Are Your Favorite Kids’ Audiobooks?

This past fall, I found myself stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to go apple picking with a carful of kids, some of whom were repeating, “Apple pick your nose!” at the top of their lungs. In an attempt to keep the peace, I quickly downloaded a Charlotte’s Web audiobook (read by E.B. White himself), and here’s what happened…

Three hours and 29 minutes of listening later, we arrived back home, the story ended and the children, ages 3 to 8, asked if we could play it again. It was like magic. Moreover, the grownups in the car enjoyed the story just as much. (Did you see the movie Ladybird, in which the opening scene involves both mom and teenage daughter weeping in the car over an audiobook of The Grapes of Wrath? That was my husband and me when Charlotte’s baby spiders left their mother’s web.)

Since that weekend, I’ve often played a few chapters from an audiobook for my four-year-old son at bedtime or during a lazy afternoon. Whether I cuddle up with him to listen or not, he’s always captivated, and I regularly hear him giggling at a funny scene. Here are six we’ve enjoyed: Ramona Quimby, Little House in the Big Woods, Bunnicula, The B.F.G., Stuart Little and Frog and Toad.

While searching online for more audiobooks to try, I’ve seen many articles quoting learning experts about how audiobooks can help improve kids’ reading comprehension and language skills. I’m not surprised. The children’s stories I’ve listened to are deeply compelling — the experience feels almost visceral — in part because they’re often read by Oscar-winning actors or celebrated authors, whose every breath, pause and register shift brings the story to life.

Have you tried audiobooks for kids? Which are your favorites? And I’d love to check out some kids’ podcasts next, if you have any suggestions on where to start.

P.S. 18 children’s books featuring kids of color and 10 great audiobooks for adults.

(Photo by Tošo Dabac.)

  1. BBB says...

    Thank you for this! We just transitioned our 3 year old to a preschool next door to my office (he’s been on the wait list since before he was born – eeek!), which has a lot of positives but one negative is that he’ll be spending twice as long in the car each day. I’ve been fretting about how to handle all that car time and while I love audiobooks (and am mourning the loss of some of that solo car time because of it!), I never thought of them for my kiddo. Which is nuts, because from ages 4 to about 10, I fell asleep to audio books on cassette each night. Great suggestions here!

  2. Grace says...

    Harry Potter for ever! I was probably Toby’s age when my parents started reading them to me, but Jim Dale’s voice on the audiobooks, oh man. I fell asleep listening to them on my cassette player every night through high school. Even now as an adult if I’m feeling sad or need some background noise for a craft project, i can just pop on an HP audiobook and let my mind relax.

  3. Alena says...

    Audiobooks or just having someone read books aloud made SUCH a difference to me as a kid. My dad used to read to me and my little sister every night before bed. He read OUT LOUD the entire Narnia series, Harry Potter 1 through 4, the Little House on the Prairie/Rocky Ridge books (nearly 20!), and so many more.

    The outcome? Ask me about my English ACT score and my relationship with my father:)

  4. Lisa says...

    Sparkle Stories are fantastic!
    From their website:
    “A safe place for your child to listen & learn.
    Sparkle Stories are simple, delightful, and filled with a sense of wonder. They inspire children to play, to marvel, to laugh, and to be kind. You’ll never need to worry about inappropriate content, as we craft each of our stories to be perfect for young ears.”
    https://www.sparklestories.com

    • Jessica says...

      We LOVE Sparkle Stories. The content is perfect for young children–so whimsical, sweet, and slow-paced. Like Mr. Rogers with an extra emphasis on developing a sense of wonder for the world. There are stories about every topic you’d want for children–diversity, grief, sensitivity, being brave, nature, family traditions, gratitude, friendships, etc. My hyper 5-year-old can listen intently for hours at a time. They are part of our Saturday morning rhythm.

  5. Kat says...

    For little kids (5 and under) we loved The Enchanted Wood; Magic Faraway Tree; and The Folk of the Faraway Tree – all written by Enid Blyton and read by Kate Winslet who does all the characters really well and her English accent is so soothing!!
    We also love the Tumble science podcast for kids. My 5yo boy makes us listen to every episode OVER and OVER. The people who do it are funny and clever and answer questions like why do bats hang upside down? and can plants feel pain?

  6. T Barr Segal says...

    The Wind Boy. It’s timeless and magical.??‍♂️✨??

  7. Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, by AA Milne, produced by Blackstone Audio books, performed by Peter Dennis.
    These have been my son’s go-to audio books from age 2 to age 10 (!)

    Please do not be deterred by Disney’s version of Winnie the Pooh. This is nothing like that. The high quality literature and audio interpretation are absolute tops. It’s so lovely.

  8. Gretchen Alice says...

    Adding an extra vote for Matilda voiced by Kate Winslet! Her narration is dreamy. (And the way she says “Matild-er” is super adorable.)

  9. Cheryl says...

    We’re trying to limit screen time for our two kids, so this post is a timely blessing! Thanks to COJ and all the readers that commented! I’ve bookmarked a bazillion titles and subscribed to a handful of podcasts. So grateful for this community.

  10. Margo says...

    My kids have listened (repeatedly!) to The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop and the Spiderwick Chronicles by Toni DiTerlizzi. Excellent + entertaining for adult listeners too! And we got both via our local library.

  11. The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd!

    Synopsis being: “The first, and longest running, professionally produced audio drama podcast! This family friendly new twist on ‘old time radio’ features the adventures and exploits of the World’s Most Brilliant Scientist, Dr. Floyd! Join Dr. Floyd as he tries to thwart the plans of his evil arch nemesis, Dr. Steve.”

    It started in 2004 and my nephews and I were obsessed from the get-go. They’re now 17 & 19 but have fond memories of our “radio hour”.

  12. Kendra Robinson says...

    At 14 my daughter still enjoys a good audio book, especially Neil Gaiman. As a little person at bedtime we played Poetry Speaks to Children. Even before she could read she knew many of her favorites by heart. https://www.amazon.com/Poetry…/dp/1402203292/ref=sr_1_1…
    Manage

  13. Courtney says...

    Fantastic Mr. Fox and Harry Potter, the voices are especially soothing

  14. Jess says...

    Family car rides always meant we’d put in one if our Robert Munsch cassettes, featuring him telling stories live. His voices and sound effects are usually hysterical, and there’s a lot of repeated phrases and sequences that make it easy for even young kids to join in. It’s amazing to think how much of those performances have made their way into how I read to my own little one now! As a bonus, my sisters and I… improved…many of our favourite tapes with one of those white portable Fisher Price recorders, so every once in awhile you’ll hear a squeaky little voice saying the line instead and giggling uncontrollably, or interrupting to note: ” The next part is the funny part”. Totally priceless artefacts of a good childhood.

    • J says...

      Fisher Price recorders!!! Yes!

  15. Abesha1 says...

    Charlotte’s Web… so wonderful. I’m happy you didn’t shy away; many people feel it’s too tough to talk about death with kids. However, I’ve noticed that familes who’ve had losses of loved ones go for it earlier. (I know I did, too) Anyone else find that to be true?

  16. Abesha1 says...

    Not exactly related:

    I enjoy Cup of Jo, and read most days. I feel a lack of, shall we say, deeper content lately…? I know you’re a lifestyle blog, but I guess I’ve felt in the past that you also deal with the heavier stuff. Lately, it feels very glossy, and yet there’s so much else going on in the world that’s also worth discussing.
    Please read this as constructive input from a regular reader, requesting even more from you! And not as criticism. Thanks!

  17. Malka says...

    we love love audio books – and have recently gotten hooked on sparkle stories – they are imaginative and beautifully read.

  18. Tina says...

    My daughter has been riveted to the original Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren for quite awhile now! She just turned 5, and can listen to all 2.5hrs of it without talking!! It’s pure magic and she has pretty much mesmerized the entire story! And the best part…she goes around saying “Oh fiddlesticks!” When something goes wrong. Just the best.

  19. Erin M says...

    We have found books by Andrew Clements to be enjoyable for a pretty wide range of ages. Our favorites are Frindle and No Talking.

    I’m going to have to go back through these comments and make some notes. We’re currently listening to my husband read us A Wrinkle in Time, but in the past have done- The chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter Series, A few of the Series of Unfortunate Events and most of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

    Thanks!

  20. Rose says...

    We love audiobooks for our 5 year-old son, but we love podcasts even more! There are so many wonderful podcasts out there for young kids, but our current favorite is Circle Round, which has a new folk-tale from around the world narrated by famous actors and actresses for each episode. The episodes are about 20 minutes long, which make them the perfect length for our commutes home from work and school!

  21. Jessie says...

    My family always listens to audiobooks on road trips. We download them from our local public library’s app. Here are a few of our favorites: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, The Molly Moon series by Georgia Byng, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s library by Chris Grabenstein, and of course all of the Harry Potters.

    • Jessie says...

      Also, my kids LOVE story pirates!!!

  22. Mimi says...

    Thank you! Audio books ARE magic. I have a four year old and will definitely look into your recommendations. So far I haven’t found anything that doesn’t scare him, but he loves Charlotte’s Web (and we have a 12+ hour drive to California coming up. I’m saved!).

    • Bee says...

      I know what you mean about stories scaring the small ones, my daughter is the same. We have had HUGE success with Paddington stories, they are completely harmless, no Hing scary ever happens. The ones read by the British actor Stephen Fry are to die for! He does all the different characters perfectly and the stories are great for both adults and children. I think we have listen to the 7 cd box set about 30 times in a row and none of us, not the 4 year old or the parents are sick of it yet, a definite plus!

  23. The Harry Potter series is amazing on audiobook BUT you have to get the Jim Dale version. He does over 200 voices! Listening to them was the only way I was able to run long enough to train for a marathon and my young cousins are just as captivated by them.

  24. My boys are 14 and 16 and sadly listening to family audiobooks on long journeys are a thing of the past (they would much rather be plugged into their own headphones)
    The favourites we used to have on repeat when they were younger were:-
    All of the Roald Dahl stories, but favourites were James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr Fox and the Giraffe the Pelly and me. We also loved the old school charm of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, Horrid Henry and laterly Stephen Fry reading the entire Harry Potter series.
    A nice reminder of good times, maybe I need to download some more age appropriate books for our next car journey and hide their headphones…..

    • Oh, and how could I forget, ANYTHING by Michael Morpurgo, but favourites were Kensuki’s Kingdom, Adolphus Tips and Private Peaceful

    • lomagirl says...

      When it’s just me and the kids- even the older kids- in the car, we do this. Mostly the love it- and if they are bored, they can tune into their own devices.

    • Natalie says...

      I second the Stephen Fry version of Harry Potter. His voice has become synonymous with the series for me, and I have listened to them so many times. I love using the Overdrive app connected with my library – so many books are available!

  25. Magy says...

    We have our first road trip scheduled in a few weeks and this is the best idea! Does anyone have any suggestions for audiobooks or podcasts in Spanish?? We’re trying to teach our kids both languages and I was thinking audio books might be a great way for them to hear more Spanish. My kids are 2.5 and 5.

    • Sarah Hina says...

      I’d love to see Spanish recommendations too!

  26. Frankie says...

    Thank you for this post + all of these comments! Have a 16 hour road-trip coming up in April with my 4-almost-5-year-old (ooof, when did that happen?!) and these suggestions are fantastic.

  27. Jess says...

    ‘Pippi Longstocking’, and another by Astrid Lindgren called ‘Emil of Lonneberga’.

    Our girls (6 & 3) often wake early – like 5:00 – 5:30 am. Once they’ve been given breakfast at a little table in their bedroom, they put on an audiobook themselves and play quietly whilst dad (usually the one who makes breakfast), sleeps again on a matress on their floor for about an hour!

    They often put them on throughout the day too, and then just hang out in their room.

    Great post, love reading others suggestions ☺

  28. Emily W says...

    My favorite audio books are Hank the Cow Dog by John Erickson. The author reads them and the sound effects are great!

    Also check to see if your library has digital books. You can download them to your phone or tablet from anywhere you have internet and they are completely free! They return themselves so no late fees!

  29. Sarah says...

    My kids absolutely the Magic Treehouse Series. We started listening to them through our library and now own almost all of them via Audible. They could happily listen to the stories all day long if I let them. There are two versions – the regular series and the Merlin’s Missions. The regular are great for younger kids, and the Merlin’s Missions are much more detailed and longer stories. My 5 year old loves the longer versions, but my 3 year old loses interest in them and prefers the regular series. Either way, they’re fun stories and definitely worth a listen!

  30. Susan says...

    I like the How To Train Your Dragon series, read by David Tennant… because David Tennant ;)

    • Sara W says...

      LOVE these. Beautiful books.

  31. Audrey says...

    Though not actually an audiobook, it’s even better! Radio Theatre has produced multiple classics as radio shows (it really brings the story alive). The Chronicles of Narnia are fantastic and so is The Secret Garden. The only downside is you can’t go back to just plain audiobooks after listening to these!

  32. Nicole says...

    PETER AND THE WOLF

  33. Lana says...

    My friend is whip-smart and is that woman who raises her kids the way we all wish we had the patience to do. She sent me this awhile back regarding audiobooks:

    Heidi (Johanna Spyri), narrated by Johanna Ward

    Understood Betsy (Dorothy Canfield Fisher), narrated by Anne Hancock.

    Emily’s Runaway Imagination (Beverly Cleary), narrated by Christina Moore

    Betsy Tacy (Maud Hart Lovelace), narrated by Sutton Foster (even if you’ve already read it, the audio version is excellent. My girls have listened to it a dozen times. Or more!)

    The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett), narrated by Finola Hughes. Excellent narrator with brilliant Yorkshire accent.

    A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett), narrated by Virginia Leishman.

    Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea (Lucy Maud Montgomery), narrated by Mary Sarah.

    All of a Kind Family and All of a Kind of Family Downtown (Sydney Taylor), narrated by Suzanne Toren

    Rascal (Sterling North), narrated by Jim Weiss

    Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren), narrated by Christina Moore

    Children of Noisy Village (Astrid Lindgren), narrated by Catherine Byers

    The Miraculous Journey of Edmund Tulane (Kate diCamillo), narrated by Judith Ivey

    Strawberry Girl (Lois Lenski), narrated by Natalie Ross

    Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison (Lois Lenski), narrated by Tavia Gilbert. (Narrator is so-so but it was the only option for the book which is really good. Gigi has read the print book on her own many times already and says it’s one of her top 3!

    Caddie Woodlawn (Carol Ryrie Brink), narrated by Roslyn Alexander

    The Boxcar Children (Gertrude Chandler Warner), narrated by Phyllis Newman

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum), narrated by Anne Hathaway

    The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis), narrated by Maurice Denham and a full cast (it’s “movie-like” with sound effects and different voices for each character. I didn’t love this version, but the girls did.

    Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins series is really well done by Neil Patrick Harris. Stockard Channing narrates the Ramona series, and I find her voice nasal and grating, but my girls love it. I also don’t love Beverly cleary except Emily’s Runaway Imagination!

    Cherry Jones narrating all of the Little House books

    Johnny Tremain (Esther Forbes) narrated by George Guidall

    Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) narrated by Andrea Emmes)

    The Railway Children and Five Children and It (E. Nesbit) both narrated by Virginia Leishman

    • Amanda says...

      Thanks for this list! I’ve made a google doc and saved it for a summer full of road tripping time with kids 7 & 11 (then). Looks like a great mix of keep us all entertained. We’ve had some trouble with podcasts that actually interest the range of interest and age. Seems like some good ones on here for the range we have!

    • Sara says...

      This is an amazing list!! Thank you!

    • Sara B. says...

      Wow, what an incredible list! THANK YOU so much for sharing this!

  34. Heather says...

    The best best best present my (now four-year-old) has gotten was a CD player (with microphone :). When her bedtime stories with mom and dad don’t last long enough, she will often choose her own :)

    There is a series I used to listen to on repeat about kids and famous composers (Beethoven lives upstairs was one). It was a double bonus because I learned to love reading an classical music :)

    • Charlotte says...

      I came here to comment about this series! I absolutely loved them as a kid as well- Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery was my favorite. The series is called Classical Kids.

    • Katie says...

      Oh my gosh, yes! Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery was a favorite too! I am just going to message my brother about that now…what a sweet memory. We loved listening to those tapes in the car.

  35. Beth says...

    My daughter loves the “But Why” podcast. She’s constantly trying to come up with good questions to submit.

  36. rachel says...

    My niblings live on the opposite coast as me and I don’t get to see them nearly as often as I’d like. I recorded myself on my iPhone reading The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury and sent them a copy of the book to try to keep a connection with them. I also gave copies of the recordings to friends for their kids and they seem to enjoy listening to it (although I cringe when I hear it myself, haha).

    • Mollie says...

      My grandparents did this for me via cassette tape when I was little (I commented about it earlier in the thread). This is such a special thing–I bet they’ll remember it forever!

  37. Mac says...

    Matilda read by Kate Winslet is fantastic, and we like Peter Rabbit. It’s short and sweet, around 10 minutes, but sometimes I need everyone in the car to CHILL and it does the trick!

  38. Mollie says...

    I grew up several states away from my grandparents. As a way to keep us connected, they’d send a cassette tape in the mail every few weeks of them reading stories aloud. That was how I first “read” James and the Giant Peach. I remember playing the tapes over and over again. Not only did it give my parents a break at bedtime, it made for very special memories with my grandparents. I also listened to regular audio books as a child, but these special tapes were by far my favorite.

    • rachel says...

      what a special keepsake from your grandparents!

    • Kelly R says...

      That is SO sweet.

  39. Christa says...

    Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre (regardless of your views on religion) does an incredible job taking well known classics and turning them into BEAUTIFUL radio theatre that captures your attention — from Dickins to the Secret Garden to my all-time favorite C.S. Lewis classics. These are a saving grace for long car trips!

  40. Lana says...

    Cherry Jones is incredible reading The Little House series. My daughters always listen to these before bed and my husband and I laugh when we hear Cherry, in the voice of Mr Edwards, sing “Get out the way of Old Dan Tucker. He’s too late to eat his supper.” She’s amazing!!

  41. Kelli says...

    I can’t say enough good things about podcasts! My 4 year old listens to a story podcast every night. A few favorites are Little Stories for Tiny People, Goop Tales, Disney Story Central, and the Stories Podcast. Little Stories for Tiny People is wonderful – I love the narrator/writer. I’m looking forward to trying all the suggestions in the comments!

  42. gfy says...

    The Calm app Sleep Stories! The entire app is great but the Sleep Stories (some for adult’s and some for children) are amazingly produced. There are a couple freebies on the site as an intro. You can listen online but need to register first, even for the free ones.
    My favorite for children is the Moshi Twilight and for adults, The Waterfall. Works for afternoon naps like a charm!

    On another note, I have a big problem with the fact that they do harvest your meta data and use it as they like. Very very uncool. How to we protect our personal data in this meta-mad world??? It makes me feel rage, honestly, sorry/not sorry. Help?

  43. Viv says...

    At six months, my son is a bit young for audio books (besides, if need be, I can recite about five dozen board books for him without even cracking their covers–“How does a dinosaur clean up his room? Does he use a big bucket loader, a shovel, or broom?”). BUT he has already listened to 6 of 7 Harry Potter audio books in German, he just doesn’t know it! When I was pregnant, I would lounge in the bath every night and do Sudoku while listening to them (I also made headway in public transit on my way to see clients). I oddly feel as though we’ve bonded over the stories, even though his current criteria for a good book is its mouth feel. (Also, listening to/reading books in a foreign language when you’ve already read them before in your native tongue is great mental practice–because you’re familiar with the plot, you can really focus in on the language and pick up vocabulary, grammar, and phrasing!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that :)

  44. I have eight kids ranging from 7-20… audio books are an absolute lifesaver for our family. A good story is a good story no matter how old you are. You do know their is a complete Roald Dahl Collection, a fantastic Dr. Seuss with a whole lot of famous actors. And then Cherry Jones and Little House on the Prairie. And of course Narnia…
    but our absolute favourite… “have to drive around the block again after a road trip because we haven’t finished” … look for The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place… it is the start of a fabulous series!!!

  45. Michele says...

    We’ve enjoyed the Carl Hiaasen audiobooks for kids – Hoot, Scat, Chomp, and Flush. Listened for free on Hoopla! And of course Harry Potter, and Chronicles of Narnia.

  46. Abby says...

    My sister and I always listening to the Junie B. Jones series on car trips. The best one is Junie B. Jones and that Meanie Jim’s Birthday. I can still quote one of the scenes.

  47. Becka says...

    We do a lot of podcasts with my 4 and 6 year old, including many of those mentioned, like “Brains On”. We also enjoy “Eleanor Amplified” and “The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian”, both serial adventure stories. Finn and his crew make my husband and I laugh out loud too. We don’t have a good system for Audiobooks but would like to do more. Most recently we listened to “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” on a long drive through Washington State.

  48. Amara says...

    My kids loved the Ramona books read by Stockard Channing, which others have mentioned, but they also adored the Henry Huggins books by Beverly Cleary read by Neil Patrick Harris — his voices are amazing! And another vote for Trumpet of the Swan read by E.B. White, it’s so lovely.

  49. Anne says...

    I drive my kids (7 and 9) to school every morning and we always have an audiobook going for the car ride, even though it’s a quick 10 minutes. The days when we’re between books and there’s nothing to listen = nonstop bickering… and send me scrambling to play an old episode of the Eleanor Amplified podcast, which both kids adore (first season most of all).

    Right now, though, we’re 3/4ths of the way through The Hobbit and the kids are INTO IT. We talk about it all the time. It’s so fun. (And every time the narrator launches into a song I am SO thankful that I’m not the one reading the book! Singing songs written in books is by far my least favorite thing about parenting.)

    • Lana says...

      Yes!!!! Mine too! I also hate when they have songs in adult books bc I don’t know the melody.

  50. Lisette says...

    My 4yo son loves Tow-Truck Pluck! It’s an amazing book from a Dutch author (Annie M.G. Schmidt) and here in the Netherlands we also have the audiobook version. Not Sure there’s an English audio version as well…

  51. I’m a journalist but on the side I write children’s stories for the Storytime podcast :) Not an audiobook exactly, but short 5-20 minute stories that are perfect for most car rides or before bed. https://bedtime.fm/storytime/54

    • Elizabeth says...

      My kids listen to these at bedtime sometimes. I will look for your stories from now on!

    • Katie says...

      Oh wow, how wonderful!

  52. liza says...

    Harry Potter!!! I can’t gush enough about Jim Dale, he’s the best. narrator. ever.

  53. Millie says...

    My kids love audiobooks! We have a handful that are on repeat in the car. The Winnie the Pooh dramatizations with Judi Dench are my fave! Someone else mentioned them, too. :)

    • allison says...

      Our entire family thoroughly loves the Judi Dench version of Winnie the Pooh! Such a wonderful reading.

  54. Margaret says...

    Oh, the Harry Potter audiobooks have gotten us through so many long (7+ hour) car trips! I also think the Rachel McAdams reading of Anne of Green Gables is magical. Some others we’ve done are the Secret Garden, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, and the Little House series. So calming (and captivating) for my girls (7 and 8) while we’re traveling. We’re headed on a road trip next week and they’ve already requested the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

  55. Jillian L. says...

    This is geared toward older kids, but when I was 12 my mom played Harry Potter on CD in the car and I was hooked (she, a teacher, was trying to get me to read them but I was “too cool” to read books about wizards). My lifelong love of Harry Potter was born. My husband and I listen to the audiobooks when we’re on road trips, so far we’re on book 5. The narrator, Jim Dale, is incredibly talented and brings the story and all the characters to life.

    • Lana says...

      I love this! My husband travels for work a lot so he often listens to the audio book version of the book I’m reading. It’s fun to discuss the book with each other. I recently finished East of Eden (it’s his all-time favorite and he’s been trying to get me to read it for ten years!!) and we watched the movie together. It really makes for a fun date night!

  56. Devon says...

    My family (kids aged 6 and 9) loves the Harry Potter series–even my husband and I enjoy listening to it in the car. Other big hits have been The Mysterious Benedict Society series and Ballpark Mysteries. Kate Camillo books are good: Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon is fun and short, and we loved The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Confessions of an Imaginary Friend is great. Some people like the Magic Treehouse books but I can’t stand the narrator’s voice.

    My kids love the Brains On! podcast

  57. Rachel says...

    I feel strange about audio books because it’s harder to stop and discuss mid-passage, so I’m never really sure if they kids are getting it. But they are:

    We just finished Wonder with our 5yr old and 9yr old. This weekend, we were listening to the song Galileo by the Indigo Girls, and I explained what reincarnation meant. My 5yr old said, referencing a passage we heard from Wonder three weeks ago, “Jack and Auggie were joking about that in Wonder.” I almost fell over!

    • Jessica says...

      Wow, that’s amazing!

  58. Megan says...

    I’m not a parent yet, but I teach Kindergarten and First Grade and I love reading stories aloud to my students. We have been reading Charlotte’s Web during snack and are going to see a play of it next week. I can’t wait!

    I highly recommend any of the Kate DiCamillo books on audio!

    • sasha says...

      Thank you for being a teacher and thank you for reading aloud to children! What a gift to them ♥️

  59. The entire Chronicles of Narnia. Each book has a different narrator but they are all famous actors who have been in English Shakepeare companies etc. One was narrated by Kenneth Branagh; another by Patrick Stewart (The Last Battle).

    I had several elementary students who were dyslexic , but whose comprehension and emotional intelligence was quite advanced. THey really picked up on a lot of more complex themes and issues. Those students quite liked the Harry Potter audio books (re-listened to countless times!) and the audio books for Because of Winn Dixie (actually anything by Kate DeCamillo. They get good narrators). Haven’t listened to it, but now I want to see what the Winnie the Pooh books are like on audio book. David Tennant narrates THe Borrowers.

    Podcasts for Kids: Wow in the World and Circle Round. The former is about science and the latter stories from around the world.

  60. Al says...

    The city of Ember and sequels.
    21 balloons.
    Librivox.oeg is a site with free, fan read, audiobooks of the classics in public domain. I especially liked Jules Verne books, Swiss family Robinson, Robinson Crusoe, etc.

  61. We love listening to podcasts with our 4 year old and “Ear Snacks” is our favorite.
    We live in LA and traffffiiicccc…. I am not sure why I haven’t thought of Audio books, genius!

  62. Chronicles of Narnia!!!!!!

  63. Angela says...

    My boys are 10, 10, and 12 and we love listening to the Rick Riordan books on CD. It’s nice to hear how to pronounce all the names of the gods and goddesses, as well as the locations. Makes it more fun when reading the actual books, which my 12 year old does over and over…

  64. Sarah says...

    Its not so much a book, but it was a cassette the movie Oliver and Company. My sister and I listened to it all the time before bed. It has songs and characters and it was great. We recently listened to it again via You Tube and we still remembered all the words!

    • Katie says...

      This was a favourite form my childhood as well!

  65. Maryann says...

    “GUTS! GUTS! GUTS!” = my favorite Ramona line ever. Still makes me laugh.

    Henry Huggins is another favorite. And all of the Roald Dahl books in audio form are excellent.

  66. Kit says...

    The Percy Jackson series about Greek gods/goddesses in modern day New York has a great narrator. The Outsiders and The Golden Compass are also fantastic as audiobooks.

    • Kit says...

      Oh! And if you’ve got a library card you can sync it up with the Libby app for a 2-3 week loan.

  67. Kathryn says...

    We listen to the Arnold Lobel “Owl at Home” series. There are a few stories that exemplify wonder, kindness, being present, and love in such a tender way. We also love The Winnie the Pooh with Judi Dench and Stephen Fry. It is perfect in every single way, deeply funny and so sweet.

    Through our school we also get a subscription to the app, Tales2Go, and it is a great, free, way to get audio books, although not all of the dramatizations are that great.

    We have also been enjoying the Brains On podcast.

  68. Katie says...

    Trumpet of the Swan, particularly if you can get your hands on the one EB White reads aloud. That is so special to hear it from the author. (Felt the same way listening to Frog and Toad which are favorites as well) The Olivia audiobook collection is well narrated by Dame Edna. Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I could go on for days and am always looking for new ones.
    Wow in the World and Story Pirates are two of my kids favorite podcasts.

  69. Michelle says...

    We have ALL SEVEN Harry Potter books in rotation, in both cars. The moment they finish one, they ask for the next. We listen on road trips or on five minute trips to the market. Literally the moment we get in the car, the girls ask, “HP?” Sometimes I get tired of it and insist on some music (it’s been three years of non-stop HP!), but it’s a weird family tradition now and they love it so much. I know this season won’t last forever, so in the meantime, we listen to all the HP.

    • gfy says...

      You guys are ready for The Chronicals of Narnia! Also a set of seven books.

  70. Lauren says...

    The Little House series is my kids’ favorite. Cherry Jones’ performance is amazing. My husband and I love it. We’ve also done the entire Magic Treehouse set on audiobook too. I think we’ll do Ramona next.

  71. Sara says...

    Along this grain…any podcast for kids recommendations?

  72. Lisa says...

    Great post! I home school my 4-year old son, which right now looks like lots of playing and reading aloud. We loved listening to Paddington on Audible, and we listen to some great kids’ podcasts:
    1. Circle Round, from Boston public radio, features a new folktale every week. My son loves it so much that he asked if we could listen to Rebecca Sheir (the narrator). http://www.wbur.org/circleround
    2. Brains On! a fun science podcast https://www.brainson.org/
    3. But Why? A podcast for curious kids from Vermont Public Radio. This podcast answers all kinds of questions sent in by the kids who listen, including a great episode on death, which my son asked to listen to twice! Kids really are curious about everything, and to them, nothing is taboo. http://digital.vpr.net/programs/why-podcast-curious-kids#stream/0
    4.Storynory, a storytelling podcast http://www.storynory.com/
    5. April Eight Songs and Stories, another storytelling/ folktale podcast https://www.aprileight.com/
    I’d love to see a post just on podcasts for kids, or in the comments if anyone else has more recs.

    • Susan Magnolia says...

      My daughter loves the Circle Round and But Why podcasts as well! I also think we have listened to a few stories from Story Nory. I love them.

      Recently we have found a plethora of audio books from the library on the Hoopla app that have been great. I really appreciate not having to purchase audio books!

  73. Katie Larissa says...

    Guys. The Bible read by Johnny Cash is so great. I have a friend who often puts it on and falls asleep listening to it at night because his voice is so terrific, and my boys love listening to him read as well.

  74. Emily says...

    The first series we listened to on audio book was My Father’s Dragon–so good! We also used to listen to the Frog and Toad stories and those are so great read by Arnold Lobel.

    As my son gets older, the books get more intense and recently we enjoyed The Hunger Games. We’ve also listened to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which is so great on audio. The Harry Potter books are also good on audio!

  75. Elisabeth says...

    Such a great topic!

    My daughter is 2.5, so we’ve only recently started listening to stories (before she just wasn’t interested). Now we’ve been getting one of the “Classical Kids” CDs from our local library and listening to it for a few weeks. Our first was “Tchaikovsky Discovers America” and our current CD is “When Beethoven Lived Upstairs.” I love how they combine stories with the composer’s music! Much nicer than listening to the “Frozen” soundtrack on repeat…

  76. Growing up in Germany, there were these Tintin audio books. Sounds insane, but I LOVED them and still have such fond memories of all the times I listened to them!!

  77. Charlotte says...

    I don’t have kids, but always had books on tape as a kid (back when you could actually rent cassette tapes from the library). Favourites were the Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables and The Princess Bride (which I still listen to during times of emotional upheaval or when I am sick). And I recently introduced my nephew to the concept during a 9 hour car drive and we listened to the first Hunger Games book the whole time. He was hooked. And the Harry Potter books, but the UK version- Stephen Fry reads them, and he might have the best reading-out-loud voice ever.

  78. Laureg says...

    It’s not an audiobook, but ‘Free To Be, You and Me’ from Marlo Thomas. I had it on LP as a kid, then found it on CD in a record store in my 20’s. My nephews always request to have this playing when we drive anywhere in my car, they love it so much. And I still do too!

  79. Marissa says...

    Not exactly an audiobook, but my mother always had Peter and the Wolf on cassette where each character was played by a different instrument. It told a story, and taught us about classical music.

  80. Kaitlin says...

    I’ve never thought of audio books for kids, and I love it as a way to engage children with literature. That said, I’m wary of it replacing the printed word.

    A recent article in Quebec talked about the increase in time worked by families and that this is directly contributing to a loss of time spent reading to our children. Over time, this could severely impact literacy rates.

    Nevertheless, for things like car rides, I’m all for books on tape. Our phones don’t connect to the car, so we still have CDs, but one of my favourites is the radio play version of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which is very funny, family friendly science fiction. Better still, it’s from the BBC and is read with the most wonderful British accents.

  81. Mina says...

    When we moved to the suburbs almost two years ago, we ended up having to commute our three kids (then 2, 3.5 and 5 yrs old) in to the city to their old pre-school for a year and a half. Audiobooks were a life saver. I still often put one on in the car or at home. Screens are just a Friday eve treat for our three, so audiobooks are what we use for that rough half hour before dinner, on lazy Sunday mornings, and when someone is home sick. It’s a great parenting hack and a great alternative to tv.

  82. Morgan Cox says...

    Pippi Longstocking! Narrated by Christina Moore on Audible. My kids have listened to it over and over and over….

  83. Sarah says...

    Winnie the Pooh read by Alan Bennett- simply wonderful. I can’t recommend it enough- I feel misty eyed just thinking about the way listening to these charming readings made me feel.

  84. The Harry Potter audiobooks have been narrated by both Jim Dale and Stephen Fry. Both are brilliantly voiced versions… but which do you choose to share with your kids?! Here’s a youtube video comparing the two https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ncgi8hoKgTk. A less controversial comment: Have you listened to the recorded versions of Junie B. Jones? They’re hilarious!

    Finally I want to say that I totally agree with the research that suggests audiobooks can be developmentally friendly for children. I have been writing fiction for as long as I can remember, and I’ve also been listening to audiobooks for as long as I can remember, and it’s no coincidence! My mother plays audiobooks constantly, and I spent most of my early days sitting in the back of the car listening to John Grisham, Stephen King, Agatha Christie and John Mortimer with her. I probably didn’t comprehend half the plot, but I was engrossed nonetheless. I remember counting the minutes till soccer practice was over so I could get back into the car and listen to more of The Da Vinci Code.

  85. Allison says...

    The Harry Potter audiobooks have an amazing narrator, and the same person does the Peter and the Starcatchers series, which is a great retelling of the story of Peter Pan (both series on Audible)! I still listen to them both for fun when I need a chillout listen :)

  86. Jaime says...

    Some family favorites that we listened to over and over we’re tapes from the National Storytelling Festival and Hank the Cow Dog!

  87. Laura says...

    My husband, now 9 year old son and I all love listening to audiobooks when we go on longer car rides or on vacation. It’s been a bit harder to find ones that my younger son (now 6 1/2) will actually enjoy and stay quiet for. So far, the ones that have been a success are The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo and Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. We all LOVED the Edward Tulane one though. It was such a magical story.

  88. Kara says...

    My kids loved the Little House series read by Cherry Jones, particularly Little House in the Big Woods. My four-year-old would memorize long sections about things like the process of making head cheese. Ew.

    Also, when we took a road trip out west last year I searched for an audio book set in the areas we were traveling to to listen to as we drove. I settled on Little Britches, and its sequel, which were WONDERFUL. The narrator isn’t my favorite, but the true story of a boy moving from New England to Colorado with his family to start a ranch is one of the best we’ve read. And it was my husband who would ask to restart it after every stop.

  89. Sophia says...

    The His Dark Materials Serires (Beginning with The Golden Compass) by Phillip Pullman are wonderful audiobooks, I could not reccomend them more for children or adults!

  90. Clare says...

    When I was a little, the Trumpeter Swan was my fave audio book. Also The Stories Julian Tells.

  91. Nancy says...

    Hands down, The Wind in the Willows – so so amazing, will stick with us always – great read by Ralph Cosham had my kids absolutely mesmerized and begging me to include accents and voices in every book henceforth. Immersive for us as parents, too!

  92. Oh, audiobooks forEVER! We listen to so so many of them over here and they are basically my parenting secret weapon.

    We love all the Beverly Cleary books – I think I love them as much as my children do!

  93. Rae says...

    Another commenter mentioned this service but I thought I would expand. We love Sparkle Stories which is a subscription service like Audible but the stories are all written & narrated by the same team.
    https://www.sparklestories.com
    They have over a 1,000 stories (most in ongoing & connected series), they add new stories all the time, and subscribers have unlimited access to the entire library. All of the stories offer an age recommendation and you can search by theme as well as series. They also make a small selection available for free each week if you want to try them out without any commitment.

  94. Someone mentioned Starlight Barking (but can’t now find the comment) … I was given an old hardback copy years ago, round about the time my now husband was my newish boyfriend. He read it aloud to me and I’m pretty certain that was when I fell in love with him!

  95. We first did an audiobook because I’d lost my voice, and my daughter wanted me to read to her. I loved it because I could actually get absorbed in the story too – something I just can’t do when I’m reading out loud.

  96. Allison says...

    My 6 year old has loved Ballet Shoes, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Five Children and It, and The Phoenix and the Amulet.

  97. Daisy says...

    I’m from England, and when I was a little girl we had cassettes of the Just William stories by Richmal Crompton, read by Martin Jarvis, and they were perfection. I listened to them again recently, and they are just as lovely!

  98. Shana says...

    The Geronimo Stilton series has been a big hit with my boys (4 and 7).

  99. Courtney says...

    Through what platform do all of you listen to audiobooks?
    We’d been subscribing to TuneIn Radio Premium for the last few years ($12/mo for unlimited audiobook streaming!), but they recently quit offering audiobooks.
    I have since discovered Librivox, and the kids have enjoyed Heidi and Pollyanna.
    But I haven’t discovered the secret that everyone else seems to be in on! Is there an affordable option for voracious audiobook consumers?

    • Emily W says...

      Check with your local library. They should have digital audiobooks you can check out and download to your phone/tablet for free.

  100. My 11 year old’s favourite audio books is the Harry Potter series (the British version, read by Stephen Fry). If it were up to him, he’s listen to them on a continual loop (but that may have something to do with him having autism).
    My favourite audio book is the one where I listen to my husband reading aloud – he has the best ‘reading voice’.

  101. My kids are 3.5 and almost-7 – we love listening to the Winnie the Pooh audio books. Any Roald Dahl or Arnold Lobel are lovely to listen to as well.

    Kids’ podcasts – we’re obsessed. Our favorites:
    -Sparkle Stories
    -Story Pirates
    -BrainsOn
    -Wow in the World

  102. Jordan says...

    If you like Ramona, don’t forget about Henry Huggins too! My five-year-old boy will listen for hours. Neil Patrick Harris does a great job keeping us on our toes about they trouble Henry and Ribsy get into!

  103. Jessica says...

    Here to give a shout out to the Libby app — listen to audiobooks for free with your local library card number!

  104. Dana says...

    My daughter loves the Little House on the Prairie audio books! Our local library has a bunch so no need to purchase them online.

  105. His Dark Materials trilogy (a.k.a. The Golden Compass books) are probably the best audiobooks I’ve listened to. Normally I don’t like it when audiobooks have different performers for different characters — but it works here! It’s performed almost like a radio play, and it’s ENTRANCING. Possibly a bit too “big kid” compared to a story like Charlotte’s Web, but it’s still wonderful. I highly recommend checking it out!

  106. Kate says...

    Oh my god, any of the Ramona books read by Stockard Channing. Magical, magical, magical. My family listened to them in the car when I was a kid. Her narration is so engrossing for kids and adults. I can still hear here voice, expressing Ramona’s feelings, 25 years later.

    • Mollie says...

      Yes!! We listened to the Ramona books read by Stockard Channing in the car when I was a kid too. I loved them. Back then we called them books on tape :)

  107. We listened to audiobooks all the time growing up! Some of my favorites were Artemis Fowl, A Series of Unfortunate Events, James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small, and Harry Potter. Also, anything read by Odds Bodkin is highly entertaining!

    • Haylie says...

      OMG, I was obsessed with James Herriot (and got to know him through the audiobooks!). I wanted to be a large animal vet for YEARS. Some of them are pretty intense, though, so probably best for older kids?

    • Peony says...

      There is a James Herriot Treasury for Children that is very sweet.

  108. alison says...

    The only way we make it through long car trips is audiobooks!

    Lord and Lady Bunny by Polly Horvath is wonderful (there is a sequel as well)

    My kids are 8 and 10 and have been loving A Series of Unfortunate Events on audiobook too!

    Clementine by Sara Pennypacker is also fun!

  109. Madame says...

    We are huge readers in our family, and also huge consumers of audiobooks… we listen every time we drive! Kate Winslet reading Enid Blyton Magic Faraway Tree series and Dahl’sMathilda are fabulous,
    as are any readings by Stephen Fry : Harry Potter (for a bit older ),Winnie the Pooh (dramatizations with Judi Dench too),and the Paddington bear books to mention a few!
    Tove Jannson’s series the Moomins read by Hugh Davis are lovely.
    The whole Beverly Cleary series read by Stockard Channing are fun.
    There is a great BBC dramatized version of the chronicles of narnia too!
    I have great recommendations for French audio books and or older listeners as well if anyone is interested…

    Series (Tove Jansson read by Hugh Davis),

    • Frances says...

      Yes please to your French suggestions!

    • Madame says...

      French audiobooks:
      Contes de la rue Broca, and Gentil petit diable, read by the author Pierre Gripari and Francois Morel are hilarious.
      Petit Nicolas séries ,which are read by several talented actors.
      Petit Prince read by Bernard Girardeau.
      Belle aux bois dormant read by the legendary Gérard Philipe set to music by Vivaldi, as well as his version of Pierre et le loup.
      We also like the old fashioned but classic interpretations of Marcel Aymé’s Contes du chat perché (bleu et rouge) read by Galabru, and Pierrette Pradier.

      For older kids we have both an abridged 8 hour version of les trois mousquetaires lu par Guillaume Gallienne, and an unabridged (22 hours) version by Bernard Bollet that our girls (7 and 9) love. We used our audible credit this month to buy the comédie française actors reading of les misérables it is 56 hours and was not intended for the children, but they were in their father’s workshop when he started to listen, and are completely and utterly caught up in it. We have been doing a lot of work around the house the last several weekends, and as we’ve sanded painted and worked, we’ve listened together, (and been available answer questions!). We have ten hours left. I wasn’t expecting that!

  110. sasha says...

    The scene where Mom serves tongue for dinner?! And Beezus pretty much never recovers….
    Still makes me laugh out loud remembering.

  111. Sabrina says...

    Anne of Green Gables read by Rachel McAdams is magical!!!

    • THAT SOUNDS SPLENDID.

  112. Dee says...

    We turned to audiobooks for my 6 year-old daughter when I couldn’t take one more moment of TROLLS or MOANA soundtracks this summer. Our favorite by far is The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall, followed by Clementine by Sara Pennypacker (the series if 6 books, I think). We also listened to a Christmas series by Matt Haig. One of the titles is The Girl Who Saved Christmas. We also listened to the Rainbow Magic Fairy Books. Oh and I almost forgot, Tru and Nelle by G. Neri.

    Other shorter books we loved were:
    The Knuffle Bunny
    Finding Winnie: The True Story of Winnie the Pooh
    The Dragon and The Nibblesome Knight
    A Sick Day for Amos McGee
    Chrysanthemum (narrated by Meryl Streep)

  113. Sara says...

    Just a shout out to one of my favorite blogs, Everyday Reading. https://www.everyday-reading.com. She has four small children, is a former librarian and a huge fan of audiobooks.

    • brianna says...

      Funny you should mention this! I was going to shout this post out to her. She has the best book recs for everyone.

    • Heidi says...

      I just peeked at this blog… wow! What a great resource. In two minutes I found a great book recommendation and a recipe for waffles that uses up some leftover buttermilk I have!

    • Sally says...

      I love Janssen Bradshaw’s Everyday Reading blog too!! She just so happened to post about favorite sources for audiobooks today.
      :)

  114. Rachael says...

    Ooh I have the BEST audiobook recommendation!!! I always get so excited to tell people about these–the Classical Kids Collection, which tells stories about the lives of the great composers set to their music. Seriously–these are amazing. They were my favorite to listen to as a kid and my own children love them just as much! Our favorites are Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, and Mozart’s Magic Flute. http://amzn.to/2H7aJDs

    The other one we listen to most often is the BBC production of the Chronicles of Narnia. So good! Can’t recommend it enough–this is all the books in one set! http://amzn.to/2CgsT1T

    • Rae says...

      My daughter LOVES the Classical Kids Collection stories! LOVES them. She has listened to them since she was 3 years old (7 now) before bed. I’ve given the set on CD as a gift a couple of times but I suspect that many folks no longer own CD players. : (

    • I was going to recommend the Classical Kids Collection too, I’m so glad someone else loves them! We listened to these NONSTOP on roadtrips growing up. I still have huge parts of Ring of Mystery memorized. The stories are so fun and compelling, and adding in the exposure to classical composers is wonderful! I can’t wait until my son is a tiny bit older so I can start sharing these with him.

    • Chiara says...

      Classical kids was a staple of my childhood, too! Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery was my absolute favourite, followed by Tchaikovsky Discovers America. My parents got us a set of the CDs for Christmas and we put them on during a car ride and I was immediately transported.

    • Susan Magnolia says...

      We discovered Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery and got the audio files from a collection of youtube videos and have listened to it hundreds of times. It is a perfect little tale but we have got to get our hands on the others. Thanks for reminding me to look them up!

    • Rachael says...

      So happy to see that there are others who love these too! Parenting hack: if you buy them on Amazon, then Alexa can play them while your kids are eating lunch, or coloring, or doing Play-Doh…we pretty much have them running half the day around here. :-)

    • I love how many people loved this series growing up!!! And I’m so glad it’s still around to share with a new generation. ❤❤❤❤❤

  115. No kids yet, but when I was little I would listen to books on tape until I fell asleep (I’m 22 now and have been an avid reader since I learned).
    I remember my favorite being Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon, a number of Roald Dahl (James and the Giant Peach, The Magic Finger, The Enormous Crocodile, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
    Also, wow at Bunnicula! I remember being read that when I was in middle school!

  116. Anne says...

    I have a very distinct memory of listening to “The Starlight Barking” as a kid in the car on a road trip. It was lovely.

  117. Cari says...

    I loved audiobooks as a kid and still do. My favourites are The Railway Children and The Secret Garden. I’ve listened to them both again as an adult. I also love radio dramas. I grew up listening to Adventures in Odyssey and even now, I’ll play an episode on a lazy afternoon.

  118. We LOVE all of the audiobooks in Judy Blume’s Fudge series. They’re so much fun. We’ve also been into the Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones audiobooks too.

    I’ve been looking for a solid storytelling podcast— our problem has been the age gap between my girls (they’re 11 and 6). It’s tough to find something that works for both of them.

  119. Amy says...

    Chrysanthemum read by Meryl Streep! It is awesome and we- me!!, my husband, and our daughters 18 & 10 have listened to it for years on repeat on road trips across the country! We also love Sarah plain and tall read by Glenn close and the lion witch and wardrobe!

  120. My sister and I listened to our favorite audiobooks over and over again when we were growing up–in the car, playing in the basement, doing art projects–so much so that we can quote big chunks from memory. We loved the Ramona Quimby books and the Superfudge collection by Judy Bloom. Once we were a little older, we had fun with Richard Peck’s A Long Way from Chicago and its followup, A Year Down Yonder. They’re hilarious, and I later used them to entertain kids I babysat. Highly recommend! (P.S. my sister and I share an Audible account and still listen to audiobooks regularly.)

  121. Devon says...

    We were a bit older, but my brother and I loved listening to Harry Potter. As a family, we vacationed in the Outer Banks each summer and would listen to them driving down. Though, we also listened to other books, I think our fondest memories are listening to Harry Potter as a family.

    • Kate says...

      When my kids were little, we listened to the Harry Potter series so much that people used to joke that Jim Dale (who reads the books brilliantly) lived with us. My Mom would call and ask, “Is that Jim I hear?” Now that my children are grown, there are so many happy family memories that Jim was part of- he has won awards for his reading. Hours and hours of fun and excitement!!! I SO recommend!

    • My son’s favourites are Harry Potter (but read by Stephen Fry (British version)). He would listen on a continual loop, if he could!

  122. Brooke says...

    We love audiobooks for family road trips! Roald Dahl is a favorite of my boys (6 and 8) —James and the Giant Peach and Matilda (read by Kate Winslet, who is fabulous) were big hits. Also, the Precious Ramotswe mysteries from Alexander McCall Smith. Between the narrator’s beautiful accent, vivid details of life in Botswana and Precious’ cleverness, we were all engrossed.

    • L says...

      I loved Matilda too! Kate Winslet was such a great reader. I don’t have kids, just a long commute but I love listening to children’s audio books to change my mindset after a long day at work.

  123. Julie says...

    The Circle podcast from WBUR is excellent — each episode is under 15 minutes, and retells a folk tale (usually with great readers!).

    And, the ALA released the Odyssey Award winners today (best children’s audio books of the year). I took a look around for a list online, but don’t think it’s up yet…probably later today! Looked like some great new titles.

    • Kelly says...

      YES! I love the Circle Round podcast. We listen to it at my preschool for nap time.

    • Rebecca says...

      Yes, I was coming to recommend this podcast! It’s actually called “Circle Round” and my kids (6 and 3) are passionate about it. They can’t wait each week for the new story! Every week there is a new folktale from all around the world, and typically there is a famous actor/actress or recognizable NPR personality reading.

  124. Miriam says...

    My five year old’s favorites are The Boxcar Children.

  125. Emily says...

    Yes to the Ramona Quimby books read by Stockard Channing! We checked them out from the library before a 12 hour road trip last summer. Sometime during the middle of the drive my husband turned to me and said, “Should I be embarrassed that I’m enjoying this as much as the kids?!” They were so entertaining!
    We’ve got the same road trip planned in two weeks for a family wedding and I’m planning on getting the first Harry Potter from the library to listen to. I just started reading it aloud to my 5 and 7 year olds at bedtime and I think they will LOVE listening to it. I could listen to Jim Dale forever!

    • sasha says...

      Oh my gosh, those Ramona audio books are a hoot!! One of my favorite memories of my children’s childhoods, listening on some ridiculously long road trip and laughing so hard. Stockard’s renditions of the voice is the very best.

  126. Sara says...

    The are so many! We started with Winnie-the-Pooh, and had to replace the entire set, stories and poems, they got worn out! I especially liked the Frances books, by Russell Hoban, and my kids loved (and still do at 12 and 14) Hank the Cowdog because they are so funny and silly. As the kids got older, they listened to all the popular series, Harry Potter, ALL the Rick Riordan books, Narnia, the Golden Compass books, to name a very few. The library is a great resource for us. You just can’t go wrong with audiobooks!

  127. Peony says...

    E.B. White reads The Trumpet of the Swan too. It’s one of our favorites. I love that you get to listen to the trumpet (or Pa’s fiddle in the Little House series).

    • Kate says...

      I second The Trumpet of the Swan! That accent……..perfection!

  128. M says...

    Anything by Roald Dahl (Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts are especially brilliant on audio) or Dick King-Smith (try the Fox Busters) were big hits in our house. And of course, Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry.

  129. Circle Round podcast is our very favorite! And we loved the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory audiobook.

  130. Steph says...

    The Tale of Despereaux was a hit, and all of the Ramona books. My kids (7 and 11) love audiobooks and it’s especially nice for long car trips.

  131. Erin says...

    My kids listen to the Fudge series by Judy Blume on repeat. So hilarious!

  132. Great post, we love any of the stories from Sparkle stories.

    • Amy says...

      I was going to recommend Sparkle Stories, too!

      We’ve loved The Penderwicks, Wrinkle in Time, Mrs Piggle Wiggle (outdated, but something to talk about), all the Beverly Clearys, The Green Ember, Peter and the
      Starcatchers. I end up using most of my Audible credits on kid books!

  133. Mine loved them on long journeys and at night when they were going to sleep. We did all the usual stuff when they were small – fairy stories and animal stories but when they got bigger found that The Eagle of the Ninth was an excellent choice and old favourites like Enid Blyton stories or selections of children’s spooky stories – The Children of Green Knowe especially – kept them gripped. Us too. That is important if you are driving hundreds of miles in boiling heat.

  134. Sherry says...

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl. And definitely the Chronicles of Narnia series (start with The Lion, the witch and the Wardrobe if it’s your first experience).

  135. Caroline says...

    I always listened to audiobooks as a kid to help me get to sleep. Now I listen to repeats of my favourite podcasts!
    When I was little I loved The Borrowers, Fantastic Mr Fox and I had an abridged version of Emma when I was a bit older.

  136. Catharine says...

    My three year old LOVES audiobooks! Awesome suggestion!

  137. Thank so much for these recommendations. We listen to short stories on Circle Round, Sparkle Stories, Story Nory, and my 6-year loves them. I think going for longer format audiobooks is a great idea!

  138. Jackie Norris says...

    We are obsessed with audiobooks at our house! We often listen in the car, while we paint, while we eat breakfast. I love that stories punctuate our day! Here are a few of our favorites:

    Anything by Julia Donaldson (particularly The Gruffalo, Princess and the Wizard, The Smartest Giant in Town, What the Ladybird Heard)

    Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel

    Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola

    Winnie the Pooh

    I also echo the Circle Round podcast. Excellently produced and such fun stories.

  139. Dee says...

    There are podcasts for kids now???! Of course there are, but I hadn’t really thought about it until I read this. (1 year old daughter, rooky mom alert). I’m book marking this for the future. I loved audiobooks as a kid on long car rides but I’m not sure my Dad was as keen. There is a (fairly moralistic) story called ‘The very worried sparrow’ which was a particular favourite of mine, mentioning it normally ends in expletives from Dad even now (I’m 32!)

  140. Lisa Zieger says...

    Both of my boys have active imaginations that can sometimes make it difficult to calm down at bedtime – audiobooks have been such a help by giving them something to think about rather than dreaming up scary possibilities! We get them from the library every couple of weeks. A few favorites are Ramona, the Fudge series, Harriet the Spy and The Magic Treehouse series.

  141. Jessica says...

    It’s not an audiobook but my kids love Peter and The Wolf which is a story set to classical music and introduces all kinds of instruments. They also love these two podcasts: Stories Podcast and Story Pirates.

    My kids are 4 and 2 and when I’ve tried audio books they haven’t worked yet, but I’ll try again soon.

  142. alexia says...

    My parents would put on the audio version of all the books in Chronicles of Narnia, starting when my brother and I were very young. We weren’t at all religious but those stories had such a huge impact on me as a person and I think did a lot to instill an inner sense of peace and the belief that ultimately, good DOES prevail! Even in high school when I needed a little extra comfort I’d sometimes put on one of the tapes (tapes! ha) to fall asleep to :) The stories were so captivating and it wasn’t until many years later I learned the narrators were famous actors!

  143. Annie says...

    I grew up listening to audiobooks as a fell asleep (helped alleviate anxiety!) I loved Ramona Quimby books too — especially Ramona’s World. I also listened to Elizabeth Enright books and Junie B. Jones. Such a sweet tradition!

  144. Sarah D. says...

    My twin boys are 11 and have been listening to audio books since they were 3. You can get so many good ones from the library. Janssen at Everyday Reading posts a lot about audio books for kids. Here is one of her posts with recommendations: https://everyday-reading.com/childrens-audiobooks/

    • Ari says...

      I second Everyday Reading! She has so many good kid book recommendations (audio and paper). I always check her blog if I am looking for new book ideas.

  145. Lee says...

    You mentioned it already, but growing up our go-to was the Ramona Quimby series read by Stockard Channing. Even now, as an adult, I can almost recite the entire series, and my sister and I have endless references and inside jokes about them.

    • sasha says...

      The scene where Mom serves tongue for dinner?! And Beezus pretty much never recovers….
      Still makes me laugh out loud remembering.

    • sasha says...

      Oh, and my girls in the backseat saying, in whispers, “thank God were vegetarians!”
      Because of course they thought I was just as evil as Ramona’s mother, at least in the serving weird food category.

  146. Carla says...

    What audiobook provider do you use? My son is dyslexic so we listen to audiobooks all the time. It’s an excellent way to improve vocabulary and reading comprehension skills!

    • Michi says...

      I can highly recommend checking out your local library. Not only does my library offer audio books, they also gave me a free account for Hoopla where I can now download 6 free titles a month.

    • Liz says...

      I love using the Overdrive app! You sync up your library card to get free audiobooks that you can download right to your phone. Highly recommend!

    • Sophia says...

      Have you tried your local library? Most now have digital collections from which you can download audiobooks for FREE right to your computer or phone, it’s such a wonderful resource!

    • C says...

      I second the library suggestion! Such a great way to make literature accessible for all families. My library account (Denver, CO) works with the Overdrive app for downloads of audiobooks and ebooks.

    • L says...

      I love libro.fm. It is the same price point as audible, but you can support your local independent bookstore if they’ve opted in. https://libro.fm/indies

  147. Eliz says...

    I haven’t tried audiobooks yet but my son LOVES the Charlotte’s Web movie and I’ve been meaning to get the book to read to him. An audiobook might be a good choice!

    We listen to the stories on the Circle Round podcast and the kids love them.

    • Seconding Circle Round!