Although we read A LOT, aside from the occasional audio picture book, we haven't spent much time listening to audiobooks.
Until this summer.
One summer we took a trip to the Jersey shore, and since there was no train, I was looking at 2 hours on the bus. Normally, I read aloud when my kids get squirrel-y but I get motion sickness in cars and busses so I suspected audio books might be the answer to keeping the kids from driving me crazy. The audiobooks for kids that I chose worked brilliantly and I could hear the kids giggling while I lay back and enjoyed the scenery.
When we returned from our holiday I discovered that my kids were hooked on audiobooks, and we started listening to them at home. I love that audiobooks can satisfy kids' need to hear stories repeatedly without my having to read the same book ad nauseam.
All of these audiobooks for kids are appropriate for ages 5 and up (in my opinion).
How to Listen to Audiobooks
If you are new to audiobooks, Amy of Sunlit Pages, has some stellar tips to help your kids love audiobooks.
- Audible.com from Amazon. Audible has the largest, most reliable selection of audiobooks for kids and grown-ups alike. You can try it out free for 30 days.
- Libro.fm supports independent booksellers, has a very large selection and offers a free audiobook with membership if you use the code, CHOOSEINDIE.
- The Epic! books app. I've written extensively about this app, which has ebooks, read-to-me books and audiobooks. You can try it out for 30 days free.
Your library! Use the Libby or Hoopla app, or check out the CDs.
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Great Audiobooks for Kids
A Bear Called Paddington was a very recent read aloud of ours. Stephen Fry narrates both audiobooks, but only More About Paddington was available for download through our library. Fry is a wonderful narrator and hits just the right tone for Paddington's delightful adventures.
Want more audiobooks? Check out my list of audiobooks for family road trips.
Kenny & the Dragon. The spectacular Alan Cummings narrates DiTerlizzi's adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic story, The Reluctant Dragon. New Kid asked for a lot of clarification as to the vocabulary in this one, but he listened to it three times, so it was definitely a hit.
Toys Go Out is one of my favorite of all chapter books to read aloud. I mention it all the time! (See: list of read aloud chapter books for 4-6 year olds) There are three books in the Toys series, but only one audiobook. Hopefully, that will be corrected soon!
Mr. Popper's Penguins. My 5 year old has listened to this story at least a dozen times.
You all know that My Father's Dragonis my very favorite first chapter book read aloud for young kids. If you follow me on Facebook, you also know that my 5 year old STILL requests it, even though I have read all three books more than 5 times. Now that he can listen to the audio book, it frees me up to enjoy other read alouds!
The Chocolate Touch. My son only listened to this story through the headphones, so I never actually heard the narrator, but he laughed out loud many times. He was familiar with the story, both because his Kindergarten teachers read the book to the class, and because we read it at home.
I'm going to introduce the next few titles but making the bold assertion that you can not go wrong with anything written by Beverly Cleary. My son has been listening in rapture all summer to Cleary's books. He simply cannot get enough. I finally checked out the entire Henry Huggins collection and the Ramona Collection so he would have all the books at once.
Neil Patrick Harris narrates all the novels in the The Henry Huggins Audio Collection. I adore all of the voices he gives the kids on Klickitat Street, especially Ramona's!
The Ramona Quimby Audio Collection is narrated by Stockard Channing. I've only read one, Beezus and Ramona, aloud and I might have spent the next few weeks reading all the Ramona books from beginning to end had it not been for this great collection.
The Beverly Cleary Audio Collection consists of the author's lesser known, but no less entertaining, books. The set includes a variety of narrators.
The Ralph S. Mouse Audio Collection includes all three books in the series that begins with The Mouse and the Motorcycle.
Magic Tree House. I am not the biggest fan of reading Magic Tree House books aloud. I read a bazillion of them with my oldest son and I do not want to repeat the process. I have moved on. Thank goodness for the audiobooks. My 5 year old has begun requesting them and so I have been downloading them from the library. I am not going to re-read them thankyouverymuch. I encourage you to do the same.
I am calling Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid the wild card of this list. It's a bit of a random recommendation and I downloaded it on a whim because my older son loved reading these early chapter books when he was younger. (See our list of early chapter book series about boys) Nancy Cartwright is a very entertaining narrator and now my younger son can listen to the books he likes to flip through from our bookshelf.