I used to dread long trips in the car with my kids. But, not anymore because we are hooked on listening to audiobooks. Now, we look forward to those car rides so we can hear the next chapter in our latest book. We’ve collected our absolute most favorite best of the best audiobooks for children!
This list is perfect for new listeners to audiobooks. My kids were 3-5 when they listened to these stories. They would definitely work for a bit older kids too.
10 of the Best Audiobooks for Children
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Nate the Great
Wow, the Nate the Great Collected Stories: Volume 1: Nate the Great; Nate the Great Goes Undercover; Nate the Great and the Halloween Hunt; Nate the Great and the Monster MessNate the Great series has totally hooked my 5 year-old. It started when we listened to an audio book collection of a few of the stories. That led us to check out almost every single one of the books. Now, my son is dictating new Nate the Great stories to me.
Magic Tree House
Magic Tree House storieswere the very first audiobooks we listened to and they were an instant hit. Jack and Annie travel all over the world in their magic tree house solving mysteries. The books are read by the author. I must admit that I found the voice of Annie to be a bit irritating, but my kids didn’t seem to mind. We ended up reading several of the books after listening to the audiobooks. I’m sure that my kids will pick them up to read on their own one day too.
Winnie-the-Pooh is perfect for listening to in the car because each chapter can stand alone. So, if it’s a quick trip to the grocery store, you can hear a whole story. Or, listen to all ten stories in a row on a longer trip. We really enjoyed the version narrated by Jim Broadbent that we got from the library. The version narrated by Peter Dennis is also very good and can be found on Audible.
Beverly Cleary has a load of books that appeal to readers of all ages. We have so many Cleary favorites to read and listen to. A good one to start with is Henry Huggins. It’s a delight to listen to because the talented Neil Patrick Harris is the narrator. Henry adopts a new dog and lots of adventures begin. Also, check out Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle narrated by B.D. Wong.
Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon
Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon will appeal to all young fantasy lovers. This is a trilogy of Elmer and a flying dragon and their many adventures.
James Herriot’s Treasury for Children
The James Herriot’s Treasury for Children is also great for shorter trips. It’s a collection of eight wholesome stories about a vet and his travels caring for different animals in the country. We actually listened to this in the car and had the book at home to read at the same time. It was such a favorite that we included it as a selection for one of our Family Dinner Book Clubs.
Little House in the Big Woods
Sometimes if we have a fail at a read-aloud using the book at home, I try the audio version of the book instead. One recent success with this strategy was Little House in the Big Woods. For some reason, my 5 year-old is turned off by black and white illustrations, so he had no interest in looking at the book while I read. However, I thought he would really enjoy the story. So, I borrowed the audiobook from the library. It was an instant hit! It even led us back to the book to see a panther, Pa’s gun and the log cabin. We would often pause the audio to discuss sections as we listened. There is a lot to explain about living in that time period. If you have a sensitive listener, there may be a few parts that are disturbing.
Thornton Burgess Bedtime Stories
The Thornton Burgess Bedtime Stories are oldies but goodies. The animal tales are good for bedtime stories or even to listen to on a car trip. Like the James Herriot’s Treasury for Children, these are a collection of stories. Stories include Peter Cottontail and Jimmy Skunk.
Appleblossom the Possum
We just finished listening to Appleblossom the Possum read by Dustin Hoffman. Appleblossom has been warned to stay away from humans, but she just can’t help but spy on a family. Then, she falls down their chimney!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
What can be more delightful than listening to the happenings of a chocolate factory? We thoroughly enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory narrated by Eric Idle. That verison is a little harder to find. You can also listen to the easier to find copy narrated by Douglas Hodgewhich is available on Audible.
Which titles do you consider to be the best audiobooks for children? I’m always looking for more ideas!