If you’re searching for the best audio books for families, you’re in the right place!
This post is sponsored by Audible.
Do you listen to audio books with your kids? We’ve found that they’re one of the best ways to pass the time on long road trips. Since our closest grandparents are eight hours away, audio books have become a regular part of our summertime travel.
I’m excited to partner with Audible (our sponsor) to share some of the best audio books for families on long trips.
I’ve put together a list of books that are appropriate for younger children, but also entertaining enough that the big kids and parents will enoy them too!
Whenever I encourage someone to begin reading aloud to their kids, I tell them to start with Toys Go Out, by Emily Jenkins. Both kids and grown-ups will laugh out loud as they listen to the adventures of the Little Girl’s favorite toys.
Appleblossom the Possum, by Holly Goldberg Sloan, is a new favorite of ours. We adore Appleblossom, whose mother has taught her to steer clear of the three types of monsters: people, dogs, and cars. But what happens when Appleblossom falls down a chimney and is adopted by a little girl? The only thing that could make this hilarious story even better is the narration by Dustin Hoffman.
My all-time favorite collection of books is now available in a single audio collection from Audible. I love that my own kids are just as fond of this plucky heroine as I am. Stockard Channing really brings Ramona to life!
Girls and boys alike will enjoy these classic tales about Henry Huggins, his dog, and an exasperating little neighbor named Ramona.
I loved it when my mom read Homer Price to me as a kid, so I made sure to read it aloud to my middle grade students as a teacher. Years later, my Seven and Eight found my battered copy and read it from cover to cover. Be sure to get your own paper copy of this small town American story for your kids to follow along in the car. The illustrations are the best part!
This audio collection of Beatrix Potter’s stories is such a great buy! The cheerful music and soothing narration are just the thing for a sleepy afternoon in the van. Be sure to get a hardcover collection from the library (like this one) so your kids can enjoy the beautiful illustrations.
It can be hard to interest our kids in the long classics, but these old favorites are great for helping children develop their vocabulary and visualize what they’re listening to. You can’t go wrong with Anne Hathaway’s outstanding narration of the classic Wizard of Oz.
Peter Pan is another classic book that a young narrator has brought to life. You’ll love rediscovering Tinker Bell, Captain Hook, and the magic of Neverland through Lily Collins’ lovely narration. If your kids are advanced listeners, this would be a great book to download as part of your Audible free trial!
A tip: You might read a simpler version of Peter Pan before attempting this unabridged audio version, as it helps for kids to get the general idea of a long story before introducing them to the original in all its glory.
The Magic Tree House books might not be a favorite of your older kids, but younger children love them. The author herself reads this collection of stories about Jack and Annie, two siblings who go back in time and discover things about the past. A great feature of these books is the loving relationship between the siblings. And the books are well written enough that older siblings will be willing to listen, too.
Unlike the Magic Tree House books, Dory Fantasamagory is not a tale of siblings who get along. In fact, Dory (with her outrageous imagination) drives her older siblings absolutely crazy. Be ready to talk about how to show love to younger siblings who want attention, but also be prepared to laugh so hard you cry. I did!
The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle tales are other classic books that get a little long – but the story is worth it. These stories of a magical woman who “cures” misbehavior were some of my favorite books as a kid, and my class of third, fourth, and fifth graders loved them too. I haven’t tried them with my own kids yet, but now’s the perfect time!
I know I keep saying this (my mom read to us a lot!), but James and the Giant Peach is another book that ranks right up there with my childhood favorites. If you can get a hold of the original James and the Giant Peach book with illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, give it to your child to follow along. In my opinion, the illustrations are far superior to Quentin Blake’s. Either way, you’ll love this story of a lonely boy who goes on the adventure of a lifetime.
I saw the movie version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a child, but didn’t read the book until I was an adult. I was missing out! This is my husband’s favorite childhood book, and and our own children couldn’t get enough of the read aloud.
If you’ve seen the Jim Carrey movie version of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, try to forget it and listen to this hilarious story of a small-town house painter and his houseful of Antarctic penguins.
Pippi Longstocking is a popular read aloud that I still need to read myself… but my oldest became hooked after her teacher read several tales to her first grade class. There’s a whole series of books to love about Pippi, the free-spirited heroine who lives a life free from chores, bedtimes, and homework.
Have you signed up for Audible yet?
Audible is an Amazon company which sells digital audiobooks, radio, and TV programs, as well as audio versions of magazines and newspapers. Its library has over 250,000 audio programs! You can download the Audible app on either your Android or iOS device and listen in the car.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.