I have learned that there is an alternative to the “Are we there yet” soundtrack playing in the backseat of my car. It’s called audiobooks. Not only they prevent “Mom! He is breathing my air!” squabbles, but also my kids are exposed to books that are well above their reading level, learn new vocabulary, and acquire new discussion topics.
My main consideration in selecting our audiobooks is that it works for all of my kids of different ages. And of course, I want to enjoy it too.
Not every audiobook I pick is an instant success. Peter Pan wasn’t liked by anyone. Little House on a Prairie was deemed “too boring.” And Chronicles of Narnia just didn’t hold my kids’ interest. From everything we listened to in this last year, we put together The Best 10 list. Whether you have a long car trip or simply driving a few miles to a soccer practice give these audiobooks a try, they have proved to be a great bonding experience for my family.
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1. Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers.
2. Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
3. Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
4. The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
5. Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know, edited by Hamilton Wright Mabie
6. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell (We especially recommend the one read by Simon Vince)
7. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Frank L Baum (We liked Brooke Shields’ reading better than the one by Anne Hathaway)
8. Kenny and the Dragon, Tonny DiTerlizzi (We’ve been listening to Kenny and the Dragon once a year ever since we discovered it. We also fell in love with Tonny DiTerlizzi’s Spiderwick Chronicles).
9. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (Try Jim Dale! He is such a good reader).
10. The Magic Tree House, Mary Pop Osborne. We listened to all of them. Some of them, like The Night on the Titanic and Vacation under the Volcano, are so popular that kids listened to them hundreds of times and literally know them by heart.