I love audiobooks! I do read a lot of physical books too, but I love how audiobooks allow me to get through more books and make menial tasks more enjoyable while I listen. I wrote a post all about why I listen to audiobooks and what programs I use to listen to them (everything I’ve used has been free through the library!) here: A Guide to Audiobooks
And there are especially great benefits in kids listening to audiobooks. There is a lot of research that shows all the benefits children receive from listening to books rather than only reading them.
But not all audiobooks are created equal and so I put together a list of some of my favorite audiobooks for kids. I will add to the list as I find more great ones, so you can pin this page to be able to easily check back for more ideas!
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There are audiobooks for kids available in every reading level all the way down to picture books. We’ve listened to various picture books, but I don’t have any particular ones that stand out to me, so I’ll start with early chapter books.
Mercy Watson series by Kate Dicamillo, narrated by Ron McLarty
This is the first audiobook my son listened to. The series is a lot of fun and we’ve read it both as audiobooks and as the physical copies with their captivating illustrations. He was really interested in the story and narration is well done.
Geronimo Stilton series narrated by Edward Herrmann
My friend recently mentioned that her son listened to this series and they loved the narrator. Turns out it is a narrator I’ve listened to before and really enjoyed! My son isn’t quite ready to read the very popular Gernonimo books in their physical form yet, but I think he would really enjoy them as audiobooks and I’m downloading them for him to listen to soon!
Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, narrated by Cherry Jones
There’s something about this series that I think is especially good for listening to on road trips- maybe because the family is relocating so often. The narration by Cherry Jones is very well done with her different voices, the singing, and fiddle music. And it’s a great one to listen to as a family since it can appeal to a wide range of ages and the books are sort of episodic so if you tune out for part of it you can easily jump back in without feeling lost.
The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall, narrated by Susan Denaker
I love this series so much, but when I first started listening to it I didn’t like the narrator that much. I increased the speed on the app and ended up liking the narration much better! Her narration and the various voices she used grew on me so much that now that the fifth and final book was just barely released I am holding off on reading a physical copy because I want to finish it out through audio.
Matilda by Roald Dahl, narrated by Kate Winslet
This well known book makes a great audiobook when narrated by Kate Winslet and all the fun voices she uses!
Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
If you haven’t read all the books in this series it is definitely worth checking out and audiobooks are a great way to go. The different books are narrated by different voices but all the ones I listened to were well done. Kenneth Branagh narrates the first book The Magician’s Nephew and so it’s a great way to start!
Echo by Pam Munez Ryan, narrated by Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, Andrews MacLeod, and Rebecca Soler
This book can cross over between Middle Grade and Young Adult and the audiobook version is one of the highest quality productions so I put it on this list as well as my Best Young Adult Audiobooks List . There were different narrators for the different point of views, music playing when it happened in the story, and singing. Definitely the most involved audiobook I’ve listened to. And the story is great as well! I loved the historical setting and the beautiful way it was told of having three individual stories about children in different places and the way the same harmonica connected them all.
Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, narrated by Jenna Lamia, Cassandra Campbell, and Kirby Heyborne
I loved this book and have read both the physical copy as well as listening to the audiobook. There were so many great characters with intriguing life stories. I found the interwoven stories of the two time periods really interesting and loved the way everything came together in the end. The narration was great!
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, narrated by Jayne Entwistle
The narrator for this one was wonderful! She easily moved between voices for different characters, she really conveyed the range of emotions in the main character, and her voices for the children were not annoying like they sometimes are when adults are trying to sound like kids. The story has a really heartbreaking beginning with an abusive mother and all of the parts with the mother were hard for me to read about, but I loved seeing Ada and her brother find a place and a new family and learn what life is like outside the confines of their small apartment. There was also a sequel recently released called The War I Finally Won that I haven’t read yet, but it is done by the same narrator.
The Incorrigible Children of Aston Place by Maryrose Wood, books 1-5 narrated by Katherine Kellgren and book 6 narrated by Fiona Hardingham
I just barely listened to the first book, but there are six books total in the series. It is a quirky, cute, fun series and the narration is so well done!
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, narrated by Laura Credidio and full cast family
I read this book when I was young and loved it and have since reread it as an adult through audiobook. It’s narrated by a full cast so there are many different voices for all the different characters.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, narrated by Eden Riegel
This is one of my all time favorite books so I enjoy it in any format! The narrator is a young girl with a sweet voice and she did really well.
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, narrated by Cynthia Bishop and full cast family
The author did a great job retelling and expanding the Goose Girl fairytale in this book and the audiobook is fun way to listen to it since it uses a full cast. This is the first book in the 4 book Books of Bayern series. I’ve only read the first book so far.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, narrated by David Tennat
Do not going into the book expecting it to be like the movie, because they are extremely different. And honestly, there are some aspects of the movie that I liked better than the book. But the narration by David Tennat is fantastic. There are 12 books in the series, but I’ve only read the first book. I listened to it on my own several years ago, but I think I’m going to try it with my son soon because the sequels do sound pretty fun.
Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, narrated by Jim Dale
Jim Dale is the one narrator that most people are familiar with, so obviously the narration was very well done! This 5 book series is an imagined prequel of the Peter Pan story and it was neat to see all the pieces fall in to place to form the story we all know. I have only read the first book, but there are 5 books in the series.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale
And speaking of Jim Dale, I’ll end with the ultra popular children’s audiobooks! If you haven’t already heard how awesome these are- I’ll tell you that they really are!
I will add to this list as I discover more audiobooks I love, so check back for more ideas!
For more audiobook suggestions check out: