Book – The Frog Princess

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We gave this book a try as it was on sale through Audible for just $1.95, and we’ve had great experiences listening to books narrated by Katherine Kellgren.

The Frog Princess is actually the first in a series of books by E. D. Baker about Princess Emma, who gets turned into a frog when she kisses a cursed frog prince. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Disney’s The Princess and the Frog is loosely based on this story.

If you like fairy tales, especially mixed-up fairy tales, like my daughter does, then you might like this book. We’re looking forward to listening to the rest of the series one day!

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Series – Rainbow Magic

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So I’m including these fantasy books by Daisy Meadows (a pseudonym for a number of different writers) for completion’s sake.

I thought this series, about two friends who help save the seven Rainbow Magic fairies (one book for each fairy), was a little saccharine, but my four year old freaking loved it! Did I mention she had a fairy phase?

And so I followed a book lover’s advice to let your child make their own book choices, no matter how annoying, in the early years so they develop a passion for more stories. Good literary taste will come later – I hope!

The audio series is made much better by narrator Kathleen McInerney, who we’ve listened to and enjoyed in other productions.

Book – Pippi Longstocking

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I have really fond memories of this book, about a fabulously strong, kind and completely unconventional girl and her two next-door neighbour friends. My 5 year old laughed along too!

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren is just about as absurd and fun as I remember it. Definitely a classic worth listening to.

Narrator Christina Moore is actually a bit no-nonsense sounding, but somehow it works well for this book.

Series – Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew

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Growing up, I read my fair share of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. What’s old is new again in this updated series, this time about an 8-year old Nancy and her best friends, George and Bess.

The Clue Crew series is the latest reincarnation of the famous detective books by Carolyn Keene (actually a collective pseudonym for a number of ghostwriters). It seems geared toward a younger audience. Case in point, my five year old loves them!

Although there are about forty books in the series now, only five have so far been made into audiobooks, which are narrated by Cassandra Morris. We found a few in our library, then purchased the rest which are currently on sale on Audible (sale until November 27, 2017).

Series – The Princess in Black

My daughter gravitates to all things princess. This fun series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale shows that princesses can be heroes, they can kick ass, and they can definitely wear black.

While there are currently four books in the series about Princess Magnolia (a.k.a. the Princess in Black), only the first three are in this audiobook collection, narrated by Julia Whelan.

But it’s an excellent audio series to read along to the books with, as we really enjoyed the illustrations, especially in Book 2. Guessing which princess was which was half the fun!

Series – His Dark Materials

The Golden Compass was hands down one of my favourite books as a kid. And when I got a hold of the audio version, ready by the author Philip Pullman and a full cast, I was just blown away!

My little ones are not ready quite yet, but if you have older kids, this epic fantasy trilogy about one tough girl in a parallel universe full of dæmons and armoured bears is a must listen.

Series – Whatever After

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My daughter loves fairy tales, and this series is no exception. Whatever After, by Sarah Mlynowski, follows the adventures of siblings Abby and Jonah as they enter different fairy tale worlds through a magic mirror in their basement. Of course, they mess up the story, and hilarity ensues. It’s a neat twist on classic stories that often need a little updating (as in the princess learns to fend for herself).

I really enjoyed audiobooks mainly because of the narrator Emily Eiden, who brings 10-year old Abby to life perfectly.

Ten books in the series already, and counting! Fun for kids age 8 to 12.

Check them out through Audible, or at your library!