I had not previously read this novel by Tony DiTerlizzi, about a bookish young rabbit named Kenny and his new friend, a reluctant dragon named Grahame (in case it’s not obvious, it’s a riff off the classic The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame). The story is pretty cute, and my fantasy-loving kid enjoyed it.
But seeing that it was narrated by Scottish actor Alan Cumming is what sealed the deal for me. I distinctly remember him as the wonderful narrator of the 1994 movie version of Black Beauty. So we were definitely going to listen to this story next! We were not disappointed by his fabulous performance.
If you enjoyed My Father’s Dragon, this would be a great follow-up.
A Dog’s Purpose is a best-selling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, and was made into a movie earlier this year. No, I haven’t seen it. But it’s about a lovable dog who gets reincarnated as different canines over the course of several decades, and touches the hearts of many people along the way.
A couple of those “lives” have been adapted into stand-alone stories for younger readers, and those are the ones we listened to. As an avid Paw Patrol fan, my daughter especially liked the story of Ellie, the search and rescue German shepherd.
There is a sequel to the main book, called A Dog’s Journey, and it features another special dog named Molly. Overall, it’s a wonderful little series if you’re an animal lover!
Another sweet, funny, British classic. My daughter loved Winnie the Pooh, so it was no surprise when I introduced Paddington that she would love him too. These silly bears are always getting into trouble!
Lots of books in the series by Michael Bond:
Fabulous narrators include British actors Stephen Fry, Hugh Bonneville, and Jim Broadbent.
(I have to say, Stephen Fry’s narration is really softening me up to his version of Harry Potter. Right now I’m still in the Jim Dale narrator camp, but can be persuaded…)
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!
Another series by Alexander McCall Smith that we love.
Just like Precious Ramotswe, Akimbo is inquisitive and brave. As the son of the head ranger on a game preserve in Africa, he gets up close and personal with lots of different animals.
There are five books in this great series, but we’ve only found audio versions for the first four. Narrated by the author.
Look for them at your library, or on Audible.
Currently my kid’s new favourite series. She found the popular books at the library, and I immediately checked to see if audio versions were available. Why yes!
Created by Italian author Elisabetta Dami, then translated into English (and many other languages), it’s about a mouse named Geronimo, who hails from New Mouse City on Mouse Island. He’s a journalist at The Rodent’s Gazette, and has adventures all over the world with his sister Thea, cousin Trapp, and nephew Benjamin.
The books have cute illustrations, and it’s a fun series for early readers to enjoy with both book and audio.
Some of the earlier books are narrated by actor Edward Hermann, and the later ones by Bill Lobley.
This is just a start. There are almost seventy books in the series – too many to list! And that’s not including the spin-off series about Thea Stilton and other characters who inhabit Mouse universe, which sadly don’t currently have audio versions.
But there’s more than enough Geronimo books to keep you busy!
To be honest, I was not really into the world of Beatrix Potter when I was a kid, though her stories about animals who dress like humans are world-famous. But now I think that’s because I never heard them being told by an amazing narrator!
It’s amazing what a good reading performance can do to elevate a book, and Katherine Kellgren is a phenomenal narrator. I would listen to this unabridged collection just for her perfect performance!