Series – The Lighthouse Family

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My daughter fell in love with this sweet series about an unusual family of animals that live in a lighthouse by the sea.

We’ve read and enjoyed some of author Cynthia Rylant‘s other books (the Annie and Snowball, and Henry and Mudge series). And I knew these would be a hit as well.

There are soon to be eight books in the Lighthouse Family series. The first seven have been recorded into audiobooks by narrator Mark Nelson. They are short and delightful for younger kids.

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Podcast – Little Stories for Tiny People

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I wasn’t sure about this podcast when I first heard about it. My older daughter is five now and we’ve started to listen to some pretty adventurous fare; this podcast features cute animals doing cute things. But you know what? She loved it!

Little Stories for Tiny People is a super sweet podcast “featuring original audio stories that will delight the tiny people in your life” and boy does it ever! You can definitely feel the love that writer and performer Rhea Pechter puts into each episode. This podcast is now part of our regularly listening rotation.

P. S. I’m actually quite happy that my big kid is still a tiny person; some days it seems like she is growing up too quickly.

Music – Peter and the Wolf

So not technically an audiobook or podcast, but lately my daughter’s been obsessed with Sergei Prokofiev‘s “symphonic fairy tale for children”, which uses instruments to represent different characters and animals.

The version we’ve been listening to is narrated by David Bowie, but there are many, many others out there (just take a look on YouTube).

Narrated classical music has been a great way to introduce my kids to the art. We’re also a fan of Classical Kids, and I’m going to start looking to incorporate more music into our listening adventures.

Book – Kenny and the Dragon

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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.

Series – A Dog’s Purpose

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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!

Series – Paddington

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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…)