Series – Catwings

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I was very sad to learn that Ursula K. Le Guin passed away earlier this year. Her books always fascinated and haunted me, including this series about a charming family of kittens born with wings. This was my first introduction to her rich, thoughtful writing, which I read when I was a child and never forgot about.

These short audiobooks are read by the author, who has a very grandmotherly voice. If you love cats, like my girls, you will love this.

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Series – The Great Mouse Detective

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Hands up if you’re an ’80s child like me whose first exposure to Sherlock Holmes was by way of the the 1986 Disney movie, The Great Mouse Detective.

I did go on to consume other movies and books about the many iterations of the famous consulting detective, originated by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and of course read the original tales. But somehow I missed this fun little series by Eve Titus, about Basil, the great mouse detective of Baker Street, and his associate, Dr. Dawson. (The movie was based on these books!)

Thankfully, I found them when I was looking for more mystery books for my five year old to listen to. It’s really a favourite genre of mine, and one that I hope my kids will love too!

The whole series is available on Audible.

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.

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 – Nim’s Island

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Nim is a little girl who leads an extraordinary life on a remote desert island with her scientist father and animal friends. Her story is about survival, adventure, and independence.

My daughter really enjoyed Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr. I wouldn’t say the narration by Kate Reading blew me away, but I love any and all stories with strong female leads!

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.