Series – The Chronicles of Prydain

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I have to remember that my oldest is only five. But there are so many epic books I can’t wait to introduce her to, like the Harry Potter series and The Golden Compass. And of course, this beloved award-winning series by Lloyd Alexander, set in a magical land loosely based on Welsh mythology.

The characters of Taran, Eilonwy, Fflewddur Fflam, Gurgi, and Doli, are all my old friends. These books were my security blanket.

Needless to say, I was excited to find the audio version narrated by James Langton, which doesn’t disappoint. I also finally learned how to say their names correctly!

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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!

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.

Book – The Night Fairy

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Got this because my daughter is in a huge fairy phase right now.

The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz, is about a tiny acorn-sized fairy named Flory, who loses her wings and must find a way to survive without them. Admittedly it’s a little darker than I expected, but Flory’s world is described beautifully and my daughter loved it.

The audio version is narrated by Michal Friedman, who actually has quite an innocent young-sound voice.

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 39 Clues

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So I’m actually embarrassed by how much I was entertained by this collaborative adventure series (speaking as a grown adult, and not because I enjoyed this as a child like some of the other children’s books I’ve reviewed).

Rated for age 9+ and definitely not for young kids as there’s violence, murder, and mean language. But despite having a completely unrealistic story line and unnecessary merchandising, the series was quite thrilling and fun.

The plot centers on two orphaned siblings, Amy and Dan, who are a part of the Cahill family, the most influential family in the world! *insert eye roll* However this leads to lots of incidental learning about historical figures and different countries.

Amy and Dan must compete with their extended family members to gather the 39 clues in order to solve an ancient family mystery.

The series is written by a number of different authors, such as Rick Riordan, and is narrated by David Pittu, who does a nice job. Check this out at your library if you’re looking for not too serious, popcorn-y entertainment.