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!
I so wanted to share these beloved stories with my daughter earlier on in our listening journey, but there are some potentially scary elements, so I had to wait. Finally put on a couple of the shorter stories recently, and it was love!
All of Roald Dahl‘s books have this wonderful dark humour that I adore. We haven’t listened to everything yet, but so far so good!
Start with the Roald Dahl Audio Collection (read by the author!) and go on from there. I found most of them at my local library.
My personal favourite is The Witches but it can be a little intense for younger listeners. The movie still gives me chills too!
I discovered this collection of warm and fuzzy animal stories through the audiobook narrator, Jim Dale. (If you didn’t know already, he narrates Harry Potter!)
I actually didn’t know who James Herriot is. Turns out he’s a country veterinarian and author who has written a number of books about his life working with animals. This Treasury for Children is a collection of gentle tales about some of the creatures he’s encountered. Perfect for younger listeners and animal lovers.
Did I mention my daughter loves fairy tales?
So I know author Chris Colfer best as courageous Kurt Hummel from Glee. But he’s since become a children’s book author, and has an entire series of books called The Land of Stories, about twins who enter a world where fairy tales are real.
We haven’t actually gotten to his series yet, but we did discover this separate little collection of the classic fairy tales. These are adapted to be not too violent, and acceptable for younger listeners.
For some reason, I don’t find Chris to be as good of an audiobook narrator as he is a Warbler. But overall, my daughter really enjoyed this collection.
Maybe one day, we will get through the Land of Stories series too.
As a kid, I was a big fan of Dr. Seuss books. They are just so silly and fun!
Although wonderful for younger kids, these two collections of stories are full of enough big name comedic stars (like Billy Crystal, Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, and more) that even adults will enjoy the readings.
We found the matching books at our library and followed along too. Definitely still childhood classics!
If you have a younger listener (age 3 or 4), check out Arnold Lobel‘s books. Very cute, quirky stories, and his books were readily available at the library. He’s another author who reads his own stories.
Some of our favourites are:
There is no kid on earth who can resist Robert Munsch. He’s one of those delightful authors who reads his own stories. If your kids have never heard the audio versions of his classic books, they are in for a treat! And you can listen to many of them free on his website!
Our favourites are:
If you have the physical books, you can definitely read along too. I found these to be great listen-in-the-car stories, as they are nice and short. I sometimes risk a tantrum if I try to turn the car off mid-story.
Two collections are also available if you want to listen to them all in a row. Check if there’s a copy in your library!