First a little shout out to the Kingdom of Wrenly books by Jordan Quinn. This fantasy series is not available as audiobooks but was seriously beloved by my 5 year old and by me! I highly recommend them to any beginning readers.
Which brings us to The Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott. About a trio of plucky friends who discover a hidden world where reside sorcerers, witches, magical creatures, and more, this long-running fantasy series kicks it up a notch.
There are 34 books (plus a number of special editions) in the series but we’ve only gotten through the first 6 books so far in two fast-paced, action-packed collections, narrated by Oliver Wyman. I am so hoping for more!
First she was obsessed by fairies. Now mermaids!
Emily Windsnap is just a regular girl who discovers one day she’s actually part mermaid. Of course, adventure ensues. This cute fantasy series by Liz Kessler deals with themes of family, friendship, and identity.
Only four of the seven books in the series have been made into audiobooks, but I hope there are more to come.
Sometimes I wonder what really good children’s books did I miss out on when I was a kid? My parents are immigrants, and English was our second language, so I was pretty much left to my own devices when it came to choosing reading material.
I luckily stumbled onto some wonderful books (like these ones and these ones), that I still love, but sadly, I completely missed British author Enid Blyton. Until now.
The Faraway Tree collection is a lovely series about siblings who discover different magical lands by way of an enchanted forest.
You know you can’t go wrong when the audiobooks are narrated by Kate Winslet!
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.
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!
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!
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.