Series – Ivy + Bean

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Ivy + Bean is a sweet series of books by Annie Barrows about two very different girls who are best friends. Bean is noisy and wild, while Ivy is quiet and full of ideas.

My daughter loves the friendship aspect of these books! Recommended for age six to nine, but my almost five-year old really dug them.

There are ten books in this series, and the audiobooks are narrated by Cassandra Morris:

 

Series – Clementine

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If your kids like spirited protagonists like Ramona Quimby and Judy Moody, they will be sure to love Clementine!

It’s a seven book series by Sara Pennypacker about a third-grader who is having a tough week. She keeps getting into trouble, like for cutting off her friend Margaret’s hair! Don’t worry, lots of life lessons are learned. And narrator Jessica Almasy captures the humour and charm of the books perfectly.

My daughter thought the Clementine books were pretty funny, and I enjoyed them too.

Check them out through Audible, or at your library!

Series – Harry Potter

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So. Good.

I thought this beloved series by J. K. Rowling was fantastic from the first time I read them. Then I discovered the unabridged audiobook series narrated by Jim Dale when my daughter M was born. Seriously one of the best narrators I’ve listened to. He does every character’s voice just slightly differently. Amazing.

These books have a special place in my heart. During the first three months of M’s life, I somehow finished listening to all seven novels, and I truly feel they kept me sane during that foggy period of late night cluster feeds. Mischief managed.

My kids are too young right now as there are some darker themes. But I cannot wait to listen to this series again when they’re ready. Again, this is a must listen.

Check it out through Audible (well worth getting to listen to over and over), or at your library!

Series – Judy Moody

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Lately my daughter has been loving the Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald. It’s a pretty big series (thirteen books!), and we’re slowly making our way down the book list as we find them in the library, or through Audible.

Sale alert: I picked up the few titles missing from our library from the Audible Summer Listening Sale (select kids’ books for $3.95 or less until until Aug 27, 2017).

What I like most about Judy is that she makes it okay to be in a mood (good or bad). But the point is that people don’t always have to be happy. There are ups and downs, and she gets through them with help from her parents, younger brother Stink, and her friends. I also think it’s awesome that her hero is Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman doctor, and that Judy aspires to be a doctor one day too.

Stink is such a hilarious character, he even has his own spin-off series, which we haven’t checked out yet, but it’s on the list!

So if you’re on the hunt for a series about a precocious, funny girl with heart, this is a really fun one. “Rare!”

Series – Winnie the Pooh

Sometimes you just have to give an audiobook a chance. We had had this unabridged Winnie the Pooh collection for quite a while, but for some reason, maybe because I did not grow up with the stories, I kept choosing other things to listen to.

Then one day, we ran out of material, and finally gave this a try. And both my daughter M and I enjoyed it so much! I can see why Christopher Robin (the real son of author A. A. Milne) endorsed narrator Peter Dennis as “Pooh’s Ambassador Extraordinary.” He really brings the story to life!

This is the original – Disney it is not! But give it a try, and you may love it too.

Series – Bunnicula

I can’t stop looking up my old favourites to share with my daughter. And this series about everyone’s favourite vampire bunny by Deborah and James Howe is no exception.

Even though it’s meant for slightly older kids (perhaps age 8 to 12), my almost five year old still really enjoyed these books! True, some of the jokes in this funny, slightly spooky series went over her head, but I definitely loved re-listening with her.

While I could find the first collection at my local library, I eventually bought the second collection through Audible. Victor Garber is wonderful as the narrator in the first six books. I’d say the seventh book that doesn’t quite live up to the earlier works, but overall, still worth checking out the series.

Podcast – The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel

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Got older kids who would enjoy a serialized mystery story? Performed by kids? Check out this award-winning free podcast! It’s about an Indian-American boy named Mars Patel and his misfit band of buddies who go on the hunt for their missing friends. (Stranger Things anyone?)

I can already envision listening to this when my girls are older, maybe as we take a nice long family road trip somewhere. The recommended age is 8 to 12, so we have a few years, but I even enjoyed listening to it by myself!