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.
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.
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).
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:
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!
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.
There are British audiobooks as well, read by Stephen Fry, and it’s definitely a battle between two top-notch narrators. You’ll just have to listen to both versions and decide!
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!”