Series – Whatever After

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My daughter loves fairy tales, and this series is no exception. Whatever After, by Sarah Mlynowski, follows the adventures of siblings Abby and Jonah as they enter different fairy tale worlds through a magic mirror in their basement. Of course, they mess up the story, and hilarity ensues. It’s a neat twist on classic stories that often need a little updating (as in the princess learns to fend for herself).

I really enjoyed audiobooks mainly because of the narrator Emily Eiden, who brings 10-year old Abby to life perfectly.

Ten books in the series already, and counting! Fun for kids age 8 to 12.

Check them out through Audible, or at your library!

Series – The Fudge Books

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Seriously, who doesn’t remember and love Judy Blume and her delightful tales about Peter and Fudge Hatcher? And don’t forget their friend Sheila Tubman.

I’m most familiar with the first three books in the series, having read them as a kid myself. But there are five in total:

And they are read by the author herself!

My older daughter (being the big sister) loves the sibling aspect of these books. We have definitely laughed out loud many times listening to Fudge’s hilarious antics. Peter is definitely a good, long-suffering big brother.

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!”

Audible

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I’m sure most people have heard of Audible by now. It is the place to purchase and download audiobooks. Real audiobooks are amazing because unlike a CD or MP3, they bookmark exactly where you stop listening, and start at the same spot next time, even if you change to music or a different selection.

I did a promotional trial of Audible last year. While I loved the books that I received, I do think the regular price is a little cost-prohibitive at USD $14.95 per month, which gets you 1 credit (or 1 book choice). I’m in Canada, and our exchange rate right now is awful! If you can wait until the next Amazon Prime day in July, there are typically promotions for new members. If you can’t wait that long, you can always sign-up for a free 30-day trial, and receive two free books as a new member.

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So what did I get? Feeling thrifty, I decided to go for quantity as well as quality, and found amazing value in one of my favourite children’s authors, Beverly Cleary:

  • The Ramona Quimby Audio Collection contains all 8 books, and clocks in at 19 hours. It is performed by Stockard Channing (best known as Rizzo from Grease), who is spunky and the perfect narrator for this series.
  • The Henry Huggins Audio Collection contains 6 books, and is 15 hours longs. This is performed mostly by Neil Patrick Harris, so awesome as the earnest boy-next-door.

Despite the lengths of these collections, they don’t feel too ambitious because they are broken down into individual books, and then short chapters. My older daughter loved them on first listen at age 4.

Back to Audible, I ended up purchasing three additional discounted credits, and picked up a couple more books on sale. When I tried to cancel my membership the first time, Audible offered me $20 to stay! Another nice feature is you can pause your membership for up to three months, but still see the daily member specials. There are different sales at different times of the year too.

One last thing to check monthly is the free Kindle eBook on the Whispersync for Voice page. It’s a different classic book each month. You don’t need a Kindle or even ever read the eBook, but once you have “purchased” the eBook through Amazon, you can pick up the Audible version for free (or at a huge discount). Not typically books for children, but a great way to add to your own stash.

Eventually though, I did end my membership, but walked away with a nice little collection. I tried to choose books that my library did not carry. I would seriously consider re-joining Audible in the future if the right promotion came along. And I will definitely post about any deals I see in the future!