Summer is fast approaching and with summer comes family vacations! For some, that means long hours on the road and what better way to past the time than with audiobooks? Below are a few recommendations that I personally enjoyed while commuting or driving those long road trips. All of them are stories that the whole family are sure to enjoy. If you have little ones that are not quite ready to sit through a long audiobook, then check out our Kit Collection. Each Kit comes with a storybook and a CD with the book narration on it.
A Bear Called Paddington and More About Paddington by Michael Bond, narrated by Stephen Fry
If you are looking for a humorous story that the whole family will enjoy, then give Paddington Bear a try! The recent movies have made Paddington popular again, so some children may already be familiar with the bear from Darkest Peru. The narrator makes the listening experience enjoyable with his various voices.
The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, narrated by Cherry Jones
My mom read the Little House books to my siblings and me when we were little. I wanted to hear the story again as an adult, so I decided to try out the audio books. I think children especially would find this series interesting as the way of life is quite different from ours – no phones, no Internet, no vehicles, etc. A bonus is Pa’s fiddle playing you will hear, which is performed by Paul Woodiel.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, performed by the author
I always think it’s nice when authors narrate their own stories. This is such a wonderful story about love, devotion, and friendship. Children and adults alike can learn how to be better people by the attributes Charlotte displays.
The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner, narrated by Phyllis Newman
This series is a good choice for the mystery lovers out there. Its targeted audience is approx. 2nd-5th grade, but I think the whole family can enjoy the Alden’s different adventures and mysteries they solve.
Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, narrated by Various
Unlike many other people, I did not grow up reading C.S. Lewis's beloved Narnia books. I actually read it for the first time when I was 16. It is classic storytelling at its best with witches, dragons, magic, and so much more for fantasy lovers to enjoy. Each book is narrated by a different person and all of them are very good, although my favorite narrator is Kenneth Branagh (a.k.a. Professor Gilderoy Lockhart). We offer three of the audiobooks in Spanish!
Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, narrated by Nathaniel Parker
I must admit that I initially did not like this series. After reading the first book, I decided to give up on it until someone assured me it got better, so I gave it a second chance. That person was absolutely right. So if you decide to listen to Artemis and find the first one is mediocre, I encourage you to keep listening and you may fall in love with the characters like I did. It is a mix of fantasy, science fiction, and adventure.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, dramatized by BBC Radio
This excellent dramatization helped speed up many a long road trip. The cast is full of talented voices, including Ian Holm, Michael Hordern, and Bill Nighy. The music composed by Stephen Oliver is beautiful and adds to the mood of the story. For older kids and adults wanting an entertaining fantasy listen, this would be a great pick.