Friday, May 4, 2018

Audiobooks for Kids

One of my friends mentioned listening to audiobooks with her kids in the car. I thought that was such a genius idea. I always loved listening to audiobooks in the car as a kid when we took long drives. I especially remember listening to the Harry Potter series again after reading the books and loving it. We started listening to audiobooks while delivering Meals on Wheels and Carter liked it so much he requested listening to audiobooks at other times in the car. Elise and I don't listen to them without Carter and at times he'd rather talk than listen to his book. After having listened to quite a few I decided I wanted to keep a list of the books we've listened to so I'd know for the future. Here's a list of the audiobooks we listened to so far and my thoughts on them:
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne- This was our first audiobook we listened to. We just picked it because it was available at our library and we wanted an audiobook for Meals on Wheels the next day. I wasn't much of a Winnie-the-Pooh fan as a kid but I'd only seen the cartoon, never read the books. I was shocked by how much I loved the book. It was hilarious at moments and just downright lovable. Carter enjoyed it too. We would be laughing so hard at times and there were some sections Carter had me rewind over and over so we could listen to them again and a again. Just writing this makes me want to check it out again.
  • The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne- I'm not sure if my expectations were just too high after listening to the first book, but I was really disappointed by this book. It wasn't nearly as funny as the first book and the ending was pretty sad. I think what killed me about the ending was that Christopher Robin couldn't even get Pooh to understand that he was leaving and not coming back. It just broke my heart a little bit that Pooh had no idea how much his life was going to change. But it was just a book and Pooh was just a stuffed animal and it was all pretend. Still it bummed me out though!
  • Pippie Longstockings by Astrid Lindgren- I thought this book was pretty odd with how Pippie lived alone and didn't go to school. I wasn't a big fan of the book (I never read it as a kid) but Carter loved it and Elise actually seemed to like it as well
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery- I grabbed this one because they had it at our library and it is widely talked about as a great book for kids. I thought it was just weird as hell and didn't like it much at all. I don't know if that's partly because I missed large chunks of it because Carter liked it so much he wanted to listen to it when other people were driving the car or what. He liked it enough he wanted to listen to it twice and I had a hard time making it through the parts I'd already heard the first time. 
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder- I apparently missed reading some of the classic children's books as a kid because I was too into the Babysitter's Club books so this was another classic series I'd never read. I wasn't sure how much I'd like it, but this book was really good and Carter loved it. He was so excited to get the next book in the series and didn't want to check out any other audiobooks while we waited for it to come in at the library.
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder- This was the next book in the series but switched from Laura and her family's story to the story of her husband, Almanzo, and a year of his childhood. Carter seemed to still like this one but told me he liked Laura and Mary better and asked when we would get to hear about them again. Ty typically isn't too interested in children's books and attempts to skip pages when reading but he loved this one and got into The Little House series. He told me he was bummed he missed out on parts of the story when we listened without him and wondered if he could download them on his phone to listen while he was on the computer at work.
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder- Carter enjoyed this one because we were also learning about the prairie at the time we listened to it so he was able to picture their surroundings better. I didn't like the way they talked about Indians but it did open up a conversation about how people didn't understand the culture of many Native American tribes and therefore didn't like them. We talked about how it is important to respect other people and their culture even if it is different from our own. I think my favorite part of this book was when Laura talked about being jealous of Mary. I love when authors bring in natural feelings all children feel but just aren't given much attention in children's books
  • Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers- I used one of my Hoopla downloads to get this one because we were waiting on Henry Huggins to come in at the library. Carter hated it and wanted me to turn it off before the story even got going. Elise asked to listen to an audiobook when Carter wasn't in the car a few times so she and I listened to it. I really wasn't impressed either. It may be one of the very rare instances where I prefer the movie to the book. I was just so disappointed at certain parts when they didn't break out into song on the audiobook, haha! We still haven't finished this one and I doubt we will. Maybe we'll try again when they're older. We watched the movie after starting the audiobook and the kids LOVED the movie! Carter even drew a picture of Mary Poppins a few days after watching it. So maybe it will capture their attention more when they are older.
    Carter's rendering of Mary Poppins.
  • Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary- I had never read this book and really enjoyed it. It was one I decided to pick up after listening to the audiobook of Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult. All I can say is I am soooooo glad I read that book and found out about this one. It was wonderful! We listened to most of the book while delivering Meals on Wheels one Monday. Then we left it on a cliff hanger when we got home from the playground where Ribsy's old owner showed up and we didn't know whether Henry would get to keep him or not. Carter enjoyed this book so much he wanted to listen to it twice. Elise even seemed to pay a little attention and laughed at parts of the story. I didn't think she was really paying attention until she was telling Ty all about the dog and what happened in the book. I'd say this was far and away the overall favorite out of all the books we've listened to. I'm still partial to Pooh and I'd say this one was either tied with it or a super close second but the kids both adored this one. Now if you ask Carter what his favorite book is, he'll tell you Henry Huggins.
We are currently listening to On the Banks of Plum Creek, the 4th book in the Little House series. Carter is enjoying it but I can tell he's ready for a break from the series when we finish this book. Elise is definitely ready for a break from the series as she screams to have the audiobook turned off some days. We just got Henry and Beezus, the 2nd book about Henry Huggins, in at the library and picked it up. I can't wait to listen to it! I am so glad we started listening to audiobooks in the car because I am getting the chance to hear books I didn't read as a kid and the kids are so quiet while listening to them. It's such a nice, calm drive in the car while we listen (as long as it's one Elise likes so she doesn't scream for me to turn it off while Carter screams for me to leave it on). I also love having conversations about what's going on. Sometimes Carter asks me to pause the book so we can discuss something. It's also cute to hear what Carter says when we get home and it turns off and I ask him to predict what might happen next. We've had a few interesting dinner conversations about the books as well. Henry Huggins led to the best conversations with Carter retelling the story to Ty at dinner. I loved it! I have a decently long list of books I'd like to get for the kids to listen to. Of course Charlotte's Web is listed. In my opinion Charlotte's Web is the best chapter book for young children that was ever written. If you have any books you think would be appropriate and enjoyable for a 5 year old and a 3 year old, please share them with me in the comments! I always love to hear about new (well, new to me) and wonderful books! 


  1. Don't you remember us reading the Little House series before bed when you guys were young? We read almost all of them. One the kids might like would be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, because even if they don't understand it, a lot of it will be funny to them.

    1. Oh man, no I don't remember that at all! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a good one!