My children and I will be starting our annual road trip to see family in a few weeks. We spend a little over two weeks in the car and cover many miles. My car does not have a DVD player, and I am doing my best to keep it that way. We started using audio books two summers ago, and it is holding the backseat passengers’ attention for now. We have learned that a great read aloud at home may not be a good audio book. It all depends on the narrator. Here is a list of a few we loved… and some we did not.
- Magic Treehouse (any in the series) read by the author, Mary Pope Osborne.
- The Boxcar Children read by Phyllis Newman.
- Little House in the Big Woods (or any Little House book) read by Cherry Jones.
- Frindle read by John Fleming.
- Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing read by the author, Judy Blume.
- The BFG read by Natasha Richardson.
- The Cricket in Times Square read by Tony Shalhoub.
- Lunch Money read by John H. Mayer. added 7/2012
- Hotel for Dogs read by Katherine Kellgren. added 7/2012
- Abby Cornelia’s One & Only Magical Power read by the author, David Pogue. added 7/2012
My Children Liked; I Did Not:
- Junie B. Jones read by Lana Quintal. (My children thought these were hysterical. But, what comes across as silly when read at bedtime in our house seemed so obnoxious through the voice of Lana Quintal. I wanted to spank Junie B!)
- The Secret of the Old Mill read by Bill Irwin. (This is a Hardy Boys mystery. The reader was too slow for me, but my children loved the sound effects.) added 7/2012
- A Series of Unfortunate Events read by the author, Lemony Snicket. (This was probably a bad choice on my part. Not only was the author’s voice very nasal, the book is much darker read aloud, and the content was too old for my children’s ages.)
I need new selections for our upcoming trip. Any thoughts? I am looking for titles that will be appropriate and enjoyable for a 7-year old, a 5-year old, and a 40-year old.
Last summer we bought the Roald Dahl collection read by the author and it was great! Also Going, Going Gone with Pain and the Great One was enjoyed by everyone.
Both my girls (5 and 9) LOVE the Geronimo Stilton series. Not my favorite choice, but I’d rather listen to the stories then read them myself. All three of us have enjoyed the Pippi Longstocking, Paddington Bear, and the Ramona Books on audio. Nancy Drew read by Laura Linney is also a favorite, but sill a little scary for my younger one (the music gives it a creepy feel, but Audrey and I LOVE IT!). Next on our list is The Hardy Boys. Also to get a break from reading, we listen to the old Marlo Thomas “Free to Be You and Me.” She has another one called “Thanks and Giving.” Have fun on your trip! Love your blog!
We also liked the Willy Wonka (Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, etc.) books – excellent to listen to British accents and the kids loved the stories.
I normally don’t like to have my kids watching videos in the car, but this set of children’s books read aloud by famous actors is exceptional. Our favorite: Chrysanthemum read aloud by Meryl Streep http://www.newkideo.com/scholastic/chrysanthemum/