Growing up, the worst thing my mom could do was take away the privilege of being able to listen to my “shows.” Every evening I was captivated by Moody Broadcasting’s Adventures from the Bookshelf and Stories of Great Christians. The first was a dramatized retelling of children’s novels, like The Sugar Creek Gang or Treasures of the Snow. The second was dramatizations of the lives of famous Christians like John Bunyan and Gladys Alyward.
Listening to stories has always been one of my favorite things to do, second to reading them. In college, knee-deep in literature studies, I eagerly devoured The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Stuck at home, nursing twin boys every two hours for several weeks on end I was transported to Under the Tuscan Sun. As I’ve been repainting every square inch of my house I’ve been spending time at Hogwarts.
Passing on this love was something I wanted to give my kids early on. Today, in our image-saturated world, it takes some skill to be captured by words and imagination only. And it is a skill I want my children to have and enjoy. I’ve been amazed at how my kids’ comprehension skills have grown! Even two-year-old Sophia can track with the stories and has even been able to answer my questions about them. Whether we’re just driving around town to run errands or going on longer trips, you’ll probably always find audio books in our car. Here’s some of our favorites:
Winnie-the-Pooh read by Stephen Fry and Judi Dench, this is a marvelously witty dramatization!
The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne. Fondly called the “Jack and Annie books” by my kids. We love learning about history, other cultures, and myths in this series.
Charlotte’s Web, read by E. B. White himself. One of my favorite childhood books for sure.
Radio Theatre’s Chronicles of Narnia. Although this is, I think, more of an adaptation (I’ve never gotten the books down to compare while listening) this exciting series is wonderful! It’s organized not by publication date, but chronologically and we’re currently getting ready to start The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Does anyone else like audio books as much as I do? What are some of your favorite titles to share (of any genre)?
We love audiobooks too; I was going to mention how great Jim Dale’s narration of Harry Potter is, but, then you mentioned it! We get a lot of audiobooks at the library (for our kids, and for Jim, who commutes) but we own those- all 7 books are in my ipod at all times. Just fantastic!
YAY! so glad you are finally at Hogwarts! 🙂 how far are you, and what do you think?
I never got into audiobooks until a few years ago. I loved “reading” HP that way, though. But haven’t followed it up with any others recently. Been catching up on This American Life since I got months behind on that while I was going through HP. I need to try LOTR on audio since I couldn’t really get into the print version of The Two Towers.
We haven’t done audiobooks much with the kids except for the Jesus Storybook Bible, which I put on for Elijah sometimes when he wakes up too early. I need to check out some of your recommendations–as much as we are in the car, it would be great for the boys to have a story to listen to instead of just music all the time.
We LOVE audio books here. We’re currently listening to the Little House books. But our favorites so far are Suzanne Collins’ “The Underland Series.” We’ve listened to them twice and my kids still ask to listen again.
You know we LOVE audio books as well. They have been sanity savers for long car rides. And, they’re a great way to get in a lot of quality literature without losing one’s voice. 🙂 I particularly enjoy when the audio book is dramatized as is The Chronicles series you mentioned above. I cannot do various voices, so I appreciate when my kids can experience that via a dramatization.One of my favorite children’s series to listen to is Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner. It’s absolutely fabulous and I would say a “must” to listen to unless you do voices, particularly spunky latino voices, really well.
@Megan Yes Jim Dale is a fantastic narrator!
@Amy Listening to LOTR was a great way to get through them. There are some dry parts. I can’t seem to find the version I listened too, but the reader was fabulous. All I can find on Amazon is a BBC and a NPR version, and I don’t think that was the one.
@Ashleigh I put the Underland series on our library list, thanks!
@Briana I have to admit I love listening to just about all the kids’ books as much or mor than they do!
I have a monthly subscription to audible.com, audiobooks are the only way to survive the daily commute :).I think audio versions can enhance the “reading” experience if a story that is told from difference perspectives is read by different narrators. Some of my favorites read that way have been The Help, The Time Travelor’s Wife, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
I just finished The Secret Keeper and really like that narrator, she has narrated all of Kate Morton’s books so far.
The Secret Life of Bees was also really good, and read by one of the narrators from The Help.
I’d never be able get through as many books as I do without audio versions 🙂
i actually really like audio books, too. i listen to them and/or podcast a lot at work. i definitely can read more books by putting audio books in my routine.